– extraordinary and unforgettable –
Plan to get married in New York City ? I like to share my personal experiences with you and to help you to plan your wedding in New York.
Love is one big reason for a wedding – even in New York! Unlike in other U.S. states the desire to get married in New York City can become true quickly and relatively easily.
You only need a credit card, some cash, time and your passports. It is not necessary to be a resident of New York. A marriage in New York has many unforgettable moments. I myself got married my wife in NYC in a civil ceremony and would like to share my personal experiences with you to simplify your process . I really hope I can inspire you to wed in New York. Get married in New York City is not really tough.
THE APPLICATION FOR THE MARRIAGE LICENSE
It all starts with the visit at the City Clerk/Marriage Bureau to apply for a marriage license. This must be at least 24 hours before the actual wedding ceremony takes place. Therefore an immediate wedding like in Las Vegas is not possible.We even got married in Manhattan. The central address of the City Clerk is:
City Clerk Marriage Bureau
141 Worth St
New York, New York
The building is centrally located in Manhattan, next to the two magnificent buildings of the Supreme Court with the large stone steps and the impressive columns. You certainly know those buildings from many movies that were filmed in New York.
For more information on opening times and necessary documents which you shall bring with you, you can find all information here.
It is also possible to marry in the other New York city clerks in the neighborhoods like Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn and Bronx. Even in places outside the city clerk marriage is possible (e.g. Central Park). Here you need two witnesses, at the City Clerk office you only need one. If you need further information, contact the City Clerk Marriage Bureau.
In the entrance area of the City Clerk you already pass through a large sign for “NYC Marriage Bureau”. It may be that there is a small queue, but quickly went ahead in our case. You have the initial contact at a front counter where you have to tell the reason of your visit and where you get a waiting number.
For the Marriage License you will be prompted to enter your data on an assigned terminal. In-advance you can already fill out this form online. It then has an up to 60-day valid-it. Important and to get no surprises at the City Clerk, you must also point out birthdays, locations and names specify your parents. In addition you will be asked on the form whether your surname has been changed through the wedding. We were recommended that name changes subsequently should be made in the home country (this is not a big deal).
After the form is filled, it is time to wait. You sit in a waiting area, where many happy people waiting for their actual civil ceremony and this set gives you a taste of what’s to come.
Your number will be on a monitor visually and audibly called and assigned to a counter. Here the document will be matched with your passports and and you will be given the official Marriage License. Now you have to wait 24 hours before any marriage is possible and until you can come back to the City Clerk with your documents.
Getting the Marriage License costs $ 35 U.S. dollars. First step how to get married in New York City has been accomplished.
THE CIVIL WEDDING
After at least 24 hours, you can now go to the City Clerk Marriage Bureau again. On site again you register at the information desk with your Marriage License and your intention of marriage. Here you also get a new waiting number. At this time a witness with identity papers (nationality independently ) is required. Either there are still other people present at your wedding anyway as friends or family, then the question of the witnesses is already regulated. But you can also ask people on site waiting if they may act as your witness . We were lucky to meet a very nice Norwegian couple among those waiting, who accompanied us It costs me quite an effort to do this with strangers, but it’s also very funny! The atmosphere in the waiting room is always very positive and relaxed.
Here there is also the opportunity to buy a small bridal bouquets or corsages for the groom or to buy souvenirs. However, I would advise you to bring your flowers already with you. Although there is a nice selection on the spot, but at high prices.
After a waiting period you will be called back on the monitor to a counter where you have to sign the necessary documents. These documents have to be signed by the couple and the witnesses. That is the official signature to be wedded! On paper you are now officially married. After that you have to wait again to be called into Chapel. There are two chapels, which are alternately visited by a registrar. The rooms are more modern but sober.
The ceremony is conducted in English and takes a perceived 30 seconds.
You stand in the middle of the room at a small desk in front of the registrar. He will asks if anyone has any objection in principle against this marriage. After that you will alternately be asked if you want to marry the man or woman who are present here. With ” Yes I do ” the key words are spoken. After that you will also be asked to exchange the rings if any existing. And with the sentence: “Power of the authority vested and the law of the great state New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife ” the ceremony is over and you are now Mr & Mrs!
The registrar will hand out your marriage certificate immediately. Under American law you are married now! And this package costs an additional $ 25. The second and most important and romantic step how to get married in New York City has been accomplished.
For the recognition of marriage in Germany and the rest of the world an Apostille is necessary. Still in the City Clerk Marriage Bureau you get another , more elaborate , wedding certificate for another $ 35. This is the base for the next steps for obtaining the Apostille in New York and to certify the wedding in Germany and Europe. Fortunately, the City Clerk Marriage Bureau is used to tourists and you get handed a guide on paper for the following stations on site.
You do not have directly to apply for all other papers on the same day and have them stamped, remember after all it is your wedding day. We went a few days later in one of the most impressive buildings in New York: New York City Supreme Court which I have already mentioned.
The process is as following: the more elaborate wedding certificate must be certified by the County Clerk at the Supreme Court to be subsequently re- authenticated at the Department of State (the last stop) and to add the Apostille.
In the Supreme Court (here New York City County Clerk , 60 Centre Street , Room 161 New York , NY 10007), all valuables and unfortunately also the camera must be left at the entrance. The security measures are here very marked – similar to a security check at the airport. According your documents from City Clerk you should go to the basement area where your wedding certificate will be certified for a fee of $ 3 (cash or credit card). Step 2 of 3 is now completed.
And least you get the Apostille at the Department of State at the 123 William Street in the 19th Floor. Here you will get for a further charge of $ 10 dollars and after handing over your detailed wedding certificate the apostille. Long time you could pay cash. In the meantime it seems that it works only on Money Orders or cheques. The solution is simple : In stores like Duane Reade or 7 eleven (24 hour drug stores ) you can purchase those money orders.
After about 20 minutes we were called by name and had the Apostille (one A4 page associated with the wedding certificate) in our hand. So, we are finally married for the rest of the world! Finally the last step how to get married in New York City has been accomplished.
I hope I could help you with the article and give you some guidance and support to get married in New York City. I wish you fun and great hours.
Getting married is one of the unforgettable moment in you life. To capture this and to keep it a lifetime long I would be happy if I can share this with you and take some beautiful photos of your wedding, proposal or a couple session
Just leave me an email with your request.