How to Perform Marriage in New York City

This is a guide on the legal side of performing a marriage in New York City. To perform a wedding in NYC you must be an ordained minister and also register with the New York City Clerk Marriage Bureau.

Steps

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    File for the marriage license. Any wedding performed in Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond county is recorded by the City Clerk of New York. The couple can file for the license online at the New York City Clerk website but needs to show up in person to pick it up. The address for the NYC Clerk's Manhattan office is:
    • New York City Clerk
    • Manhattan Office
    • Worth Street
    • New York, NY 10013
    • The marriage license costs $35 and is valid for 60 days. The couple must also wait a minimum of 24 hours before the filling out the license.
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    Get ordained. There are many churches that offer free online ordinations. Be aware that the New York City Clerk requires that the minister submit documentation of their ordination and authorization from the church to perform marriages in New York City. There are only a handful of churches that offer this service one is The Monastery and the other is American Marriage Ministries. Do your research and find which best suits your needs.
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    Register with the New York City Clerk. Once you've been ordained and have received your paperwork, you need to register with the New York City Clerk in person at their Manhattan office (listed above). You must bring your ministerial credentials as well as two forms of valid ID. Their office hours are 8:30-3:45 M-F so the earlier the better. Getting registered should not take more than an hour. If you reside outside of New York City then you can may mail the signed and notarized application, a photocopy of your proper identification and your fee of $15 by credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk.
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    Perform the ceremony. There is no legal form to the ceremony and it is difficult to suggest advice as weddings are personal celebrations. This guide is not meant to cover the ceremony, though if you know the couple well you should have a pretty good idea of what to do. Just remember to have fun, weddings are celebrations.
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    Complete and return the marriage license. This is the legal part. As the wedding officiant you are also responsible to deliver the signed marriage license to the New York City Clerk. The license must bear your signature as well as those of the couple and needs to be signed in the presence of two adult witnesses. Once submitted you are done, congratulations!

Article Info

Categories: Ceremony & Reception