January 3, 2024

NYC City Hall Wedding Guide (2024)

A NYC City Hall wedding is a budget-friendly and timeless option for your big day.

Our team creates magical elopements in NYC and city hall is such a popular choice for couples. So we decided we’ll walk you through the entire process as we would with our VIP clients.

With this step by step guide, you’ll be 100% ready to get married at NYC City Hall in 2024.

Once Upon a Time in NYC, Sarah and Alex, two city dreamers with different visions for their "big day," found themselves embarking on a journey to create their own unique love story.

Sarah, the romantic at heart, had always dreamed of a fairytale wedding gown and a sprawling venue. Alex, on the other hand, was a born adventurer, yearning for a love story woven into the fabric of the city they call home.

Fate, or perhaps their tight budget, had other plans. And so, a City Hall wedding became the setting for their enchanting tale.

Planning Your NYC City Hall Wedding

1) Obtaining a Marriage License

In their quest for love, Sarah and Alex discovered Project Cupid, a digital haven where they could apply for a marriage license online. They excitedly gathered the required documents, including proof of identification and social security numbers, to begin their journey. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to obtain your marriage license through Project Cupid:

  1. Visit the NYC Marriage License portal NYC.gov/Cupid
  2. Create an account and fill out the online application.
  3. Upload the necessary documents, including proof of identification, social security numbers, and any required affidavits.
  4. Pay the $35 marriage license fee.
  5. Schedule an appointment to complete the process in person if required.

Keep in mind that there may be a waiting period before you receive your marriage license, so plan accordingly. It's also important to note that the marriage license is valid for 60 days within New York State.

2) Booking Your Ceremony

With their marriage license secured, Sarah and Alex faced the thrilling challenge of booking their ceremony at City Hall. We'll be their trusty guide, showing them the ropes of the NYC.gov/Cupid booking system. Here's a breakdown of the process:

  1. Head back to your Project Cupid portal to schedule in-person ceremonies at city hall.
  2. Choose between a basic ceremony or an enhanced ceremony. The basic ceremony is a simple and quick affair, while the enhanced ceremony offers additional personalization options.
  3. Select your desired date and time based on availability.
  4. Complete the booking process by providing the necessary information and paying the $25 ceremony fee.

Pro Tip: Consider choosing a weekday or an off-peak time to increase your chances of getting your preferred date and avoiding crowds.

3) Choosing Your Witness

No love story is complete without the support of friends and family. Sarah and Alex realized they needed a witness for their City Hall ceremony. Here's what they learned about choosing a witness:

  1. The witness must be 18 years of age or older.
  2. The witness can be a friend, family member, or even a stranger met on the City Hall steps.
  3. Make sure your witness brings proper identification to the ceremony.

Pro Tip: Choose a witness who will add joy and magic to your day. Consider someone who has been a source of support throughout your relationship.

The Big Day: What to Expect at City Hall

The day arrives, and Sarah and Alex find themselves standing on the steps of City Hall, their hearts racing with excitement. We'll paint a vivid picture of what they can expect as they enter the iconic Manhattan Marriage Bureau. Here's a breakdown of the process:

  1. Arrival Process: Upon arrival, you'll go through a security check and proceed to the waiting area.
  2. Ceremony Procedure: An officiant will guide you through the ceremony, ensuring that your vows are exchanged and witnessed.
  3. Making It Personal: While City Hall ceremonies are typically short and sweet, there are opportunities to make the ceremony more personal and meaningful. Consider writing your own vows or incorporating small touches that reflect your love story.

Pro Tip: Embrace the excitement and joy of the moment. Your City Hall wedding may be small, but it's still a significant step in your journey together.

Additional Considerations

Sarah and Alex wanted their City Hall wedding to be a reflection of their unique personalities. Here are some additional considerations they took into account:

1) NYC City Hall Photography Options:

  • Professional Photography: Consider hiring a professional photographer to capture your special moments in high-quality images.
  • Phone Photography: If you're on a budget or prefer a more casual approach, use your smartphone to document the day. Remember, it's the genuine moments that matter most.
  • Enlist a Friend: If you have a friend with a knack for photography, ask them to be your unofficial photographer. Just make sure they're present and enjoying the celebration too!

2) Attire Recommendations:

  • Formal: If you've always dreamt of a traditional wedding look, go for it! Wear your dream gown or a dapper suit to make your City Hall wedding feel extra special.
  • Semi-Formal: Opt for a cocktail dress or a stylish suit for a sophisticated yet relaxed vibe.
  • Casual: Embrace a more laid-back style with a flowy dress or a smart-casual outfit that reflects your personal taste.

3) Post-Wedding Paperwork and Name Changes:

  • After your ceremony, make sure to complete any necessary post-wedding paperwork, such as signing your Marriage License and obtaining your Certificate of Marriage Registration.
  • If you plan to change your name, you can do so at this moment and it takes effect immediately

Celebrating Your Union

But the story doesn't end on those famous steps. Sarah and Alex raise a toast to their love, celebrating their union in the city that never sleeps. We'll suggest ideas for post-wedding celebrations, whether it's a romantic dinner for two, rooftop drinks overlooking the twinkling skyline, or even a joyous party with friends and family. Here's some inspiration to help you personalize your celebration:

  • Intimate Dinner: Treat yourselves to a special meal at a favorite restaurant or a new culinary hotspot.
  • Rooftop Party: Host a small gathering on a rooftop, complete with music, drinks, and breathtaking views of the city.
  • Cocktail Reception: Rent a chic venue or a private room in a trendy bar for a stylish cocktail reception with your loved ones.

Remember, this is your love story, and you have the power to make it uniquely your own. Embrace the magic of a City Hall wedding, where the spirit of New York City becomes intertwined with your love for each other.

So, if you're a soon-to-be NYC bride, ready to embark on your own whirlwind adventure at City Hall, embrace the magic and create a love story that will be told for generations to come.

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