Post # 1
Has anyone gotten married in City Hall in New York? We are planning to do so on the Friday before our reception and I can’t find any information about the ceremony itself! For instance, are cameras allowed in the courthouse? Is there a limit to how many witnesses/people can come with you? How long is the average ceremony? Any help or info would be greatly appreciated.
Post # 3
I think you can call them and find out.
Post # 4
Did you find the information you were looking for? My now husband and I discovered a dearth of info on this topic when planning our own wedding, which took place in the Office of the City Clerk at the Manhattan Municipal Building in August of 2008. Seemed like a tricky place to get married, but in the end, it was quite simple and straightforward.
I’d advise going early in the day on a business day, of course. There can be a wait.
People wore anything and everything — the beauty of New York!
Yes, cameras are allowed. But we were asked not to take pictures in certain places (e.g., the ground floor lobby and the room where you pay and file your paperwork). We did bring a professional photographer with us and are so glad we did! (You might even get a break in price on a weekday.) She shot our wedding and then we took pictures outside after. There are so many great spots to do that nearby — the Brooklyn Bridge, City Hall Park, etc.
I don’t think there’s an official limit to the number of people who can come with you. It’s a public building. Anyone may go through security and enter. (Even potential brides and grooms who just want to check it out in advance! Or get their licenses. FYI, there is a waiting period. Check the City’s website for current details.) But it can be crowded and the room where they perform the ceremonies is modest in size. A dozen people max might fit. You do need at least one adult witness though!
Our actual ceremony was about 3 minutes long, but so on point. It was perfect for us. Basically, it’s the clerk’s job to make sure everyone consents and that there’s no legal reason why the couple cannot be wed. Our clerk asked if we had rings to exchange. You don’t have to, but we did and she gave us an opportunity to do so. No time to say much more. But I’ve heard from other couples that their clerk gave them a chance to say a few words. You could probably let the clerk know at the start of the ceremony if you’d like to do this. Otherwise, one less thing to worry about! You get your marriage certificate at the conclusion of the ceremony. Checking it for correctness is the last step before the celebrating can begin!
All in all, it’s surprisingly easy. Relax and have fun — at city hall, it really is your day.