How to Get Married at City Hall in Any NYC Borough

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If you are a New Yorker ready to get married and you want to show your love for a particular borough, then today’s blog is for you. Just about everyone is familiar with how to get married at the City Clerk’s Office, a.k.a. the Manhattan Marriage Bureau. But did you also know you can have an official ‘City Hall’ wedding in any of the five New York City boroughs? From where to go, to what to bring with you — here are all the details of how to get married at City Hall in any NYC borough.

Bride and groom exchanging rings for an article on How to Get Married at City Hall in Any NYC Borough

How to Get Married at City Hall – Details Borough by Borough

For each borough, the fees are the same: marriage license $35; marriage ceremony $25; domestic partnership registration $35.  You must wait 24 hours between the time you get your marriage license and when you say your vows at your respective borough’s marriage bureau in front of a clerk.  For your wedding ceremony, you will need to bring proper identification with you and at least one witness.

For each borough, the process of officially getting married is the same: take a number, fill out paperwork, take a number, get married in an on-site chapel officiated by a city clerk.  For details on what to expect at your NYC City Hall wedding, please read this article.

 

Borough: Manhattan

Office official name: Manhattan Marriage Bureau, City Clerk’s Office

Location: 141 Worth Street

Closest subway: Brooklyn Bridge Station on the 4, 5, & 6 lines; Park Place Station on the 2 & 3 lines; City Hall Station on the N & R lines; Chambers Street Station on the A & C lines

Hours of operation: Marriage Bureau Hours: 8:30 am to 3:45 pm, Monday through Friday; Lobbying Bureau Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday Through Friday; (Walk-in hours until 3:45pm)

 

Borough: Brooklyn

Office official name: Marriage License Bureau

Location: Brooklyn Municipal Building, 210 Joralemon Street, Room 205

Closest subway: Borough Hall (Court Street) Station on the 2, 3, 4, 5, M, & R lines

Hours of operation: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday

 

Borough: Bronx

Office official name: NYC Marriage License Bureau, Bronx County Clerk’s Office

Location: Supreme Court Building, 851 Grand Concourse, Room B131

Closest subway: 161st Street-Yankee Stadium Station on the 4, B, & D lines

Hours of operation: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday

 

Borough: Queens

Office official name: Queens Borough Hall

Location: Borough Hall Building, 120-55 Queens Boulevard, Ground Floor, Room G-100, Kew Gardens

Closest subway: Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike Station on the E & F lines

Hours of operation: 8:30 am to 3:45pm, Monday through Friday

 

Borough: Staten Island

Office official name: Staten Island Marriage Bureau

Location: Borough Hall Building, 10 Richmond Terrace, Room 311, (please enter at the entrance located at the intersection of Hyatt Street and Stuyvesant Place)

Closest subway: St. George Station on the Staten Island Railway

Hours of operation: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday

 

 

How to Get Married at City Hall – A Warning about Queens Borough Hall

The process of getting married at City Hall is just about the same no matter which borough you choose. I only have personal experience with Manhattan and Queens, and I can tell you now…do not get married at Queens Borough Hall. I’ll have all the details about that misadventure in a later blog, but in short, the staff at Queens Borough Hall – and in particular, the security guards – are beyond the pale in terms of rudeness. No photos are allowed in the waiting area; only in the wedding chapel. To top it all off, the officiant decided she wanted to play photographer and tell me where to point my lens. I will never shoot another wedding at Queens Borough Hall.

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How to Get Married at City Hall – Jillian and Jay’s Manhattan City Hall Wedding

The opposite of my experience at Queens Borough Hall, however, was Jillian and Jay’s City Hall wedding in Manhattan on Friday. These two are a fun couple who got married in the morning at the City Clerk’s Office with just family in attendance, and then had a party in the evening at Three’s Brewing in Brooklyn for all of their friends. Friday, as you know, is the most popular day to get married at City Hall. (Other days to avoid are Valentine’s Day and any day with a special number in it. I guess too many people have trouble remembering their anniversary.) I was shocked – SHOCKED – that it only took an hour and 45 minutes from start to finish. That is a record time. It was a complete madhouse on Friday, but it is clear that the City Clerk’s Office is trying to up their game and speed couples along. The security process took longer than ever, but the office has added new officiants to the roster. Our officiant was absolutely delightful. He gesticulated throughout the entire ceremony and really got into the vows. I would recommend him in a heartbeat.

Afterwards we took portraits near the City Clerk’s Office. The little wedding garden across the street, while desperately in need of more foliage, is about the only area around the City Clerk’s Office that is consistently shaded, and thus perfect for family portraits. While I used a tried and true location for the family portraits, I love searching out new photo locations and have added reflections in the US Court of International Trade building and the giant red sculpture in Saint Andrews Plaza to my City Hall wedding repertoire. You never know what you will find downtown if you go exploring beyond Centre Street.

The reception at Three’s Brewing was a blast. Jillian and Jay’s wedding schedule is exactly how I want to get married: ceremony at City Hall, followed by a small party with close friends at my side. Three’s Brewing, and case you’ve never been there and couldn’t find it for the lack of signage, is a great gastropub located in Boerum Hill. The staff is wonderful – special shout out to Gretchen and Alyssa! – and the food and drinks are delicious. I can personally vouch for the spicy fried chicken sandwich and the mocha stout that I had on my venue check. The party was held in the part of the restaurant that normally serves as a coffee shop during the day. I was worried it would be too dark and cramped for 70 guests, but everything worked out fine. Near the end of the evening, Jillian and Jay cut their cake and said a kind thank you to everyone for attending. What a great way to end the night.

Drop me a line if you have any questions about getting married in New York City or if you would like to discuss having your own City Hall wedding photographed by me. I do about five City Hall weddings a year – and as a New Yorker – I love the experience (except at Queens Borough Hall). Enjoy the photos, and as promised, I will have images from Nancy and Jeff’s trip to Comic Con later this week. Halloween (my favorite holiday) will be here soon. Is your costume ready?

Ceremony venue: City Clerk’s Office, Manhattan Marriage Bureau

Wedding dress during ceremony: ‘Giselle’ dress from designer Ghost London, purchased at BHLDN

Bride’s shoes for ceremony: Pour La Victoire

Florist (bouquet and flowers for the reception): Saipua

Wedding ring: Anna Sheffield

Groom’s suit for the ceremony: Suit Supply

Reception venue: Three’s Brewing

Bride’s dress at reception: ‘Stardust Lace Ruffle’ dress from designer For Love and Lemons

Bride’s shoes at reception: Michael Kors

Wedding cake: Momofuku Milk Bar

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Another couple getting married at City Hall. I loved her blue dress!

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If you would like to see more photos from my City Hall wedding portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com

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