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Guide: Getting Married in NYC for Foreigners & Non-US Citizens

It’s easy for foreigners and non-US citizens to get married in New York City. Whether you’re from the UK, Ireland, Australia or elsewhere abroad, getting married in NYC with a New York elopement or NYC City Hall wedding is a memorable (and easy!) way for foreigners to get married. Here’s a 4-step guide to getting married in New York for foreigners, from getting your marriage license to getting an extended marriage certificate, to a variety of New York weddings and elopement location options.

Let’s get started!

[Note: If you’re a U.S. citizen, check out this guide to getting married in NYC for Americans.]

Getting Married in NYC for Foreigners

Central Park elopement by the lake, part of a guide to getting married in NYC for foreigners. Photo by New York wedding photographer Everly Studios, www.everlystudios.com

1. Call your consulate.

First, check to make sure your home country will recognize your marriage if you are married in the U.S. If you are already in America, you can ask your country’s consulate in the U.S.


2. Get a New York Marriage License

[Covid-19 update: As of March 2020, you must now obtain your wedding license online via Project Cupid; see here for more information.]

Online application: All couples looking to get married must first go about getting a New York marriage license. Couples can schedule an in-person license appointment online. New appointments are released three weeks out on Thursdays, 9am EST sharp.

Getting a Marriage License in NYC: Once you have a scheduled appointment and are physically in New York, it’s time to make the trip to the City Clerk’s Office. The Manhattan branch is located at 141 Worth St., but each borough has a location (see here for addresses). The Manhattan branch is open Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 3:45pm, so plan accordingly.

Both parties must provide government-issued photo IDs that show your photo, name, date of birth (you must be 18 or older to get married in the U.S.) and address, such as a passport. A list of accepted IDs can be found here.

Cost: Marriage licenses cost $35, and can be paid via credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk. Please note that the City Clerk does not accept cash.

Expiration: Marriage licenses expire after 60 days, so you must get married before then in order to use the license. However, note that you must also wait at minimum a full 24 hours after the marriage license is issued to get married.


New York City Hall wedding, part of a guide to getting married in NYC for foreigners. Photo by New York wedding photographer Everly Studios, www.everlystudios.com3. Have Your NYC Marriage Ceremony

New York City Hall ceremony: The swiftest way to get married in New York is have an NYC City Hall wedding (click to see more information plus photos from real City Hall weddings!).

If you decide a City Hall wedding is for you, you will need to schedule a ceremony appointment. Bring your wedding license, your government-issued photo ID, and a credit card to pay for the ceremony ($25). Currently you are allowed to bring up to four adult guests only, one of whom must act as your witness (and yes, if you hire me as your photographer, I am more than happy to act as your witness). The ceremony itself lasts about one minute long, but you are left in the room for another minute or so to take photos. And besides, you probably didn’t travel all the way to NYC to take photos in a room — the city outside awaits!

New York elopement: If getting married inside a government building isn’t what you pictured, no problem. As long as you have a New York-ordained officiant to perform the ceremony and complete the paperwork, you can get married anywhere in NYC. I frequently photograph New York elopements with internationals who’ve flown in just for their marriage, be it a Central Park wedding, Brooklyn Bridge wedding, Top of the Rock wedding — you name it, I’m game. Some of the more popular locations are Central Park elopements, or somewhere with a distinctly iconic New York view.

Here’s more information on how to plan a New York elopement.


4. Get an Extended Marriage Certificate from the New York Marriage Bureau

There are two types of marriage certificates: a “short” certificate and “extended” certificate. The short certificate is the basic form. However, if you’re getting married in NYC as a foreigner, an extended certificate is an extended version of the Certificate of Marriage Registration, which includes additional information like the names of both parents and their countries of birth, the name and title of the Marriage Officiant, and the name and location of the place where the ceremony was conducted. For some foreigners, an extended certificate will be needed in order for it to be valid outside the United States. To confirm, you can phone your consulate and ask if you need an extended license.

See here for a detailed step-by-step on how to get an extended marriage certificate in NYC. The short version:

  1. In person: Take the document to the nearest County Clerk’s Office located in the Supreme Court Building, 60 Centre Street, Notary Desk, Room 141B. The fee is $3, payable in money order, credit or debit card. They are closed every Wednesday
  2. By mail: Enclose the marriage certificate and a money order payable to “New York County Clerk” in the amount of $3. Mail to: New York County Clerk, Attention: Notary Division, 60 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007. It’s recommended you enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Please be sure your return address is clearly indicated.

And that’s it! Congratulations, you’re married! New York will always be a part of you.


Ready to Elope in New York?


[…] Guide to Getting Married in NYC NYC Elopement Packages Guide: Getting Married in NYC For Foreigners […]

Hello, we are thinking to get married in NY next month.. around last week. We haven’t confirmed the exact date yet.. Can you let me know if your available then, and how much do you charge for a photoshoot in NY.
Thank you

Hi Aline,
Congrats on your engagement! I’d love to chat more about my NYC elopement packages. I’ve emailed you with more info. If it sounds like a match, let’s set up a time to chat more!

Can you give a price package for December 2021 my friends are wanting to travel to New York and I will be arranging their flights and accommodation and you were recommended as a photographer. I would be great full if you could send your complete price list as I have been looking at the different destinations in New York, Central Park lake as they had originally only thought of city hall.

I look forward to hearing back from you shortly.

Kind regards


Hi Elizabeth,
Thanks for reaching out! I’ll email you 2021 pricing literature an we can continue the conversation there.

As a foreigner wanting to get married in NYC (a Zoom wedding as part of the Project Cupid), do I need a letter of non-impediment to marriage from my home country to get a NY marriage license?

Hi Oceane,
I would email officeservices@cityclerk.nyc.gov to inquire about your particular situation.

Hello, whoever there. I would like to learn more about the difference between license and certificate. Could you please send me an email So we can talk more? Thanks a lot.

If you have questions, you can contact the City Clerk at officeservices@cityclerk.nyc.gov

Hi,I have a question I hope you can answer. I had a cityhall wedding being a foreigner, we validated our marriage to our country and a few years later we divorced in our country. To have a valid divorce d I have to have a divorce under the law in NY? Is there anywhere I can find this information? I appreciate your help in advance

Unfortunately I don’t know the answer to that. I would contact the specific City Clerk who issued your marriage certificate to be sure. Good luck!

We are planning to get married in New York in Feb 22 probably the 16th I understand you can act as our witness as well as a photographer can you send me your prices and availability


Hi Holly,

Congrats on your engagement! To give you a more accurate quote, please fill out this contact form and I’ll let you know asap! https://everlystudios.com/contact-everly-studios/

Hi I would be grateful if you could help with this we’re going to New York in December the 23 and we’re thinking about getting married there but with the Christmas holidays we weren’t sure if they would be opened thank you

Hi Margaret,
Congrats on your engagement! The City Clerk is only open Mon-Fri, so they will not be open on the 23rd. You can see their holiday schedule here: https://www.cityclerk.nyc.gov/content/legal-holidays

I stumbled upon your page while searching if foreigners can get married in city hall in NYC and what specific documentation they need. Just to give you a quick background I’m a born and raised New Yorker that moved to Italy and met my current fiancé. We wanted to get married in city hall in NYC in April 2024 but I don’t really know how to go about it since he’s Italian and not American. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks so much!

Hi Marianglea,

It’s no problem that your fiance is not a US citizen. A passport is an accepted form of ID at the City Clerk’s Office, so you will be fine. Congrats!



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