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A Guide To New York City Hall Weddings

City Hall Wedding Updates

As of September 10th, 2023, the New York City Hall Marriage Bureau is opening to in-person weddings!
That’s all great, but the center is still limited to APPOINTMENT ONLY ONLINE.

Do not just show up without an appointment or try to make one on-site, you will be turned away!

You can get your marriage license online or in person before your ceremony and after you obtain your marriage license, you can get married 24 hours later.
Also, only THREE others are allowed to join you, and one must act as your witness.

Everyone else can wait outside or nearby at one of our recommended locations.
Book now, as our availability is limited on a first-come basis.

Reasons to have a New York City Hall Wedding?

What if I told you that getting married at City Hall is easy and inexpensive to have a New York City Hall Wedding? You are also not required to have many people there with you. It can be the two of you and a witness. As a photographer who has witnessed many weddings, I would be honored to capture them and be your witness too!

I have photographed countless weddings as a City Hall Wedding Photographer. I know everyone there by name, and they recognize me every time I stroll through the hallway. Having worked here many times means my expertise has led me to find every angle possible for the best photos under any lighting conditions. From the beautiful historic stone steps that lead up to the front doors of the Marriage Bureau to the mosaic tiles that curve around the interior of the gift shop, many backdrops can be used to set the tone of your love story.

Not only can I be your City Hall Wedding Photographer, but I can also help you plan your day around your ceremony.   I can help suggest and arrange your lunch or dinner reservations, transportation (taxi, Uber, limo), floral arrangements, dress/tuxedo rentals, and any other addition to your NYC Wedding Planning needs. As a New York native, you won’t find anyone who knows New York City better than I do!

How Does the Marriage Process Work for City Hall Weddings?

Your actual NYC City Hall Wedding ceremony doesn’t occur at City Hall; it takes place at the City Clerk NYC’s Office. It is sometimes known as a “Courthouse Wedding.” Before you go through with the ceremony, you must file for a marriage license.  The bureau opens at 8:30 a.m., and you can bet couples are standing in line waiting for it early. The last couple accepted is at 3:45 pm sharp and no later! Obtaining the marriage license is a 24-hour process, which technically means you can get married within 24 hours of getting your license.  It costs $35 to obtain this registration.

What if we are from overseas and we want to elope in NYC?

After you elope at the marriage bureau, you have to return to the front desk and apply for an extended certificate. Here you have to pay another 35 dollars so you can receive this certificate. With this certificate, you head across the street to the Supreme Court Building at 60 Centre St. There is a $3 fee for this signature. Once it is signed, you have to go to another office which is a 15-minute walk, at 123 William Street.

Before you arrive, you have to make a detour to buy a money order from a 7/11 store or a Duane Reade, which is $10 to purchase. Or if you have me as your photographer, I can purchase in advance for you at a bank, saving you time and a journey. The Apostille accepts this “short” certificate with authentication after they accept your money order and the paperwork.

This is a long process, so I don’t suggest squeezing this all into one day or rushing it because you will want to take photos with your photographer after your ceremony! If you are coming from overseas to elope, I believe a one-week trip for this joyous occasion is perfect!

How Much Time Should I Dedicate to My City Hall Wedding?

The waiting time can take as little as twenty minutes and as long as three hours.  So give yourself a solid three hours just in case, but be ready to move in and out quickly.  The actual City Hall Wedding Ceremony is around two minutes.  The best days of the week are Tuesday through Thursday and midday to avoid long wait times. Mondays and Fridays have always been the BUSIEST! The long weekend holidays also hold back a lot of the wait times.

How Much Do City Hall Marriage Licenses Cost?

The good news here!  A City Hall Marriage License NYC will only run you $35.00; the actual ceremony to be paid the day of is $25. 

What Forms of Identification Would We Need to Get a Marriage License?

Thankfully this isn’t a trip to the DMV.  Only one form of identification is required when applying for your marriage license. Click here for a valid list of identifications.

How Do I Get to the New York City Hall Marriage Bureau?

Super easy!  I always recommend downloading Google Maps when navigating through New York City.  You can type in your Origin and your Destination.  In this case, your destination will be 141 Worth Street for the marriage bureau. It is a clerk’s office nearby. Also, consider getting an Uber, Lyft, or Taxi to your destination. 

What Do We Do About Flowers?

Luckily enough, you can purchase flowers inside City Hall.  They cost a lot more, though, so I recommend getting them from a local florist, or even making your DIY flowers would be fun and personalized!

Are there snacks, food, or drinks?

Unfortunately, they do not sell food or drinks inside for safety reasons. You can purchase food or drinks outside on the corner by the stand. I recommend bringing your own if you plan on waiting a long time to elope.

Susan Shek New York Wedding Photography

What can we do after our ceremony?

I recommend taking photos around the City Hall area or venturing to places like Central Park or Dumbo by Brooklyn Bridge. As a City Hall Wedding Photographer, I can suggest many things to do! All you have to do is ask 🙂

Portraits after City Hall Marriage Bureau Wedding at Beekman Hotel

Inquire for availability below.

Below is the map for the location of the Marriage Bureau in Manhattan from Google Maps. The address is 141 Worth Street. That is where you will go to register and have the ceremony to be married.

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