New York City is one of the most exciting and desirable cities on the planet – and getting married there is as easy as saying, “I Do!” Completing your marriage vows in a New York City Hall is surprisingly simple and affordable. For a mere $60, you and your future life partner can be married and on to enjoying the rest of your lives together – and you only have to wait 24-hours after getting your marriage license.
Step-By-Step Guide For a City Hall Wedding in New York City
The following steps will help you prepare for one of the most life’s most memorable and sacred events.
Get your marriage license. As if they skyline wasn’t enough, one of the most appealing things about getting married at the NYC City Hall is that you can do it over the course of a couple days. New York only requires that couple have their marriage licenses for 24-hours prior to the ceremony, which makes it an ideal state to elope or plan a wedding while on vacation.
You can get your marriage license at any one of the city’s clerk’s offices. Click Here for an official list of locations and days/hour of operations. There are City Clerk’s Offices in:
- Staten Island
You can Apply For a New York Marriage License Online, or fill out the application at the clerk’s office. Either way, both parties (18-year old or older) must be present, with a valid ID (Current Driver’s License, State ID, Permanent Resident Card or Passports will suffice), in order to finalize the process. The fee for a marriage license is $35 and it is only payable via credit card or a money order made out to the City Clerk.
Once you’ve obtained your marriage license, you must wait a full 24-hours to get married, and your license is valid for 60 days (180 days if you are in the military). This marriage license is good anywhere in the state of New York.
Show Up at City Hall. There is no need to make an appointment to get married at the City Hall in New York because they marry people on a first-come, first-serve basis. In order to get married, both parties must have the same ID used to procure the marriage license.
New York City’s City Hall is located in Manhattan at 141 Worth Street. We recommend arriving by taxi or hired car. Otherwise, you can take the subway. If you prefer the latter (one way for a bride to enjoy a heap of positive attention!), the closest stops are Chambers St on the J or the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall stops via the 4/5/6.
Civil marriage ceremonies are performed Monday through Friday, from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. You must have passed the front desk and taken a number by 3:45 p.m. to have the marriage ceremony performed that day. The fee for getting married is $25 and must be paid for using a credit card or money order made payable to the City Clerk.
Since the ceremonies are performed on a first-come, first-serve basis, there is no way to know for sure how long it will take. On a slower day, you may be in and out in less than 30-minutes, busier days can mean a three-hour wait. Our advice is to show up as early as you can in the morning, and Mondays through Wednesdays seem to be the slowest days. Fridays are notoriously busy, lunch-hours (12 – 2) are busy and Thursdays and Fridays on holiday weekends are also pretty popular.
Bring Your Friends & Family. You are required to have at least one witness, 18-years or older. If friends or family aren’t available, another wedding couple, a willing passerby or your wedding photographer can stand in as long as they have a valid ID.
Unlike other City Halls, which often only have enough room for a witness or two, New York City’s marriage chambers can accommodate about 20 people. Much more than that, and you may want to explore other wedding venue options in New York City.
Did you celebrate your marriage in New York City’s City Hall? We’d love to hear your story in the comment box below. Share your tips and advice to future newlyweds.