Elope In New York City

Frequently Asked Questions about Eloping in NYC


How do we get a marriage license in NYC? 

Eloping at City Hall in New York City is a straightforward process, but there are a few steps you’ll need to follow to ensure everything goes smoothly. Here’s a detailed guide to help you plan your elopement at City Hall in NYC in 2024:

1. Obtain a Marriage License

Before you can get married, you must first obtain a marriage license.

  • Where to Apply: You can apply for a marriage license at any of the City Clerk offices in New York City. The main Manhattan office is located at:
  • Address: Office of the City Clerk, 141 Worth Street, New York, NY 10013
  • Online Application: It’s recommended to start the application process online to save time. You can do this on the NYC Marriage Bureau’s website. Once you complete the online application, you’ll receive a confirmation number.
  • In-Person Appointment: After completing the online application, you and your partner must both appear in person at the City Clerk’s office to complete the application and receive your marriage license.
  • Required Documents: Bring valid photo identification (e.g., driver’s license, passport, or state ID).
  • Fee: The fee for a marriage license is $35, payable by credit card or money order.

2. Waiting Period

There is a 24-hour waiting period from the time you receive your marriage license before you can get married. Plan accordingly if you’re coming from out of town.

3. Marriage Ceremony

Once the 24-hour waiting period has passed, you can have your marriage ceremony.

  • Where: You can have the ceremony at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau or any other City Clerk office in NYC.
  • Ceremony Room: The Manhattan office has designated ceremony rooms where the ceremonies are performed.
  • Operating Hours: Ceremonies are performed Monday through Friday, from 8:30 AM to 3:45 PM. It’s advisable to arrive early, as it can get busy.
  • Fee: The fee for the marriage ceremony is $25, payable by credit card or money order.
  • Witness: You will need at least one witness over the age of 18 to be present at your ceremony. They must bring valid identification.

4. After the Ceremony

  • Marriage Certificate: After the ceremony, you will receive your marriage certificate. If you need additional copies, you can request them for a fee.

Additional Tips

  • Dress Code: There is no formal dress code, but many couples choose to dress nicely for their ceremony and photos.
  • Photography: Professional photographers are allowed in the Marriage Bureau, and many couples hire one to capture the moment. Alternatively, your witness can take photos.
  • Plan Ahead: Since City Hall can be busy, especially on popular dates (e.g., Valentine’s Day, numerically significant dates), plan ahead and arrive early.

Summary Checklist

  1. Apply Online for a marriage license.
  2. Appear in Person at the City Clerk’s office to complete the application.
  3. Wait 24 Hours after receiving the marriage license.
  4. Have the Ceremony at the City Clerk’s office with at least one witness.
  5. Receive your Marriage Certificate.

By following these steps, you can smoothly elope at City Hall in NYC in 2024. Enjoy your special day!

How many guests can we have at our elopement? 

Elopements range from just the couple to upwards of 25 people. The number of guests usually depends on the location I say a true elopement is between 10-25 guests. Or it can just be the 2 of you. You can even elope via zoom.

Do we need an Offciant ?

You will need an Officiant if you’re getting married outside of city hall. Officiants provide more than just your ceremony, but good ones also provide help with the marriage process. I love working with Honey Breaks an all women owned company. Please see their site here. You can also have a local priest, minister, rabbi, marry you as well. Whatever suits your specific spiritual belief system. In most cases all officiants have experience with working with varying religious backgrounds and accommodate those in the ceremony.

You can also have a friend or relative get ordained and marry you, I have seen many couples do this and it adds something truly special to the day.

How Much Do Elopements Cost?

What does eloping in NYC cost? Most elopements with good quality photography will run you around $1,500-$2,500 thats with officiation and an out door free venue, maybe 10 guests, a bottle or 2 of champaign. Some folks splurge a little more, and will rent a small venue or an Airbnb, and then you can get up to 5-10K. Elopements in general are more affordable than traditional weddings, which often at bare minimum are around $31,000 based on The Knot’s Real Wedding Study. Everyone is different and you really need to decide whats right for you and going to mean the most.

City Hall Weddings are the most affordable option as you only need a photographer most photographers are also happy to act as witness and included in their packages. You can see my elopement pricing info here. The 2 hour elopement is perfect for NYC hall weddings.

