Getting Married at NYC City Hall: Manhattan or Brooklyn?

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Getting married at NYC City Hall: Manhattan or Brooklyn?

Getting Married at NYC City Hall: Manhattan or Brooklyn?

 

Have you decided on getting married at NYC City Hall, but aren’t sure whether to have your wedding at the Manhattan or Brooklyn City Clerk’s Office? They’re only 2.5 miles apart, but there’s significant differences, and pros and cons to both. Here, a quick guide to the differences in getting married at NYC City Hall in Manhattan or Brooklyn.

 

A Visual Comparison of Manhattan City Hall vs. Brooklyn City Hall:

Manhattan City Hall wedding vs. Brooklyn City Hall wedding

Manhattan City Hall waiting area (left) vs. Brooklyn City Hall (right)

Getting married at NYC City Hall: Manhattan vs. Brooklyn

Manhattan City Hall paperwork (left) vs. Brooklyn City Hall (right)

Getting married at NYC: Manhattan vs. Brooklyn

Manhattan City Hall wedding ceremony (left) vs. Brooklyn City Hall (right)

 

More details:

 

Manhattan City Hall Wedding

141 Worth Street
New York, NY 10013

Open Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 3:45pm

Pros to Manhattan City Clerk’s Office:

  • It’s more picturesque and comfortable. The Manhattan branch has green couches, gold accents and chandeliers, while the Brooklyn branch has hard plastic chairs and glass at their counters where you do paperwork. Manhattan has two chapels in pastel colors, compared to Brooklyn’s blue-and-yellow glass mosaic background. 
  • You can get a last-minute bouquet if you need it. George, the guy who operates the flower stand right outside the entrance, is there pretty much everyday, rain or shine, for a last-minute bouquet or boutonniere. 
  • You can do a staged wedding exit, if you wish. When you exit, you’ll likely notice confetti or rose petals on the ground from previous wedding well-wishers. It’s not an uncommon thing to find people staging a festive wedding exit at the Manhattan branch.

Waiting process:

Right inside the revolving doors at 141 Worth Street, you’ll find the doors to the Marriage Bureau on the right-hand side. Doors open at 8:30am, and if you arrive earlier, there will be a queue for couples to line up at. 

Upon entering the Marriage Bureau, you’ll pass through a metal detector (super romantic, I know) and show your marriage license and government-issued photo IDs to the attendant, who will give you a ticket with a number. Then, find a seat on the green couches and pay attention to what number they’re calling out over the loudspeaker and flashing on the digital board.

When they call your number for the first time, you and your witness will go to designated podium they assign you to do some paperwork. Afterward, you’ll go back to the couches until they call your number again. This time your whole wedding party will go to Station 5, where you’ll present the paperwork you just signed, and then go to the back atrium where you’ll wait for your names to be called.

Ceremony:

There are two “chapels” — the East Chapel and West Chapel — where couples get married. These are nearly identical in size and decor, except one has a blue painting and the other has rainbow artwork. Both rooms can fit around 20 people, and have a long bench for you and your guests to put down coats and bags.

When your names are called, you’ll enter either the East or West Chapel (unfortunately you don’t get to choose). There’s a podium at the front where you can place the rings and flowers. The officiant will then begin, the ceremony will last roughly a minute, and that’s it — you’re married!

Afterward, you’re welcome to take portraits at the City Hall backdrop (whether it’s cheesy-good or cheesy-bad is your call), or do a staged exit outside with confetti if you wish. There’s also a designated “wedding garden” across the street from the entrance that’s also primed for photos.

 

Brooklyn City Hall Wedding

Brooklyn Municipal Building
210 Joralemon Street, Room 205
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 4pm

 

Pros to Brooklyn City Clerk’s Office:

  • The wait is frequently shorter. If having the shortest possible queue is important, consider getting married at Brooklyn City Hall.
  • Brooklyn has slightly longer hours. Manhattan is open till 3:45pm, whereas Brooklyn closes at 4pm.
  • Brooklyn’s ceremony room is larger than Manhattan’s. If you have an extensive guest list, you can fit more people at the Brooklyn location.

Waiting Process:

Doors to the Brooklyn Municipal building open at 8:30am, and if you arrive earlier, there will be a queue outside the building for you to line up. There is no flower stand for last-minute bouquets.

Upon entering, you’ll pass through a metal detector, then will take the stairs up one flight to the second floor, and follow the sign for the marriage bureau. Once inside, show your marriage license and government-issued photo IDs to the attendant, who will give you a ticket with a number. Then, find a seat and pay attention to what number they’re calling out over the loudspeaker and flashing on the digital board. 

When they call your number for the first time, you and your witness will go to designated station and sign some paperwork. Afterward, your whole wedding party will go to the back room where you’ll wait for your names to be called.

Ceremony:

There is only one room where couples get married, which has flags flanking the couple and a large multi-colored glass mosaic in the background. The room is larger than the Manhattan chapels, and can fit around 30 people. There’s a podium at the front where you can place the rings and flowers. The officiant will then begin, the ceremony will last roughly a minute, and that’s it — you’re married!

 

Ready for the next step? Check out my Ultimate Guide to Having an NYC City Hall Wedding, with more City Hall Wedding FAQs.


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2 responses to “Getting Married at NYC City Hall: Manhattan or Brooklyn?”

  1. Sara says:

    Are children allowed to attend the ceremony?

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