Couple who eloped in NYC.  They are happy and joyful after tying the knot at City Hall. City Hall Wedding with Rebecca Ou Photography

If you’re planning to tie the knot, then getting married at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau may be the right step for you. As a fine art NYC courthouse wedding photographer, I’ve happily covered weddings at the courthouse in New York. Let’s go through how to get married at City Hall in NYC.

This step-by-step process will help you plan your New York City hall wedding. Having gone through the process myself, these are tips and tricks to help you get through the day smoothly! This planning advice is super easy and low stress.

All you need to know about when planning your NYC City Hall Wedding

What is the difference between a Marriage License and Marriage Certificate?

A NYC Marriage License is when you start your application to get legally married in New York. This MUST be done 24 Hours before your actual wedding day in person at the New York City Courthouse. The Marriage Certificate is given to you after your Marriage Ceremony.

How much does a Courthouse Wedding in NYC cost?

The Marriage License costs $35 and the Marriage Certificate costs $25

What are the hours and the address of the Marriage Beurer?

Marriage Bureau Hours: 8:30 am to 3:45 pm, Monday through Friday
Lobbying Bureau Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday Through Friday
(Walk-in hours until 3:45pm)

141 Worth Street
New York, NY 10013

Subway: Brooklyn Bridge Station on the 4, 5, & 6 lines; Park Place Station on the 2 & 3 lines; City Hall Station on the N & R lines; Chambers Street Station on the A & C lines
Buses: M1, M6, M15, M22, M103, B51, & express buses serving City Hall area

What is the Wait time for a New York City Hall Wedding?

The average wait time to get your Marriage License is around 1-2 hours and the average wait time to get your Marriage Certificate is around 2-2.5 Hours.

What is the best day to get married at the New York City Courthouse?

The best day to get your Marriage License and certificate is between Tuesday-Thursdays. These are the days that are least crowded. However, if you would like to have a Friday Celebration when your friends and family can attend, budget for more wait time. Friday’s are the busiest time to get your Marriage Certificate.

Can you get married in a New York Courthouse if you are not a US citizen?

Yes, you can! Make sure you check with the marriage bureau in your home country to make sure if you need to legally register your marriage in the country you are from.

Can you get married at the NYC City Hall as a Same-Sex Couple?

Yes! On June 24, 2011, the New York State Legislature passed the Marriage Equality Act which was signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo the same day.

What is the cost for hiring a Courthouse Wedding Photographer in NYC?

Get in touch today to enquire about available dates and Courthouse Wedding Photography Packages.

What documents do I need to bring for my NYC Courthouse wedding?

  1. Marriage License
  2. You and your Partners Identification Cards / Passports
  3. Identification cards/Passports from your TWO witnesses
  4. A credit or debit card to make your payments (If you pay in cash, please bring exact change! )

Step One: Get Your Marriage License

You can begin your NYC marriage license application online here. You must obtain the marriage license in-person at least 24 hours before you can get married. This will cost you $35. I suggest getting this on a weekday.

The City Clerk NYC Marriage Bureau is open Monday through Friday, but the best times to go are usually Tuesdays to Thursdays. I would recommend going 2 hours before closing time between 1:45 PM and 3:45 PM.

The City Clerk’s office is located at 141 Worth Street, New York NY 10007. You can find plenty of subway stops around this area, including Canal Street and Brooklyn Bridge City Hall.

Step Two: Pick a Date to Get Married at City Hall in NYC

Pick a date and time for your New York courthouse wedding ceremony. No matter what time you go, I always find that the average wait time can be around 1-2 hours. Fridays are usually the busiest days so if you go on a different weekday, the lines will be shorter.

You can also invite your closest friends and family if you wish. You will need a witness, so remind them to bring their IDs. Remember to bring your passports or identification cards as well. 

Quick Tip for NYC City Hall Weddings: Your NYC Courthouse Wedding Photographer can also act as a witness for you!

Step Three: Find Your Vendors

Like many weddings in New York, you must have a set of vendors to make the day happen. Choosing the right vendors can make your wedding at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau a dream come true! Consider these vendors when you’re eloping in NYC.

Find a NYC Courthouse Wedding Photographer

As an experienced fine art wedding photographer in New York, I always love the opportunity to photograph elopements. I would love to work with you for your NYC City Hall elopement! Reach out and let me know when you’re thinking.

Find an Elopement Florist in NYC

Find a florist for your New York City Hall wedding bouquet. They also sell bouquets outside of City Hall, but you may want something more customized than that. Plus, if you’d like to do an epic exit with flower petals, ask your florist for extra petals to throw when exiting at 141 Worth Street.

Shop for an Elopement Outfit

Decide on what to wear for your elopement. Consider something classic and timeless for your big day at the courthouse. I’ve put together outfit suggestions for your NYC City Hall wedding.

Find a Makeup Artist & Hair Stylist

Having hair and makeup done for your City Hall wedding can make you feel amazing for your elopement photos. Alternatively, book an appointment at the Tribeca Dry Bar and DIY your own makeup! There are plenty of options to look and feel amazing to tie the knot.

Step Four: Your NYC Courthouse Wedding Day

On the day of, make sure you remember your IDs and put your marriage license in a plastic folder. You can also plan to do a first look around City Hall with your NYC photographer. Meet and gather any friends or family to go through security together. Make sure you have all your documents ready.

Wait in line for your turn to sign the papers and pay for your marriage certificate. This will cost you $25. After this, you will have to wait in a second line to enter the City Clerk’s Office for the ceremony.

Once in the office, the city clerk marries you two quickly. Be sure you have all your belongings with you when exiting the room! It is quite a fast ceremony, and vows are not usually said. If you want something more personalized, maybe you can plan to say your vows privately outside the marriage bureau.

You will be given your marriage certificate during this time so put it in the plastic folder to keep it nice and safe! Next, exit the Marriage Bureau – you can plan for a flower toss outside when exiting! You can then have your elopement photoshoot around New York City Hall. Alternatively, choose to shoot at nearby locations like the Brooklyn Bridge, Dumbo, the Oculus, Battery Park and Tribeca.

Start Planning your NYC City Hall Wedding

Let’s start planning out your New York City Hall wedding together! I’m so excited to hear more about your big plans. Please get in touch here, and we can make your elopement dreams come true!

Couple after their First Look outside City Hall | Rebecca Ou Photography | NYC City Hall Weddings
First Look Outside the City Clerk
NYC Courthouse Wedding
Couple signing the papers!
NYC Courthouse Wedding
A happy pair in the waiting room
New York couple exchanging rings during the marriage ceremony
New York couple exchanging rings during the marriage ceremony
Couple exiting the Office of the City Clerk |  Rebecca Ou Photography | NYC City Hall Weddings
Yay! Exiting City Hall!

Check this post out for the most updated City hall Wedding Guide in 2022

Guide to Planning Your NYC Courthouse Wedding

May 2, 2020




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