New York City Hall wedding. Photo by New York wedding photographer wedding photos ny, www.weddingphotosny.com
How to Have a NYC City Hall Wedding, from a New York City Hall Wedding Photographer:
Getting married can be complicated, let alone getting married with minimal planning! I’ve helped many couples, both international and local, plan their New York elopement at City Hall or elsewhere around the city. If you’re planning to elope in NYC, this is everything you need to know:
So what’s the first thing we need to do?
The first thing thing you need to do to elope in New York is apply for a marriage license, which you can either do online or in person at one of the New York Marriage Bureau offices. Here’s the full step-by-step instructions on the procedure. In short, it costs $35 (credit card or money order), you both need some form of valid photo ID (like a passport or driver’s license), and you must obtain the license at least 24 hours before getting married. Licenses are valid for 60 days. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you should confirm that NYC wedding licenses are valid in your country — a quick call to your consulate should clear this up.
Where is the marriage bureau?
The Manhattan Marriage Bureau Office is located at 141 Worth St. This is where you can apply for your license and also have the ceremony performed. Other boroughs have different locations.
Can I reserve a time at City Hall?
Unfortunately, no, it’s first-come, first-served. The Marriage Bureau is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 3:45 PM. Typically Fridays are the busiest days, so if you’re worried about wait time, I’d recommend getting married earlier in the week, and also arriving early in the morning. I’ve shot City Hall weddings in as little as one hour and have waited as long as three hours.
How long will the ceremony last?
Ceremonies are quite brief in that they only last for a few minutes, but you are welcome to linger in the room afterwards for photos and congratulations with your loved ones.
Can we bring friends and family?
Absolutely! The wedding chapel (more like a conference room) can hold 15 or so people comfortably, and even more if people stagger.
It’s just the two of us. Can you, our photographer, act as our witness?
Yes, I’m happy to do so!
Can we get married somewhere other than City Hall if we elope?
Of course! I’ve photographed elopements at picturesque places around the city — all you need is a licensed officiant to perform the ceremony.
Can we get married at City Hall and then take photos around the city?
Absolutely. Almost all of my couples want photos at different locations around the city, and I’m happy to make recommendations after we chat and I can get a sense of what aesthetic you’re envisioning.
Are same-sex weddings legal in NYC?
Yes! New York has been legally wedding same-sex couples since 2011 when the Marriage Equality Act was passed. See here for more information on having a same-sex civil ceremony in New York City. I am more than happy to photograph any kind of couple getting married.
Do you offer New York elopement photography packages?
I do. Contact me