Sunday, June 9, 2024

How To Elope In New York

Decide Where You Would Like To Have Your Ceremony

The best place to elope in New York Roosevelt Island

Do you want to have the ceremony at City Hall or somewhere around the city?

Ceremonies at the Marriage Bureau are simple and short, but the whole hall is dedicated to weddings so there is a celebratory energy in the air. Its always so fun to see all of the people coming through for their weddings every day.

However, in New York City, so many places can become your wedding venue if you elope! There are many places where you dont even need a permit for events under 20 people, including Central and Prospect Parks. As long as you are ok with the possibility that other folks may be wandering around near your ceremony this can be a really fun option. For a bit fancier option you can even book a restaurant or rooftop and enjoy a cocktail hour or dinner after with your loved ones.

How Do We Obtain Our Marriage License

The first step to getting legally married is to obtain the New York marriage license. The City Clerks office, located at 141 Worth Street in Manhattan, issues the $35 license. While the Manhattan location is the most popular, you can get the license in any New York county including any of NYCs other boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx.

You can save a little time by starting the marriage license paperwork online, but either way you and your partner must finish the process together in person. The City Clerks website contains more detailed NYC marriage license information.

Finding An Elopement Ceremony Venue

If youre thinking about booking a venue for your elopement day, thats awesome! Having an NYC elopement venue can save a lot of frustration when it comes to weather and logistical issues. Look for spaces in New York that are small enough for your celebration that are meaningful to you both. Is there a rooftop bar you frequent that might make a good spot? Check if theyll take your ceremony! Be open to the idea of weekdays as well youll get better rates and have more open availability from NYC elopement venues.

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How Do We Officiate The Marriage And Get A Marriage License In Nyc

A full 24 hours after receiving your marriage license, you can perform the ceremony. These days a lot of couples are choosing to hire their own officiant usually a friend or relative, or professionally ordained minister and officiant. I can help with this as well.

Get your own Officiant: Elope anywhere in NYC or PA by hiring an elopement officiant. Literally anywhere, I got married in front of the Supreme store which was an old abandoned bank for many years. With alittle courage and a small group we can do whatever we want! I also have hook ups at some super cool indoor photo studios, backyards and Brooklyn roof tops just lemme know. P.S You will need a witness for the license signing, good thing is your photographer, ME, can act as your witness or a friend or relative

Elope at City Hall: I love city hall weddings and the truly old school NY vibes. Cant wait to start doing these again!

How To Elope In Nyc

How to Elope in New York: Step by Step

Once youve decided to elope in NYC, its important to know how. For your ceremony to be legal you will need to get a marriage license from any City Clerk Office. In Manhattan, the most popular and convenient place to get your marriage license is The Office of the New York City Clerk at 141 Worth Street. With this important document in hand, you can get married in 24 hours! Next, youll have your official marriage ceremony. You can choose to head back to City Hall or hire a private officiant perform the ceremony at a location of your choice. While City Hall is an easy, no-frills option, hiring your own officiant is the best way to craft a truly personalized wedding day. Customize your elopement ceremony however you want, with personal vows, readings, and other touches to make the wedding uniquely yours. If youre not a U.S. citizen, an additional Extended Certificate For Foreign Use document is required, at an additional fee of $35. This is important to remember, as youll need to register the marriage in your home country. For the certificate to be valid outside the United States, it must be authenticated and an apostille attached by the New York Department of State.

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Nyc Elopement Part : The Marriage License

The piece of paper you need to make everything legal. Your paperwork can be obtained at any City Clerks office. They have one in each of the 5 boroughs, but most people end up at the Manhattan office which can be found at 141 Worth Street. The closest subway is the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall station on the 4/5/6 line or the Canal Street Station on the NQR line.

Youll need to obtain your license 24 hours before you hope to get married.* You can fill out your paperwork in advance online by clicking HERE, but youll still need to go together with your partner in person to pick it up 24 hours in advance. The City Clerks office is open 8:30am 3:45 pm Monday-Friday. Be sure to check if there are any holidays around your desired date as they will be closed on those days. Remember to bring your photo id or passport. The fee for the marriage license is $35, payable by credit card or money order.

*It IS possible to apply for a judicial waiver to get married within 24 hours, however this involves lots of waiting, is dependent on the judge working, and makes for a very long day. I recommend getting to the Clerks office at least a day or two early if possible.

