Eloping in New York
New York is an amazing place for any type of wedding, but I’m certainly partial to tiny weddings! Because weddings aren’t just about pretty pictures and champagne toasts, I’ve put together some tips and tricks for you to have successful New York elopement or micro-wedding!
Getting Your Marriage License
If you’re getting married in New York City, you’ll need to get your license from the Office of the New York City Clerk. You can start your application process online, but must finish in person. You’ll be charged a $35 fee upon completion. There are a few great things about a New York City marriage license. You can use it to get married anywhere in the state (great for you Hudson Valley brides!) and you can also do your name change at the same time. The Marriage Bureau Hours are 8:30 am to 3:45 pm, Monday through Friday.
If you are getting married in Brooklyn, Hudson Valley or the Catskills, you may obtain a marriage license from the local town clerks.
Once your process is complete, you’ll wait a minimum of 24 hours and have a legal officiant marry you within 60 days.
Information for Officiants
Once you obtain the Certificate of Marriage Registration, you’ll bring it with you the day of your wedding! Your officiant will need to sign it after your ceremony, as well as one witness (though there is room for an additional witness should you choose to have two!).
Either you or your officiant can pop it in the mail once complete, and you’ll receive your marriage certificate in the mail after about 20 days!
Location, Location, Location
Depending on where you want to have your elopement or small wedding ceremony, there are costs associated with different places even if it’s in public.
To make it easy, I’m breaking down some popular New York destinations. Please note that with any of these locations, filing for the necessary permits way in advance is advised. Some book out up to a year out. Some wedding planners (myself included) offer all-inclusive packages that take care of this part for you.
If you plan to have an intimate ceremony with more than 20 guests, a permit is required and must be filed 30 days in advance. There is a $25 application fee and over 10 locations to choose from!
I am a huge proponent of morning ceremonies, making BBG a favorite. For $600, you can have up to a 60 person ceremony between 9am-10am. No food or beverage is allowed during these ceremonies, but a brunch somewhere afterwards would be a great way to continue the celebration.
For Manhattan views without the crowd, Brooklyn Bridge Park offers several great locations for a wedding ceremony. There is a $426 non-refundable deposit to get your permit.
If you plan to have under 30 people and love the lower east side of NYC, this is the perfect place for you! Fees vary depending on the number of guests.
If a ceremony right in the hustle bustle of NYC but in your own private space sounds ideal, this is a great option! Pricing varies depending on guest count.
If you are getting married at one of the outdoor venues, it’s important to make sure the space is left as you found it. For ceremonies where you’ll have guests throw petals, you’ll need to pick those up afterwards. If you’ll be doing a toast, pack up all garbage and recycling at the end of your day.
Know Before You Go
Most of these locations do not include rentals or sound equipment for your use. If these are items you require (especially for those having more than 20 people), it’s best to coordinate with a wedding planner.