Congratulations! Now that you are thinking about getting married in New York City. The most cost effective way is to get married in the marriage bureau. The process involves obtaining your wedding license, as well as having the wedding ceremony, which takes place at the "Office of the City Clerk : Marriage Bureau", located at 141 Worth Street in Manhattan.
Jasmine Photo professional photography team has done over thousand weddings inside the marriage bureau. Contrary to a lot of people's conception, photos taken inside the marriage bureau are not necessary boring and daunting. They can be very fascinating, lively and interesting indeed.
Manhattan City Clerk’s Office Marriage Bureau
The Manhattan marriage bureau is located at 141 Worth Street. The marriage bureau opens from 8:30 AM to 3:45 PM Monday to Friday, except for major holidays. It is impossible to predict the waiting time, but generally speaking the best time to go is as early in the morning as possible. Fridays are usually more crowded. Photographers from Jasmine Photo utilize the waiting time to capture creative photos in romantic and journalistic style.
Sometimes the wait time at the City Clerk’s office can be long, so if you’d like to speed up the process you can begin filling out the application for the license online You still need to pick up your marriage license in person at the marriage bureau. Make sure to bring proper identification when visiting the marriage bureau.
If you were married before, you will be asked to list all prior marriages. You are required to include your previous spouse’s full name and the date the divorce decree was granted. You also have to provide the city, state, and country where the divorce was issued. We suggest you to bring your divorce document with you just in case.
OK, we got our marriage license. What’s next?
Well, you can sit back and relax a little bit. Important: You must wait a minimum of 24 hours after obtaining your marriage license before you can conduct your wedding ceremony. (Unless you obtain a ‘Judicial Waiver’. We would suggest, though, to wait the 24 hours because isn’t anticipation the best after all?) Once the 24 hours have passed, you can either have your ceremony at the Office of the City Clerk or you can have your wedding conducted by a registered marriage officiant.
We would like to have our ceremony at the City Clerk’s Office…
Great! After your 24 hours wait, bring your marriage license, proper identification, at least one witness (Our photographers are happy to act as your witness.) The fee for the ceremony in the City Clerk’s Office is $25 and can be paid by credit card or money order, payable to the City Clerk. Ceremonies are held during regular business hours between 8.30am and 3.45pm. Unfortunately, no reservations or appointments can be made for the ceremony and it is nearly impossible to predict the waiting times. From our general observation and experience, you will wait between 15 minutes to 45 minutes for the entire process. If you can, come early in the morning when the chances are better of a “speedy” process.
We highly recommend avoiding planning your wedding ceremonies during the lunch hour, Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, Valentine’s Day, the day before a major USA holiday, February 29, and all dates that are easy to remember, like the "double date" (5/5, 6/6, 7/7, 8/8, 11/11, 12/12, etc, for example). The City Clerk’s office is an amazing place to just sit and watch all the different couples go by so just enjoy the show. When it is your turn, your number will be called and you will be married by one of the officiants in either the East or West Chapel of the Clerk’s Office.
The wedding ceremony itself is very short. It takes literally less than 2 minutes. Don’t blink or you might miss it. After the ceremony, you will receive your ‘Certificate of Marriage’ right on the spot from the wedding officiant. And then it’s time to celebrate and party!
How to get to the marriage bureau (prior to wedding day and on wedding day)?
+ Before your wedding day, we recommend you to take subway to the marriage bureau to obtain your marriage license.
+ The closest subways to the City Clerk’s Office are the 4, 5 and 6 lines (‘Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall’ stop), the R (‘City Hall’ stop) and the 2 and 3 line (‘Park Place’ stop).
+ On your wedding day, black car service is probably the most comfortable way to get around among the locations on your wedding day. The street yellow taxi is unpredictable, sometimes the clients may need to wait 10 minutes before one is available. And most of the street yellow taxi vehicles are dirty and filthy, the yellow taxi drivers may have a strong body smell, not a good idea on your wedding day with your wedding gown. Another advantage of having the black car services is you can leave your items in the car while we get out at the scenic locations for photos, no need to carry them when we walk.
+ We can arrange a black service car for you through our affiliate service car company at a corporate discount, please contact us for details if you are interested. The black car starts from the hotel on the day. On the busy day with traffic on the road, the metered yellow taxi will end up with higher fees.
Other Tips and suggestions:
+ If you need a last minute bouquet, you can buy flowers inside the City Clerk’s office (not a good idea) or there is usually a flower stand right outside the clerk’s office (better idea). His name is George. Very nice guy. Rumor has it that our clients receive a bit of a discount if they mention they find him through Jasmine Photo