How to Get Married at NYC City Hall




NYC City Hall wedding exit

Whether you're bringing your whole crew or just eloping as a party of two, here's everything you need to know on how to have a NYC City Hall wedding.

NYC City Hall wedding ceremony
What type of NYC City Hall wedding packages do you offer?

All packages include pre-ceremony consultation to answer all your questions, ceremony coverage, group and newlywed portraits, edited hi-resolution digital images delivered in an online gallery, and personal usage and printing rights. You can also add on fine art prints, custom framed fine art prints, and fully designed wedding albums a la carte.

Photography coverage is personalized to exactly what you envision — want getting ready photos? A first look and confetti exit? Lunch or dinner reception? We can definitely do that. I’m more than happy to answer any and all questions, make location suggestions, and also recommend trusted hair/makeup artists and florists if you need it.

NYC City Hall wedding packages start at $1,550 and are fully customizable to your needs. Custom-designed wedding albums and fine art prints are available a la carte.

So what’s the first thing we need to do to have a New York City Hall wedding?

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 Manhattan 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. Generally between 8:30-9:30am and 2:30-3:30pm have the shortest wait times; you’ll typically be in and out in under an hour. Between those times, you may be looking closer to a 60-90 minute wait, especially on Fridays. I’ve photographed NYC City Hall weddings in as little as one hour and have waited as long as 2.5 hours.

How long will the ceremony last?

Ceremonies are quite brief in that they only last for a minute or two, but you are welcome to linger in the room afterwards for photos and congratulations with your loved ones.

NYC City Hall wedding confetti exit
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 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.

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. I offer both full-service New York elopement packages with officiant and photographer, or just elopement photography — see more info on NYC elopement packages here.

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.

Can you recommend a hair/makeup artist or florist? Do you have suggestions of where to have a small reception afterward?

Yes! Whether you want just a simple bouquet and boutonniere, need a makeup artist to show up at your hotel at 6am, I can recommend talented local vendors I’ve worked with before. I’m also more than happy to make recommendations for places to have a reception after your ceremony, whether you want to grab a glass of celebratory champagne or book a private room.

What’s the City Hall wedding process like?

Here’s a step-by-step photo tour of how to get married at City Hall NYC.

Should we get married at Manhattan or Brooklyn City Hall?

Good question! There’s pros and cons for each location. I’ve written a guide to choosing between Manhattan and Brooklyn City Hall (complete with photos!) which might help you decide.