Getting Married in NYC: From Applying to Marriage License to Receiving a Marriage Certificate

Getting married in NYC can be both exciting and overwhelming, so here’s a step-by-step guide, as told by a New York wedding photographer who has photographed many, many different couples tying the knot.

[Note: If you are an adventurous non-U.S. citizen planning to get married in NYC, see my guide to getting married in NYC as a foreigner, which has slightly different steps.]

 

[Note: While New York is under a State of Emergency due to Covid-19, all NYC Marriage Bureaus are temporarily closed. Click here for a guide to applying for a marriage license online through Project Cupid.]

 

1. How and Where to Apply For a Marriage License in NYC

Before you can legally get married, you first need to get an NYC marriage license. Couples can either begin the application online and later finish the process at a New York Marriage Bureau (note: online applications are only valid for 21 days), or you can complete the entire process down at the Marriage Bureau. See below for locations in all five boroughs.

What to bring: Both spouses must bring government-issued photo IDs that show your photo, name, date of birth (you must be 18 or older to get married in the U.S.) and address, such as a passport or driver’s license. A list of accepted IDs can be found here.

Cost: NYC marriage licenses cost $35, and can be paid via credit card or money order. Note that the cash is not accepted.

Expiration: NYC marriage licenses expire after 60 days, so you need get married in that timeframe in order to use the license. However, you must also wait at least a full 24 hours after the marriage license is issued to get married.

 

NYC Marriage Bureau Locations

Manhattan Marriage Bureau

Location: The NYC City Clerk’s Office is located at 141 Worth St., New York, NY 10013
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 3:45pm

Brooklyn Marriage Bureau:

Location: The Brooklyn City Clerk’s Office is located in the Brooklyn Municipal Building at 210 Joralemon Street, Room 205, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

Queens Marriage Bureau:

Location: The Queens City Clerk’s Office is in the Borough Hall Building at 120-55 Queens Boulevard, Ground Floor, Room G-100, Kew Gardens, NY 11424
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 3:45pm

Bronx Marriage Bureau:

Location: The Bronx City Clerk’s Office is located within the Supreme Court Building at 851 Grand Concourse, Room B131, Bronx, NY 10451
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

State Island Marriage Bureau

Location: The Staten Island City Clerk’s Office is located in the Borough Hall Building at 10 Richmond Terrace, Room 311, (please enter at the entrance located at the intersection of Hyatt Street and Stuyvesant Place), Staten Island, NY 10301
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

 

2. Have a Marriage Ceremony in New York

You will need to have a New York-ordained officiant to perform the ceremony and complete the paperwork to get married in NYC, as well as a witness. Most officiants will work with you to customize a ceremony exactly to your specifications. (And yes, I do have officiants that I work with and can recommend.)

However, if you’re looking for a no-stress, speedy alternative, the fastest way to get married in New York is at City Hall. You can see more information (and photos from real City Hall weddings!) over here.

If you decide a City Hall wedding is for you, all you need to do is show up at the Marriage Bureau with your documentation and be ready to queue up, as there are no reservations. Bring your wedding license, your government-issued photo ID, and a credit card to pay for the ceremony ($25). You will also need at least one witness, but you can have up to two. And yes, if you hire me as your photographer, I am more than happy to act as your witness. The ceremony itself lasts about a minute, but you are left in the room for another minute or two for photos.

 

3. Receive Your New York City Marriage Certificate

If you get married at the City Clerk’s Office, you will receive your marriage certificate right after the ceremony.

If you have a ceremony outside of the City Clerk’s office, you will receive your certificate in the mail in approximately 20 days from the date when they receive the Marriage License from your Marriage Officiant and process it.

If you have not received your Certificate of Marriage Registration within a month of your ceremony, you should contact the Office of the City Clerk where you obtained your Marriage License.

 

 

Getting married in NYC?

 

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