Can You Get Married At City Hall In Nyc

  • Location Permit: $50-150
  • Reception Venue: $600-4000

As you can see, the costs vary greatly depending on what you plan to do with your day. The average cost of an elopement in New York City can be anywhere from $750 to $8000 depending on what goes into it. Start reaching out to elopement vendors throughout the city to see what works best for you two as a couple.

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Anywhere In Lake George Ny

If you want royalty, Lake George is nicknamed the Queen of American Lakes. In a forty minute drive you can find several hikeable mountains with varying views of the lake and the surrounding forest. Shelving Rock Falls offers a great waterfall, but if a lake backdrop is more your thing, you can choose from Pilot Knob, Cat Mountain, Thomas Mountain and more. Sleeping Beauty Mountain also has a stunning view for a little bit of a hike.

The Lake George area has so much to offer in terms of an upstate New York elopement, particularly if youre looking for a water view. Lake George also has tons of great places to celebrate after your elopement as well!

Hunter’s Point South Park

Eloping to New York & Getting Married in Grand Central Terminal

Located in Long Island City, Hunters Point South Park is a beautiful waterfront intimate NYC elopement location. Steps away from the popular Gantry Plaza State Park, Hunters Point South Park offers a less crowded option for couples seeking an elopement location on the water. At night the beautiful intimate NYC elopement location lights up with views of the NYC skyline and offers the perfect backdrop for wedding photos. Click on the link below to see more..

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Vendors To Build Your Perfect New York Elopement Package

When putting together your New York elopement package, you want to consider your overall elopement budget. Whether youre planning an NYC elopement package or a package in upstate NY, your budget is everything! Elopements have a pretty big range when it comes to an average price because it all depends on what vendors you decide to include on your wedding day. Please note that you are not required to include every vendor type in your package.

Are you ready to start planning your New York elopement?

Check out our vendor categories to consider when thinking about your elopement package:

These vendors are where most of your elopement budget will be going towards, but for good reason. On average, our photographers will charge $2,500-$6,000 per elopement. This depends on how many hours of coverage a couple is looking for their New York elopement package.


Like elopement photographers, videographers are going to be a great investment for your elopement day to document your adventures together. On average, our videographers will charge $2,500-$6,000 per elopement. Keep in mind, this depends on how long you want your elopement footage to be. For example, a full-day video coverage would cost more versus covering just your elopement ceremony.


Elopement Planners



Should You Have A First Look

Benefits of Having a First Look:

  • An opportunity to be completely present and take in the moment with your significant other

  • Adds another memorable moment to your day, can be done in a different location in the NYC- a great idea if youre torn on two different places to have your ceremony at

  • Capturing raw and genuine emotions on camera- photographs you will have forever

  • Takes the pressure off and calms the nerves before your actual ceremony

  • Extra moment to do something special and memorable together

  • When creating your timeline, heres one thing to keep in mind: DO WHATEVER WILL MAKE YOU HAPPIEST ON YOUR WEDDING DAY. Whatever feels most authentic and genuine to you as a couple, its about being together on this special day and experiencing life, doing whatever feels right to you guys. So dont feel like you have to do any of the activities listed above, just do you!

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    How To Elope In Nyc Step : Ceremony Location

    Now that you have a date, you can start planning the fun stuff! When people think of eloping in NYC, they normally picture the classic City Hall elopement. The misconception about City Hall is that the ceremonies are actually held in the Clerks Office, down the street from City Hall. While you can still take photos in front of City Hall, some people are disappointed by this when they come to elope in the iconic New York City Hall.

    What I always recommend to couples is to think beyond having your ceremony at City Hall. There are so many other classic spots you can have your ceremony at. All you need is an officiant and 1 witness to legally be married in NYC.

    Best Places To Elope Near New York City

    How to get married in New York

    If you are planning your elopement trip to New York but are undecided about whether to search for somewhere low key for your ceremony. Or maybe you live in New York and want to escape the city for your elopement wedding. Well, youll be pleased to know there are some beautiful nature spots within driving distance of NYC

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    What Is The Best Time For An Intimate Nyc Wedding

    Also consider what day of the week youre going to tie the knot. If youre planning to get married at city hall, the Manhattan Marriage Bureau is only open on weekdays. On the other hand, if your intimate wedding somewhere else in the city, you have more flexibility.

