Sure it might not be the “city of love” like Paris, but there’s something super romantic about NYC elopements that we just can’t put our finger on. Maybe it’s those beautiful parks, or it could be those iconic buildings you’ve grown up watching on TV and in the movies.
There’s something really inspiring about this crazy city that feels so romantic and magical. In 2019, Harper’s Bazaar reported that elopements were on the rise, and there’s no sign of this trend slowing down. We think it comes back to couples wanting to focus on simplicity.
They want to celebrate the marriage without all the fuss and craziness planning a wedding provides. But if you want simplicity with a little bit of glamor, you can’t go wrong with a New York City elopement! Here’s our New York City elopement checklist to help you plan every part of your special day.
You might think eloping is as simple as saying, ‘Hey, let’s do this,’ and grabbing each other by the hand to disappear off to the city and get wed. But hold your horses! There are some things you need to plan, you wild pair.
Whether you’re planning a destination elopement in the city that never sleeps, or a ceremony in your neighborhood, we’ve got you covered. Typically, an NYC elopement involves just the wedding ceremony, some beautiful photos, and a celebration afterward. Let’s dive into what goes into an intimate wedding in New York.
While the marriage license doesn’t cost much, you may still want to buy a special outfit, get some flowers, or book a photographer. If you prefer an outdoor elopement, you might need to rent the space, book a celebrant or get a permit. And what about afterwards? Are you going to want a meal to celebrate? Will you be staying in a fancy hotel during your stay?
Set your budget now so that making all these decisions further down the line will be easier. Read this post for more advice about budgeting your NYC elopement.
Just because you’re eloping doesn’t mean you can’t bring some guests along with you! Eloping doesn’t have to be the secretive event it once was. In fact, lots of couples elope and bring their very nearest and dearest family members along with them too.
And, most importantly, you need to choose a date for your New York City elopement so that you can go ahead and book any services or vendors you might need.
Deciding where to get married in New York City is as wide as your imagination. Pretty much anything is possible – from a quick City Hall ceremony, right up to exchanging vows at the Top of the Rock overlooking lower Manhattan and beyond. Here are a few of our favorite locations around New York City for your elopement.
Let’s start with the one everyone knows. Eloping to New York can be as simple as planning a City Hall wedding. And while it might seem super quick and sterile, we think it’s so romantic that all those couples want to get married without all the fuss and fanfare!
But it’s not as simple as just rocking up to City Hall, though. Oh no. You gotta be prepared and purchase your marriage license at least 24 hours before you get wed.
You’ll also need a witness! If you’ve got someone in mind, make sure they arrive with you. You can, of course, ask your photographer/s to be a witness. But let them know beforehand so they can bring ID with them on the day.
To find out about the full process of a City Hall wedding, you should read our post all about how to get married at New York City Hall. For all the latest information on City Hall weddings during the pandemic, check out the Marriage Bureau website.
This giant park tucked in among the sprawling buildings of a buzzing city is where the locals love to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature, even in a busy place like New York.
We love Central Park weddings because there are so many beautiful options. Whether you want to plant yourself in the middle of a bridge with people strolling by as you say your ‘I dos’ or you’d like something a little more intimate, there are options to suit everyone. We especially love Bethesda Terrace for its grandeur and handy cover for those rainy elopement days.
For lots of inspiration about eloping in Central Park, you should read this blog post!
When it comes to locations around New York City for your elopement, we’re a little biased when we recommend Brooklyn. It’s our neighborhood and one we’ve come to love and know well.
We especially love that there are so many unique spots around Brooklyn and DUMBO that are less traveled. But you also get those amazing views of the Manhattan skyline in the background of many of your photographs when you go to Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic landmark around these parts, and we know all the great spots to make sure it’s in your elopement photographs. Check out this post for everything we know about planning a Brooklyn elopement.
Of course, there are so many iconic landmarks around New York City that would make great backdrops for your elopement. Places like Times Square, Top of the Rock, the Highline and Grand Central Station are some of the immediate iconic sights that come to mind.
You can even get married with the big green lady herself, the Statue of Liberty, overseeing the proceedings. Whatever makes you happy, the options literally are endless. We’ve suggested a few ideas in this post about iconic New York elopement photography ideas.
Because of the nature of eloping, being comfortable in your wedding attire is as important as looking stunning. You may not be going with a big poofy wedding dress or snazzy tux, but don’t forget: you’ve got to wear what makes you comfortable and happy!
Elopements usually involve lots of walking around to get the shots you want once the ceremony is done. So shoes that won’t make you scream in pain after a decent walk are a must. Or bring along comfy shoes as well as your less practical but stunning pair to wear between locations and photos.
You absolutely can go more traditional with your wedding outfit if you’d like. But don’t feel you have to if a suit or a big white dress isn’t your thing. Like every part of eloping, anything goes. It’s all about you feeling comfortable, confident, and your most beautiful self on this memorable day. So wear whatever you need to for that to happen!
Prepare for the weather. Depending on the time of year, the weather can sometimes change on you and catch you out. So, even though it’s your wedding day, it’s ok to bring an extra layer, a fabulous coat, or something to keep you dry if it gets a bit rainy.
Dirt is inevitable. Especially if you do opt for a long white dress. So, accept this fact and don’t worry about it. If your dress touches the floor, it’s going to get scuffed. We promise you, no one will notice, and neither will you when you’ve just got married to the love of your life!
A larger, more traditional wedding will have a planned dinner as part of the reception. There’s nothing to say you can’t do something similar after your elopement ceremony!
Depending on the time of day you choose to get married, there are so many different options. We love the idea of an early ceremony, with portraits in some of your favorite spots around the city, followed by a fantastic brunch somewhere. We’re all about the brunch weddings here, by the way!
Not early birds? That’s ok. You could book an amazing restaurant for dinner afterwards. After all, this is your wedding day, so make it memorable with an incredible meal to round off the day.
Or if you’re a little more casual and relaxed, hit a nearby food truck for hotdogs, tacos, mac & cheese or an incredible lobster roll! This post will tell you about some of the most incredible food trucks around the city. Or for something traditional New York, you can’t go wrong with a slice of pizza, right?
If you’ve brought guests along for your New York City elopement, figure out your food plans beforehand. You may need to book a table if there are more than 6 of you. Unless you don’t mind waiting for a seat, of course.
We can’t talk about a New York City elopement checklist without mentioning photography, can we?
As NYC elopement photographers, we’ve picked up years of experience, hints and tips along the way. And we’re always more than happy to share our knowledge with you while you’re planning your elopement here. Here’s what you can expect from your NYC elopement photographer/s.
We’d love to chat with you about your plans and see if we’re the right photographers to capture the day for you! Do get in touch, and let’s chat about your plans.