ELOPEMENTS + CITY HALL WEDDING INFO
Eloping means to secretly get married but people are telling their family and friends and even inviting them for a small and intimate ceremony and celebration afterwards. Eloping in New York is just as easy as a City Hall wedding but it requires a bit more planning. In addition to a marriage license (see below), you’ll need to take into consideration finding a location, a wedding officiant, and witness.
Location – You’ll need to decide on a location to get married. New York has a plethora of locations to choose from that will fit your needs. City skylines, parks or gardens, bridges, boats, whatever your heart desires, it’s possible. Have a backup plan for if it rains or snows.
Officiant – As long as the person is registered with the Office of the City Clerk in New York, they can marry you anywhere in the state.
Witness – As your elopement photographer I will be honored to be your witness.
City Hall Weddings
Getting married at City Hall is very easy and takes away the stress of planning months or even years in advance for a traditional wedding. It also considerably cuts the cost of the traditional wedding. Many couples opt to get married at City Hall first and then do a larger wedding later on. Whatever your motive behind getting married at City Hall, we are here to document you day and help to tell this special chapter in your journey. Book Now!
2020 – 2021 Pricing
All our prices include:
- Photography coverage by Toni-Ann Taylor
- About 80 edited images per hour
- Images optimized for social media
- An online gallery with the ability to download your images
- 12 Months archival of images**
- Edited images within 2-4 weeks
- Slideshow of images
- Wedding Witness
- Non-Disclosure Agreement available upon request
- Help with planning
*All prices include sales tax
**A $50 retrieval fee is required after 12 months (long-term archival available)
Getting Married at City Hall
New York City is famously known for City Hall Weddings but did you know that people don’t actually get married at City Hall? Instead, people get married at the marriage bureau that is located at the Office of The City Clerk – 141 Worth Street, New York, NY 10013 – which is only 6 minutes walk from City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Everyone who wants to get married in the state of New York must obtain a marriage license. This is the first step. You may apply online but you must appear in person with your fiancé to complete the application and receive the physical marriage license. The fee for getting a license is $35 and that can be paid by money order, or a debit or credit card. You will be able to get married within 24 hours or you can obtain a Judicial Waiver if you need to get married on the same day. Click here to view the Quick Tips handout. You can find out more about the required information and proper identification directly on their website here: City Clerk’s Office Website.
After 24 hours of receiving your license or after getting the Judicial Waiver, you will be able to have your marriage ceremony. The fee for the ceremony is $25 and that can be paid by money order, or a debit or credit card. You don’t make any appointments or reservations for your ceremony or your license as it is based on first come, first serve. Click here to view the layout of the City Clerk’s office in New York.
What to Expect
Although the office opens at 8:30am, a line starts to form as early as 8:00am. As the wedding season starts, the lines can get very long and there are usually more people applying for a marriage license than there are for a ceremony.
Mondays and Fridays are the busiest days as well as days before a holiday. The wait time can be from 30 minutes to 2 hours. It is standing room only on Fridays and special dates. If you don’t want other people in your photos, plan for a wedding between Tuesday and Thursday. You can contact me to help with planning and details.
What To Wear
You can dress up or dress as casual as you like and bring whoever you please but you can expect to see people dressed up on Fridays with their friends and families. If you plan on going to other locations such as the Brooklyn Bridge, bring a change of comfortable shoes.
The doors close at 3:45pm but as long as you get inside before that time you will be served. At this time things tend to move a little faster.
The ceremony takes place in a simple room with a long couch and a podium where the officiant stands. I have seen as many as 20 people in the room and your guests can stand or sit during the ceremony. The number of people affects where your photographer can go and what can be captured. Let me know how many people you are planning on bringing with you and I’ll prepare accordingly. You will receive your marriage certificate right after saying your I Dos.
Lots of people visiting from other countries get married in New York because of how easy and inexpensive it is. As an overseas visitor the process is the same but there is one more step, the extended certificate. The extended marriage certificate contains more information and is used to validate the marriage in your country.