    If you want to hold your wedding ceremony in a crowded tourist spot, consider a weekday wedding. There will be far fewer people in a place like Brooklyn Bridge Park on a weekday. Also consider the time of day when you plan to elope. This can make a big difference.

    Central Park, for example, is going to be much less crowded in the morning than the afternoon. Even for a City Hall wedding, the time of day makes a big difference. The wait times are much longer on a Friday afternoon than they are on a Wednesday morning.

    Why Have An Elopement Over A Larger Wedding

    Eloping has a ton of benefits. As opposed to a larger wedding, elopements are an intimate occasion specifically designed for the two of you as a couple. Sure, your large wedding can be personalized in tons of beautiful ways, but many couples barely even see each other on their large wedding day! Lets go through the benefits of eloping versus having a big wedding.

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    Find An Officiant And A Witness

    Once you have a date and location picked out for your NY elopement, you also need to find an officiant and a witness.

    The officiant that you work with will depend on the type of ceremony that you choose. There are a number of different people who are authorized to solemnize elopement ceremonies. For example, some New York government officials can solemnize marriages governors, mayors, judges, and other appointed officials.

    In addition to those government officials, members of the clergy or ministers who are officially ordained by a church are also authorized to perform elopement ceremonies in New York.

    Dan is actually ordained specifically for elopements, and we offer his officiating services as part of our elopement photography package. If you want to have an adventurous elopement on the mountaintop, it can be very hard to find an officiant willing to hike with you. Working with us makes it very easy, because we can photograph your elopement, officiate, and sign as the witness.

    If you are having any friends or family at your elopement, you could also ask one of them to officiate and another to sign as the witness. All they would need to do to become a qualified officiant in New York is fill out a form online to become an ordained minister. Be sure to check with your city or town clerk to find out if the officiant will need to provide any paperwork, though.

    How To Elope In New York City

    Central Park elopement wedding in New York | NYC wedding photography | NYC wedding officiant

    An elopement is more popular with couples more than ever. With the times of uncertainty these days, we are all left with the question of when will we achieve normalcy. How will things be different? One thing we all do know for sure is that we are with the one we love and we just want to be married.

    Eloping doesnt mean you cant have a bigger wedding celebration later, or that you cant have a party. When the time is right and things are under control that will most definitely happen so we can celebrate! What it does mean is that you can elope to make it official with your person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. A celebration between the two of you gazing into each others eyes and feeling content.

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    Get Your Marriage License

    Next, youll need to obtain your New York State Marriage License. This is a walk-in and show up in person process filling out papers and requires a valid passport or other from of proper identification. The Marriage License is valid for 60 days anywhere in New York State and costs 35 $ . Before you can enter the office, expect an airport-like security check. The queue and wait time in the Marriage Burreau CAN be long, escpecially around holidays, noon or popular dates. The good news: You can speed up this registration process by filling out the online form for the Marriage License already at home . Regardless, to complete the application process, you MUST physically appear in the City Clerks office in person together with your spouse both at the same time. Your Marriage License will be processed while you wait. If you are flying in from another country, this can be done the day before or better a few days earlier leading up to your marriage date.

    How To Elope In Nyc Step : Pick A Date

    Picking a date is the easiest but most important first step to planning your elopement. Some things to think about when picking a date for your NYC elopement:

  • Time of YearFrom the months of June-August NYC can be VERY crowded. This can make it difficult to visit all the iconic and popular spots in the city without being surrounded by hundreds of people. Along with crowds, these are also the hottest months in NYC, which may be unpleasant if you plan to be outside for the majority of your day. There are ways of working around this, eloping early in the morning be cooler temperature wise and will bring less crowds, but if possible I recommend planning your elopement from the months of March-May and September-November.

  • Weekdays vs. WeekendsFor couples eloping in NYC, I ALWAYS recommend eloping on a weekday if possible. Weekdays are a great way to avoid weekend tourists and will give you a more authentic New York experience. Along with this, if you choose to elope at City Hall, youre wait will be much less on weekdays.

  • If you are coming from out of state or out of the country its important to factor in the 24 waiting period on your marriage license in NYC. When you apply for a marriage license in the city, there is a 24 hour waiting period before you can officially have your ceremony. Make sure to pick a date that is over 24 hours after your arrival, so you have time to apply for your marriage license at City Hall.

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