What is an elopement?

For as long as I can remember an elopement was a term used for people getting married in secrecy, even the city hall wedding was frowned upon in some circles, If you dont go big, its almost as if it didn’t happen. Well thank god that is over. Elopements now hold space for people not wanting to spend a ton of money, too laid back couples who aren’t into big parties and are more reserved.

Elopements + City Hall Weddings Are Environmentally Friendly

Well first of all it can be better for the environment, for your pockets, and for your mental well being.

  • You consume less and produce less waste, this is a huge huge pro for eloping vs larger weddings which can produce a lot more throw away items.
  • It’s less stress on you and your partner, often elopements are less guests and less moving pieces. Getting married feels intimate and meaningful and less like a huge production.
  • Elopements Are also dope because you can do whatever it is you want to do. And that’s the whole point! Like I got married in front of an abandoned bank on the bowery at 6am.

City Hall Elopements

I love city hall for so many reason, one of the main ones is my parents got married there pregnant with me . It holds a special place in my heart.

How Does City hall Work

City Hall is one of the most low key ways to elope. You set up you your appt online, find a photographer, at this time they only allow one guest your witness who is also usually your photographer. You show up at your appt time, ceremonies usually last 5 minutes and you’re legally married. Also you leave with your paper work which is great. Minted has a great article check out here.

Where is City hall ?

City hall for elopements and wedding is located at the NYC city clerks office, 141 Worth St in Manhattan. There are also City Clerk’s offices in the other boroughs, with Brooklyn as the second most popular location.

Locations To Elope in NYC?

Some places to Elope that are well known in The NYC are:

1. NYC City Hall (Civic Center)

2. Cop Cot in Central Park In Central Park

3. Gapstow Bridge in Central Park

4. Ladies Pavilion in Central Park

5. Bethesda Terrace in Central Park

6. Wagner Cove in Central Park

7. Conservatory Garden in Central Park

8. Shakespeare Garden in Central Park

9. Belvedere Castle in Central Park

10. Jefferson Market Garden (Greenwich Village)

11. 6BC Botanical Garden (East Village)

12. 620 Loft and Garden (Midtown)

13. Merchant’s House Museum (NoHo)

14. Top of the Rock (Midtown)

15. New York Public Library steps (Midtown)

16. The High Line (Chelsea)

17. Washington Square Park (Greenwich Village)

18. Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island

19. Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park (Inwood)

20. Billings Mansion (Inwood)

21. Governor’s Island

22. Bryant Park (Midtown)

23. West Village cobblestone streets (West Village)

24. Madison Square Park (Flatiron)

25. American Museum of Natural History (Upper West Side)

26. Elizabeth Street Garden (SoHo)

27. Garden at Church of St. Luke of the Fields (West Village)

28. Tudor City Greens (Tudor City)

29. Bruce’s Garden (Inwood)

17. Washington Square Park (Greenwich Village)

18. Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island

19. Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park (Inwood)

20. Billings Mansion (Inwood)

21. Governor’s Island

22. Bryant Park (Midtown)

23. West Village cobblestone streets (West Village)

24. Madison Square Park (Flatiron)

25. American Museum of Natural History (Upper West Side)

26. Elizabeth Street Garden (SoHo)

27. Garden at Church of St. Luke of the Fields (West Village)

28. Tudor City Greens (Tudor City)

29. Bruce’s Garden (Inwood)

Places to Elope in Brooklyn

30. Brooklyn City Hall  (Downtown Brooklyn)

31. Brooklyn Heights Promenade (Brooklyn Heights)

32. Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Park Slope/Crown Heights)

33. Prospect Park Peristyle (Park Slope)

34. Prospect Park Cleft Ridge Span (Park Slope)

34. Vale of Cashmere (Prospect Park)

35. Washington/Water Street (Dumbo)

36. Pebble Beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park (Dumbo)

37. On the Brooklyn Bridge

38. Jane’s Carousel (Dumbo)

39. St. Ann’s Warehouse  garden (Dumbo)

40. Time Out Market Rooftop (Dumbo)

41. Bushwick Collective (Bushwick)

42. Green-Wood Cemetery (South Slope/Greenwood Heights)

43. Domino Park (Williamsburg)

44. Fort Greene Park (Fort Greene)

45. Green Dome Garden in Prospect Park

46. Naval Cemetery Landscape (Brooklyn Navy Yard)

47. Gil Hodges Community Garden (Gowanus)

And then of course you can always just elope in your backyard, a dope scenic spot that means something to you, the facade of an old factor building, a rail road track that looks off into infinity, a mountain top, go for a hike and find something together. NYC is vast and have so much room to play and be creative.

