First things first, you need a marriage license. You need to have your marriage license at least twenty-four hours before your wedding, but I recommend getting it at least two days in advance, so you’re not under a time constraint. From late spring to early fall, the Manhattan Marriage Bureau can be really busy. Go early (they are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 3:45pm), but if you can’t get there first thing, at least avoid the lunch time rush. It’s usually most crowded in my experience from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. (If you can only go during those hours, just be prepared to wait and bring a snack.) You can fill out your application online before you go: HERE (Even if you fill out the paperwork online, you still have to pick up the license in person!) When you pick up your marriage license, you’ll need a valid photo ID with you (license/passport/state ID). The Manhattan Marriage Bureau is located at: 141 Worth Street. The marriage license is $35, and that can be paid by credit card or money order.
Once you have your marriage license, there’s really only one other thing required of you: a witness! If you’re planning on having a few friends or family members present at your elopement, then you’re all set. Designate someone to be your witness, and on the day of the wedding, they’ll sign your marriage license. If it’s just the two of you, the good news is your photographer can act as your witness, and I would be honored to oblige. Just make sure whoever you choose a friend, a family member, or photographer – has a valid photo ID with them and is at least 18 years old!
Go get married!
I think New York City is one of the most incredible places in the world to get married, whether you’re eloping or having a huge wedding. This city is a wonderful place, and I am happy to have lived there as well years ago, in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Eloping in NYC is fairly easy, here is how to get started!