Getting Married In New York – All You Need To Know

by ECL Writer
Marriage In New York For Foreigners

New York is known as one of the most romantic cities in the world and it’s no surprise that many couples dream of getting married in the Big Apple. From its iconic landmarks to its charming neighborhoods, New York offers a wide range of options for couples looking to tie the knot. However, planning a wedding in New York can be overwhelming, with so many options and legal requirements to consider. In this article, will explore everything you need to know about getting married in New York, including how to obtain a marriage license, popular wedding venues, and tips for planning your special day. Whether you’re a native New Yorker or planning a destination wedding, this guide will help make your dream wedding in New York a reality.

Who Can Legally Get Married In New York?

As marriage is regarded as a contract, it must adhere to certain rules. For instance, you must be at least 18 years old and mentally competent to enter into a contract. You are not allowed to be married to a live spouse. A close blood related, such as a parent, sibling, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew, is likewise prohibited from being married. In New York, you can get married at 16 or 17 if your parents agree. If a judge approves, you can get married when you’re between the ages of 14 and 15. In New York, however, it is illegal for anybody under the age of 14 to get married. Your gender is irrelevant because same-sex unions are legal in New York.

If you get married but discover that you and your partner are too related, your marriage is not recognized by the law. You are not legally married if either of you is still lawfully wed to a past spouse or if you are too young. In any of these scenarios, your marriage is regarded as null and void, and it is as if you never were hitched.

You may be able to convince a judge to rule that your marriage is invalid under certain conditions. For instance, if you or your spouse were not mentally capable at the time of marriage if you were pressured or forced into getting married, if you are both physically unable of having sex to complete the marriage or if you were not mentally capable at the time of marriage. These marriages might be able to be regarded as null and invalid. These factors do not render a marriage void until the court rules otherwise. If one spouse has had an incurable mental illness for at least five years, the marriage may also be deemed null and invalid.

In general, marriages contracted outside of New York are recognized there, and those contracted inside of New York are recognized elsewhere. But, same-sex marriages that were legally consummated in New York may not be taken into account in other states under the federal Defense of Marriage Act. If you are a spouse in a same-sex marriage and are thinking about moving outside of New York, find out whether your marriage is recognized as valid elsewhere by checking the laws of the state (or nation) where you are moving. (As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision on June 26, 2015, same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states.)

What Are The Steps Needed To Get Married In New York?

In order to enter into a valid marriage in New York, you must obtain a marriage license and have the marriage ceremony conducted by a person who is allowed to perform such ceremonies. First, you must apply for and obtain a valid marriage license from a town or city clerk in New York. Then, you must deliver the license within 60 days to the clergy member or magistrate who will perform the marriage ceremony. This is a simple process, involving the following steps:

  1. Fill out a marriage application.
  2. You and the person you want to marry must appear together, at the same time, at the town or city clerk’s office to complete the processing of the license and to receive the license.
  3. You must wait at least 24 hours after receiving the license to get married unless a court gives you permission to get married without waiting.

After the waiting period, you must go before a clergy member or magistrate and declare that you take each other as spouses. Only certain people can perform your marriage ceremony, including:

  • A clergy member or minister of any religion, or by a senior leader of one of New York’s Societies for Ethical Culture;
  • A mayor of a village, a county executive of a county, or a mayor, recorder, city magistrate, police justice, or police magistrate of a city;
  • A federal or state judge sitting in New York (a retired judge can sometimes perform marriage ceremonies as well); or
  • A friend or relative can officiate your wedding once he or she is ordained for the ceremony.  

If you do not want a marriage ceremony, you can get married by signing a written contract of marriage witnessed by two or more people. The contract must be acknowledged in front of a New York judge by the parties and witnesses.

Is There A Waiting Period?

Yes. Even though the marriage license is issued right away, the wedding cannot be held before 24 hours have passed since the license was issued. A judge or justice of the New York State Supreme Court or the county judge of the county where each prospective spouse resides may waive the 24-hour waiting period.

How Long Is The License Valid?

A marriage license is good for 60 days starting on the day it is issued in the calendar. The solemnization period may be increased to 180 calendar days if one of the parties to the marriage is an active duty member of the US military. At the time of application, the applicant must present proof to the issuing clerk.

How Much Does The License Cost?

It costs $40 to obtain a marriage license from a town or city clerk in New York State outside of New York City. The issue of a Certificate of Marriage Registration is included in this cost. Within 15 calendar days of the officiant returning the completed license, the issuing clerk will automatically send this certificate to the applicant (the person who performs the marriage ceremony). The fact that a record of the marriage is kept on file is indicated. Within four weeks of the wedding, couples who have not received a Certificate of Marriage Registration should get in touch with the town or city clerk who granted the license.

