The Ultimate Guide for Planning a New York Elopement

December 18, 2023

New New York Elopement

Are you planning to elope? Consider a New York elopement! New York is: “always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world, according to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Keep reading to discover how you can plan a New York elopement.

Why elope?

You bypass traditional steps by having an elopement. Eloping means you get married secretly, or with a small party, and it removes stress and financial commitments. Eloping concentrates on you, wholeheartedly. You can:

  • Show all your emotions candidly because you’re in a more private group or by yourselves;
  • Celebrate in your dream location(s) – national parks, famous monuments, at the edge of a mountain, on a sandy beach, in your favorite city (NYC elopement), etc.;
  • Decide exactly who you want around – no guest list drama or RSVPs;
  • Combine your elopement and honeymoon into the same trip;
  • Take it slow as there’s no need to rush with speeches or formal scenes;
  • Start life together with an adventure of a lifetime, ingrained in memory;
  • Do whatever makes you feel the best – elopements are spontaneous!

Guide to a New York elopement

Carrie Bradshaw famously said in the HBO show Sex and the City: “Anything is possible. This is New York,” which is why so many people have chosen a New York elopement. New York has a certain je ne sais quoi – the lights, skyscrapers, parks, bridges, cobblestone streets, and iconic landmarks are all within grasp. It’s a mix of the historical and modern, luxurious and scandalous, romantic and moody, all making up its character and charm that will never go out of style.

Unique Spots for an ultimate New York Elopement

1. Nature-centric sights such as: Central Park with its many fountains and foliage, Prospect Park and Prospect Park Boathouse with views of Brooklyn, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Hunter’s Point South Park, and Fort Tyron Park.

2. Iconic historical sights such as: New York Public Library on 5th avenue, Grand Central station with its 125-foot ceiling vault painted with constellations, Staten Island Ferry which passes by the Statue of Liberty, Statue of Liberty monument, the Chrysler Building, West Village brownstones and cobblestone streets, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

3. Modern sights such as: Coney Island with its colors and background of a carnival, South Street Seaport with its many shops and boats docked nearby, and Dumbo with a carousel and views of the city.

4. Skyline views: Top of the Rock 70 floors up in the sky at Rockefeller Center, High Line (renovated old train track into a modern green walkway featuring local artwork), Christopher Street Pier, Roosevelt Island, Gantry Plaza State Park, any boat ride that circles the city, Domino Park, Randalls Island, Battery Park, J. Owen Grundy Park, Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Pier 17.

5. Private settings such as: a hotel space like the Bowery Hotel, a rented space, a private room in a restaurant, or a private rooftop.

6. We are here to help you discover and plan your dream New York elopement.

Eloping is a departure from traditional marriages and is liberating, but to be legally married, you still have to obtain the right paperwork. Before or after your New York elopement photos, you need to register with a City Clerk office to be considered legally married. You have to book appointments by applying online, and then attend an in-person or virtual appointment at one of the City Clerk offices. Here is the ultimate step-by-step guide:

1. Book an appointment to obtain a marriage license. You and your spouse must be present in the same location at the same time for the appointment. The marriage bureaus are offering in-person or virtual appointments. The marriage license fee is $35 payable by credit card or money order and is valid for 60 days. Site to book: nyc.gov/Cupid

2. Wait for the processing of your marriage license.

3. You will receive a confirmation number to book your ceremony appointment. You have to wait 24 hours before booking.

4. Make an appointment for a marriage ceremony to finalize the process. nyc.gov/Cupid

5. Show up to the ceremony with your spouse and one or two witnesses. The fee for a marriage ceremony is $25 by credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk.

6. For in-person ceremonies, you present your license to a clerk officer, and wait again until you are called to enter the ceremony room.

7. The ceremony lasts under 5 minutes and is performed by a government clerk who will give you a certificate which is proof of your legal marriage. If you have a marriage ceremony elsewhere with another officiant (someone who is certified to marry a couple legally, who can be a religious person or not), then you can wait up to 6 weeks for this same certificate.

8. You’re officially married! You’ve successfully eloped in New York.

What to Wear to a New York Elopement

There are absolutely no rules. When you elope, you have the freedom to wear what makes you soar. You can be casual in t-shirts and jeans, cultural attire, or vintage clothing. You can dress to the nines in luxury, custom-made outfits. The sky is the limit! However, as fashion-admirers, we are always inspired by a modern elegant look – find our inspiration and recommendations on Pinterest. We are here for you to plan the best ideas for your New York elopement photo shoot.

One thing that’s best to avoid are very long gowns because they get dirty easily, and are hazardous to tripping not only yourself, but others in the busy streets of New York. We do recommend bringing a pair of comfortable shoes to change into in-between all the walking.

Planning a NYC elopement – Permits

Permits are required to have a photo-shoot in some public areas, but you can work with your photographer to see which ones are covered in your package. In general, so long as your party is small and you’re quick to finish, you can have a successful New York elopement without a permit.

General Permit Info:

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