Organizing Your NYC Wedding from Abroad

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Getting married in New York City is easy with a bit of organization in the weeks leading up to your trip.  This guide provides some basic information on how you can organize yourself and then what you need to do once in NYC to:

  1. Get your licence,
  2. Get married, and
  3. Get your marriage certificates (short and extended versions).

For each of these steps, you will need specific appointments booked.

All necessary appointments can be booked via the City Clerk’s NYC Cupid website.

Appointments are released 3 weeks in advance and announced on City Clerk’s Twitter page

Further information can be found in the Marriage Bureau section of the City Clerk’s website.

Step 1 – Getting Your Licence

Before Leaving for NYC:

  • Complete the Marriage Licence Application online via the City Clerk’s main website.
  • Book a virtual or in-person Marriage Licence appointment via the NYC Cupid website.
    • Appointments are released 3 weeks in advance on Thursdays promptly at 9am Eastern Time (so 2pm in London or 1am Sydney the next day). They disappear quickly  so be ready, online 5 mins before.  Remain on the page for 15 minutes and continually refresh the page as further appointments may appear.
    • Virtual Appointments can only be conducted when you are both actually in New York State so make sure to book a slot whilst you are over in NYC.  You can do the virtual appointment from anywhere e.g. your hotel room and if you filled your application in accurately, is quite quick.   

Once in NYC:

  • Virtual appointments are conducted via Microsoft Teams so make sure to have this downloaded on your device and are logged in a few minutes before with a good WiFi connection.  You will need a web cam as the clerk will need to see your face to make sure it is you.  
  • The meeting link will become active on your account page on the NYC Cupid website a few minutes before your time slot and you will be handheld through the easy process by the clerk. They will check all your details, look at your passports and get you to electronically sign the licence.   
  • Once completed, your licence will be available via the NYC Cupid website and you will need to get it printed in your hotel or elsewhere. You will need to bring the physical copy along with you to the ceremony. 
  • If you booked an In-Person appointment, you will need to turn up at the City Clerk’s  office at 141 Worth Street in downtown Manhattan (find the address here).  Arrive 30 mins early as there is a security check-in process, with I.D. 

Step 2 – Getting Married

Before Leaving for NYC:

  • If you want to get married at the City Clerk’s Marriage Bureau, you will need to book a Marriage Ceremony appointment via the NYC Cupid website.
    • Appointments are released 3 weeks in advance on Mondays promptly at 9am Eastern Time (so 2pm in London or 1am Sydney the next day). They disappear quickly so be ready, online 5 mins before.  Remain on the page for 15 minutes and continually refresh the page as further appointments may appear as other people cancel and rebook existing appointments.
  • If you want to get married in a different location, then you can search for officiates like NYC 1 Minute online via Google (there are many).  There are many free locations (i.e. Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge) if you it is just the two of you or a small group. You will find many ideas and pictures from other elopements/weddings online.

Once in NYC:

  • If  getting married at the Marriage Bureau, you will need to turn up at the City Clerk’s  office at 141 Worth Street in downtown Manhattan (find the address here).  Arrive 30 mins early as there is a security check-in process, with I.D.
  • If getting married in a different location with a private officiate, you can plan with them.

Step 3 – Getting Your Short and Extended Marriage Certificates

Before Leaving for NYC:

  • Book a Records Room appointment via the NYC Cupid website. Appointments are released 3 weeks in advance. The process to get an Extended Marriage Certificate can take 1-2 hours on a quiet day and longer on a busy day so make sure you book it at a time you can put aside enough time. Also, try to book it as early as possible as the various offices you will need to visit do tend to get busy later in the day.

Once in NYC:

  • The first step is to get both your Short Marriage Certificate and the Extended Marriage Certificate, if required.  You get this from the City Clerk Office on Worth Street via your Record Room appointment. 
  • You need to bring your signed Marriage Licence, passports and a payment method to pay the fees.
  • Only the person named on the appointment booking will be able to enter the building so make sure they have a payment card in their name and all necessary documentation.
  • If you require an Extended Certificate, you need to request and pay for it here (at the City Clerk office). The first copy will cost $35 and additional copies $30 each. 
  • They should give you a sheet called “Authenticating your marriage certificate for foreign use” which provides details of the next two steps (also explained below) but if they don’t then ask for it as it is useful info.
  • The next step is to walk across the road to the County Clerk’s Office (in the New York State Supreme Court Building, 60 Centre Street) to get the City Clerk’s signature authenticated (. This is done at the Notary Desk and there is a small fee of $3.00.  
  • The final step is to get the certificate authenticated (also called an Apostille) at the New York Department of State, Apostille Certification Unit at 123 Williams Streets (10 to 15 minute walk from the County Clerk’s Office). 
    • They will keep the Extended Certificate to get it authenticated and post it back to you. You will need to leave them with a self-addressed stamped envelope, a completed Apostille/Certificate of Authentication Request Form and a money order (to pay the fee – $10.00 per document). The request form and more details on these steps can be found on the New York Department of State website here
    • There is a US Postal Service shop around the corner on 118 John Street where you can obtain a suitable envelope, the correct stamps and the money order. If you didn’t print the request form, you can pop to the NY Department of State office first to get a copy. 

If you need help or are struggling to book the appropriate appointments, you can contact the City Clerk Office in the following ways: 

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