Sandra and Pierre

Perfect light, perfect couple, perfect love! Can’t get any better than this! Sandra and Pierre traveled all the way from Germany to get married in the greatest city in the world, New York! We had a blast shooting all throughout the city and ending at the Brooklyn Bridge. From there, we parted ways, and the happy couple headed off to have a lovely dinner at the River Cafe.

Helpful Hints for anyone getting married in New York!

This is a great informational article about Getting Married in NYC – A Brief Guide For Overseas Visitors. Posted by Colonel_Rafiki on

Jan 12, 2013, 9:45 AM

My wife and I are from the UK and recently got married in New York City, so we thought we’d put together a little guide that other couples might find useful.

Why get married in NYC?

We got asked this question a lot! Simple answer: we’d just bought our first house and we couldn’t afford a big traditional wedding. Getting married in NYC is a lot cheaper, and on reflection it was absolutely perfect – our wedding day was relaxed, exciting and fabulous from start to finish. Even with hindsight, we wouldn’t do it any other way – NYC was the perfect destination for us.


There are a few options for getting married in NYC, as you can hire an officiant and get married at pretty much any location. As it was just the two of us, we opted to keep it simple and get married at the City Clerk’s Office (141 Worth Street).

Whichever way you choose to do it, you need to apply for a Marriage License (more info here: The Marriage License costs $35 and you can pay the fee by credit card or money order, but not cash, so bear that in mind. Once you have your marriage license, you have to wait 24 hours before you can tie the knot. If you get your license at 9:00am on a Thursday, it will actually say that you’re eligible to get married from 9:01am on Friday, the following day.

To help speed up the application, remember to apply online before you get to the City Clerks Office using this link: https:/…cityclerkformsonline

The online application only needs a few details (full names, place of birth, parent’s names etc) and took us less than five minutes. When you’ve completed the application, you’ll be given a confirmation number to print out and take with you. From what we could tell, anyone who hadn’t already filled in the online application was asked to fill it in using the available computers in the City Clerks Office reception. Also note that applications submitted online expire after 21 days, so don’t do it too early!

Here’s how our timing worked out:

December 15 – submitted our online application

December 27 – arrived at City Clerks Office to complete application and get license

December 28 – returned to City Clerks Office to be married

What happens on the day

We got our marriage license on a Thursday, and the City Clerks Office was reasonably quiet – there were quite a few couples, but we were in and out of the building in about 30 minutes. We expected the same when we returned on the Friday, but boy were we wrong, it was really busy! We had to queue to see the guy on reception, when we got to him he checked through our documents (jokingly asking if we were sure we wanted to get married!) and then gave us a ticket for us to wait for our number to be called.

It can be a bit of a wait on a busy day (almost an hour in our experience, though that was the last Friday of the year) so it’s worth having a bottle of water or something to drink with you, and note that there are restrooms in the lobby.

When our number was called, we went to a desk where the lady re-checked all our documentation and details (you need ID we you, we had our passports) and produced our marriage certificate. At this point you also pay the $25 fee for the marriage ceremony. Double-check all your details are right at this point, as it’s the last stage before you get married – you can fix mistakes afterwards, but doing so will cost extra!

We were given another ticket and had to wait another 20 minutes or so to be called to the chapel. There are two, east and west, with a small seating area in side. We were called into the west chapel and the ceremony was done in two minutes flat. You do need a witness, our photographer was ours, but it seems as though it would be very easy to find a witness while you’re there. Just remember that your witness will also need valid identification.

And that’s it, you’re given your signed and sealed marriage certificate and you’re good to go!

‘Short’ or ‘Extended’ Marriage Certificate

There are two types of Marriage Certificate you can get, the Short is the basic, and the Extended includes a bit of extra information that is often required by foreign jurisdictions. We were told that as UK residents we’d need the Extended certificate in order for it to be valid in the UK.

You can apply for the Extended certificate on the same day you get married, but it does require a few steps and trips to different buildings. We wanted to enjoy our wedding day after the ceremony so decided to come back and get the Extended certificate a few days later – you can do it anytime after you’re married.

To get the Extended certficate:

  1. Go back to the City Clerks Office with your Short certificate and identification, fill out a yellow Extended certificate request form and take it to the Records Room. Here you pay another $35 and an Extended certificate is given to you.
  2. You then need to go over the road to the County Clerk Office (located in the Supreme Court Building, 60 Centre Street) to have the certificate signed at the Notary Public Desk at a charge of $3. This building has a security check and metal detectors, so it’s best not to go with cameras and so on.
  3. Once the Extended certificate is signed, you need to take it to the New York State Department of State (123 Williams Street, between Fulton and John) to get an Apostille that authenticates the document. This costs $10, but note that the New York State Department of State no longer accepts cash or credit card – it has to be money order! If you don’t have one with you, you can go over the road to the Duane Reade pharmacy and buy a $10 money order at a cost of $11.

Once all that’s done, your certificate is ready to be accepted in the UK. It doesn’t take long to get it all done, but going between locations is a bit of a chore and you probably won’t want to do it on the day.

What to Wear

In case you’re wondering (like we were) what to wear, it’s worth knowing that there’s loads of variety at the City Clerks Office. Some couples were in casual clothes (jeans etc), some were smart, others were eccentric and quite a few were formal. We opted for the latter, with the bride in a traditional white dress and the groom in a grey tail suit. We felt very comfortable and enjoyed the attention. If you intend to go to other sites, take a comfortable pair of shoes – my bride took her sneakers in a bag and got changed halfway through the day.

Dominique and John’s Wedding in Central Park!

When two people are truly in love it’s like fireworks going off every second. To me it’s the reason why we’re here, why we breath, why we wake up in the morning! Dominique and John, I’m so happy to say, have that love for each other and it’s a beautiful thing to witness. We had a great time shooting all over the city, finishing up at the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Here is their lovely review of New York Dream Weddings.

“From the moment we stepped out of our limousine, Harley´s professionalism really shone through in his relaxed, yet personally sensitive style which transformed our own little ceremony in the park into memories for a lifetime.
He was non intrusive during the ceremony, though we later saw that his shots were up close and personal, capturing the moment perfectly.
We then went to Times Square for our bouquet hurling shots which went quite well, a friendly traffic cop even stopped traffic for some of our photos!
Then, we visited Grand Central Station for a few shots kissing on the main floor.
Also, these shots came out better and more intimate than the moment itself seemed to be, the shots are like magic.
Finally we visited the Brooklyn bridge for some classic photos with both the Brooklyn and the Manhattan bridges in the background. Thank you New York Dream Weddings for a wonderful day, and a set of photos any bride would die for!”
— Dominique & John

Sabine and Daniel’s snowy January New York Dream Wedding

“Yes, we do weddings in the winter!” There’s nothing more magical than getting married in a snow covered city with nothing but the sound of a falling snowflakes. Sabine and Daniel’s dream was to get married in New York City, in the snow, and they got exactly what they asked for! We were literately shooing in a blizzard!