NYC Civil Wedding | Danielle & Andres

For their NYC civil wedding, Danielle and Andres stayed at the conveniently located SOHO Grand Hotel, just 15 minutes from City Hall. We met up in SOHO and began with a few portraits before we began walking over. We did plan to arrive about an hour early, as the wait times at the Marriage Bureau can vary. They tend to be even longer on Fridays (the day of their ceremony).

What is a civil wedding in NYC?

A civil wedding is a wedding that is nonreligious and is done by a legal official, as opposed to a priest.

If you’re considering having a civil wedding in NYC, I have another post on everything you need to know to prepare. Check it out here.

Are civil weddings done at NYC City Hall?

Yes, but not always! The civil ceremonies at NYC are not religious. However, you can have a civil wedding / non-religious ceremony anywhere by enlisting the help of a registered officiant and getting married anywhere in NYC.

Once we got them checked in for their city hall ceremony appointment, we waited and took a few bride and groom portraits, utilizing every bit of time we had together. Since it was Friday, city hall was extra busy. This meant we had a little extra time for photos indoors. Because it was so cold out, we defintley didn’t mind.

Some brides describe the ceremony rooms at NYC City Hall as having decor suitable for a Kindergarten classroom…and well, I can’t argue that. BUT the views outside city hall make up for what it lacks inside.

When you have an NYC civil wedding, you don’t have to settle. You can still have all the traditions of a regular wedding, even if it’s “just” a civil wedding. You can see Danielle still doing the bouquet toss with their friend (who is also their witness). Further down you’ll see that they even have a “first dance” as husband and wife. We play music and they dance in the middle of NYC. It is NYC – anything goes.

My Favorite Photo from This NYC Civil Wedding

From every session, I always end up having a favorite shot that is usually my favorite, usually for no reason in particular. This shot of Danielle’s shoes accompanied by the abundant NYC traffic cone is just so quintessentially NYC to me. A glam bride contrasted by the authenticity of the bright orange cone. Something about it just feels so real, and also beautiful, to me. I feel the same way about the set of photos below. At the time, I was less than excited about the construction and graffiti in the background of these shots. In retrospect, I love the authenticity of it.

If you are considering having a city hall wedding, reach out at the contact form below to see if I’m available!

I'm a wedding and elopement photographer based in New York City, NY and formerly Dallas-Fort Worth, TX. Welcome to my blog, where I share wedding planning tips, wedding and engagement photos, and my recent inspirations. If you'd like to work together, please get in touch!

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