Have A Marriage Ceremony In New York

You’ll need a witness, a local wedding officiant who will also handle the paperwork and officiate the ceremony, in order to get married in New York. The majority of celebrants will collaborate with you to design a ceremony that is exactly what you desire. The quickest choice, though, is to get married inside City Hall in New York if you’re looking for a low-stress alternative.

There are no reservations necessary if you decide to get married at City Hall; all you need to do is show up to the Marriage Bureau with your paperwork and be ready to wait in line. Bring your marriage license, a government-issued photo ID, and a credit card to pay the $25 ceremony cost. In front of the Clerk, you must all complete and sign the marriage license. At least one witness is required, but you are allowed up to two.

Non-US Citizen Weddings In New York

Several couples from throughout the world travel to New York to get married there. There are a few things you should be aware of if you’re a non-US citizen planning a wedding in New York in order to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

The City Clerk’s office will need to issue you a marriage license first. You’ll need to present identification, like a passport, as well as age verification in order to do this. Depending on your nation of origin, a birth certificate may also be required. If any of your documents are not in English, you must have a qualified translator translate them.

It’s vital to keep in mind that some nations can need further paperwork or certificates, such as a single status declaration or a certificate of no obstruction. Find out what further papers could be needed by contacting the embassy or consulate of your nation in the United States.

You can get married in the City Clerk’s office or any other place in New York where weddings are legal once you get your marriage license. It’s vital to keep in mind that some venues might charge extra for non-US citizens in terms of permits or taxes.

After the ceremony, you will receive a marriage certificate that you can use to update your passport and driver’s license, among other official documents. This certificate should be kept in a secure location as it is a crucial legal document.

Although it necessitates some additional paperwork and planning, getting married in New York as a non-US citizen is a common and practical choice for couples from all over the world. In a city that never sleeps, you may have a stunning and unforgettable wedding with careful planning and documentation.

Popular Wedding Venues In New York

There are many popular wedding venues in New York, ranging from historic landmarks to modern event spaces. Here are some of the most sought-after wedding venues in New York:

  • The Plaza Hotel: This iconic New York City hotel offers a luxurious and elegant setting for weddings. The Grand Ballroom can accommodate up to 500 guests, while smaller spaces like the Terrace Room and the Terrace Foyer are perfect for more intimate affairs.
  • The New York Botanical Garden: The Botanical Garden offers several beautiful venues for weddings, including the Garden Terrace Room, which overlooks the stunning Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. Outdoor spaces like the Azalea Garden and the Lilac Collection can also be used for ceremonies and receptions.
  • The Bowery Hotel: This chic hotel in downtown Manhattan offers a variety of event spaces, including a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city skyline. The ballroom and lobby spaces feature a blend of vintage and contemporary design elements.
  • The Brooklyn Winery: This urban winery in Williamsburg offers a rustic and romantic setting for weddings. The winery features a barrel room, a rooftop terrace, and a private event space, and can accommodate up to 165 guests.
  • The Rainbow Room: Located on the 65th floor of Rockefeller Center, the Rainbow Room is a historic New York City landmark that offers breathtaking views of the city. The space can accommodate up to 300 guests and features a rotating dance floor.
  • The Foundry: This industrial-chic event space in Long Island City features brick walls, exposed beams, and a courtyard garden. The space can accommodate up to 200 guests for a seated dinner and up to 250 for a cocktail-style reception.
  • The Liberty Warehouse: This waterfront venue in Red Hook, Brooklyn offers stunning views of the New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. The space can accommodate up to 400 guests and features a raw industrial interior and a large outdoor terrace.

These are just a few of the many popular wedding venues in New York. Each venue offers its own unique style and ambiance, so couples are sure to find the perfect location to host their special day.

Best Times Of The Year To Get Married In New York

New York is a popular destination for weddings year-round, but the best time of year to get married in the city depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best time of year to get married in New York City:

  • Weather: If you’re looking for warm weather and sunshine, the best time to get married in New York is during the summer months of June through August. However, keep in mind that the summer months can be humid and crowded, so you may want to consider a less popular venue or schedule your wedding during the cooler months.
  • Budget: The most popular wedding months in New York are May through October, which can drive up prices for venues and vendors. If you’re looking to save money, consider getting married during the off-season months of November through April.
  • Seasonal Events: New York is home to many seasonal events and festivals, which can make for a fun and festive backdrop for your wedding. For example, a winter wedding in December could take advantage of the holiday decorations throughout the city.
  • Availability: Popular wedding venues and vendors may book up quickly during peak wedding season. If you have your heart set on a particular venue or vendor, it’s a good idea to book well in advance to ensure availability.

Ultimately, the best time to get married in New York is the time that works best for you and your partner. Consider your priorities and preferences when choosing a date, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box and embrace the unique character of the city.

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