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The Wednesday Blog

Tips and Tricks on How to Have an Epic NYC City Hall Elopement

Are you having sleepless nights thinking of eloping to New York? Yes, we agree that eloping to the city that never sleeps is the best idea in the world! However, you might think that an NYC City Hall elopement is stressful. But hey, don’t stress out too much. Just sit down, relax, and read on for some valuable tips on how to elope in New York City!

The two grooms are standing on the grand staircase entrance of the city hall. NYC City Hall elopement image by Jenny Fu Studio
The two grooms are seated on counter three inside the City Clerk Office. Elopement image by Jenny Fu Studio

Check out NYC Marriage Bureau’s Website to Apply for a Marriage License

You can apply for a marriage license online and complete the application either virtually or in-person by scheduling an appointment with the Office of the City Clerk. You would have to pay a $35 fee by credit card or money order, payable to the City Clerk. After 24 hours (max 60 days) of getting your license, you can finally get married! But of course, you have to schedule a marriage ceremony on their website first. Take note: In-person ceremonies are by appointment only, and virtual ceremonies are no longer available. There’s a $25 ceremony fee (credit card or money order only). The wedding ceremony takes place in the Office of the City Clerk, not in city hall. (Tip: Check out the gift shop inside for some “I got married in NYC!” souvenirs.) But if you want to get hitched in an iconic NY venue, like Central Park, Top of the Rock, or Brooklyn Bridge, yes, you can do so too! As long as you have a marriage license, one witness (18 y/o and up w/ valid I.D), and a registered wedding officiant, then you’re good to go.

The bride and groom are standing in front of the Office of the City Clerk NYC. Elopement image by Jenny Fu Studio
The bride and groom happily exited the NYC City Hall as their guests cheer on. Elopement image by Jenny Fu Studio

Hire an NYC Elopement Photographer

Regardless of whether you’re a foreigner or a local, it’s best to hire an experienced NYC City Hall elopement photographer. Most, if not all, photographers are happy to act as a witness for free! And some photographers are also registered officiants. How convenient would that be? Plus, an experienced photographer can assist you throughout the whole process. From guiding you through the NYC Marriage Bureau’s process to location scouting to organizing your group of guests, a city hall photographer will certainly be a big help in making your wedding go smoothly. Not to mention, your photographer will be the one to capture your precious memories, which you can treasure for a lifetime.

A beautiful flower bouquet in a vase for an NYC elopement. Image by Jenny Fu Studio
A beautiful small wedding cake for an NYC elopement. Image by Jenny Fu Studio

Hire a Florist, a Baker, and a Stylist

All right, you need to know that not all vendors are just for big weddings. You can buy flowers with the guy on the sidewalk outside the bureau. But if you want a more customized bouquet, consider hiring a florist who can also deliver it on the day of. That lovely bouquet will be in your wedding photos for a lifetime, so why not splurge a bit on those? Now for the cake – talk with a baker who can customize a mini cake or a bit larger if you’re planning to have a mini reception with your group. Remember, you always need a cake to celebrate! And the most important of all, you need to pamper yourself with a stylist who can work magic on your hair, make-up, and overall look on your wedding day. Again, how you look on your NYC City Hall elopement will be forever seen in your wedding photos.

Black and white photo of the bride going out of a classic NYC yellow cab as the groom holds her hands. Image by Jenny Fu Studio
The bride and groom are chatting beside a classic NYC checkered yellow cab

Take Wedding Photos in the Subway

You couldn’t say that you went to New York without taking the subway! How about you ask your photographer to take photos of you inside the subway? Most experienced photographers have done this several times. So go ahead, ask and plan it with them. We’re sure that this will be an epic photo opportunity.

Enjoy a Pizza with Skyline View

When you’re in New York, you’ve got to try out their famous pizza. After your NYC City Hall Elopement, find a rooftop pizzeria and enjoy the skyline view while eating a NY-style pizza! 

Hire an NYC Yellow Cab to Roam the City

You can have great wedding photos while riding the classic yellow cab! After the ceremony, go ahead and hire a yellow cab and visit favorite NY spots such as The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Empire State Building, and West Village, to name a few. And we guarantee that you’ll bring home not just stunning photos but unforgettable memories as well.

The bride and groom are hugging romantically while looking over the balcony with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Image by Jenny Fu Studio
The groom is happily carrying his bride after their elopement at NYC City Hall. Image by Jenny Fu Studio