So, with all this being said, NYC is truly one of the best paces to elope in the world.


“WOW! We could not recommend Gianna enough as a wedding photographer. The day of Gianna was fun, professional, and helped us make the most of every shot. She seems to have an eye for finding the perfect shot wherever we went throughout Brooklyn and knew where to take us to find interesting street art and views. She brought a positive vibe and great energy throughout. If you are looking for fun and unique shots, look no further!”

Gabby & Tom

“Gianna is a master of her craft & an all around incredible person who we are *so* grateful to have gotten to work with. Planning to have a tiny wedding ceremony in 2020 was a rollercoaster, but the stars really aligned when we found Gianna. Her photojournalistic style is so special; she captured us, our day, and the neighborhood we love so beautifully. Our wedding was very intimate, and Gianna fit right in & made us all feel at ease. It was a privilege to work with such a passionate and talented artist whose unique vision we could trust implicitly. If you’re looking for a photographer who will capture your day in a way you will treasure forever – seriously look no further! Each image is such a gift. We can’t thank you enough, Gianna!”

Dylan & Jordan

“Gianna was such an amazing part of our wedding. She was so flexible, accommodating, and friendly. Everyone loved her work. She first shot an engagement shoot with us and after that we knew we wanted her for the wedding. Those photos were a hit and everyone wanted to know who shot us. She was attentive when taking shots guiding us to get the most flattering ones and patient when we needed breaks or weren’t feeling the shots. She’s super down to earth and intuitive. We have her bookmarked for any future events and gave her info out to guests as well.”

Mischa & Samir

“I cannot say enough good things about Gianna. Her documentary-style vibe was the perfect fit for our more laid-back elopement + party. We never wanted anything to feel forced or cheesy. She has genuinely mastered the art of taking authentic and real pictures that are still so beautiful.
Not only is her work amazing, but she made everything feel so comfortable and easy. We all genuinely had a blast running around all over NEPA taking photos. It was a truly magical day and Gianna played a huge role in that!”

Kait & Jerry

“Gianna was brilliant I’m so happy we chose her to photograph our wedding. She was very flexible with timings (even last minute changes on the morning of) and made us feel relaxed and ourselves. My favorite thing is that she shot on film and digital, so special to have both mediums. She’s truly a master of her craft and a wonderful human. Thanks Gianna for giving us the best memories to keep forever”

Olivia & David

“So when you elope from Tennessee to have your wedding in NYC you want the best of everything; the best location, the ceremony, and the best photographer, and that is what we had! Gianna made our wedding a true fairytale! Gianna brought the city to us! Our photos were so unique and creative. We had so much fun traveling around the city that she knows so well. She captured the brilliance and magic of her New York and shared it with us, making our day so very special. The photos bring back the feel of day to us each time we see them.”

Lucy & Gary

“Gianna was an absolute pleasure to work with. Her passion, charisma, and energy really shines in her elopement photography. Her attention to detail and professionalism really blew us away. We couldn’t have asked for a better photographer for our New York City wedding. Gianna has a strong knowledge of the city and knew all of the best places to take stunning photos. Our family and friends could not get over how well our photos turned out and thought they should be featured in magazines! We will always have such vivid memories from our special day whenever we look at Gianna’s photos. Thank you for everything Gianna!”

Chris & Gillian

“Sometimes thank you doesn’t seem enough. You amazed us. When we first booked our wedding we had our fingers crossed we’d get to have you as our photographer and we can’t tell you how happy we were when we got you! Your passion and love for what you do shines through. It’s so lovely to watch someone who has truly found their unique talent in this world. We know every photo you took could not have been taken by anyone else. Our photos are beautiful, you’ve captured our happiest moments and turned them into something so special for us and our family. Thank you for everything – you are one of a kind. “

Jemma & Matt
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