NYC Elopement Guide | How to Elope in NYC

Many couples resort to having an NYC elopement after being engaged for any length of time. Wedding planning can quickly become overwhelming and the idea of eloping in NYC can also seem very appealing! As an NYC elopement photographer, I am hoping to convince you to elope in the greatest city in the world (and maybe take me along with you). Consider this your guide for how to plan a destination wedding in NYC!

Have you been considering an NYC elopement?

Having an NYC elopement is the perfect choice if you are looking to do something low profile but still meaningful and intimate. While the ceremony itself is short, sweet, and simple, there are so many ways to make this experience unique to you two. If you’re reading this, you may already know that you’re wanting to elope in NYC. Now it’s just a matter of making your NYC elopement happen! As a New York City wedding photographer, I love helping engaged couples through the process of eloping in NYC. You can contact me here to inquire about my availability for your own NYC elopement.

I want you to maximize your time with me during your wedding, so this is a guide on all things NYC elopements.

What is an elopement?

An elopement is traditionally defined as running away without telling anyone, specifically parents, about your plans to get married. However, it is a pretty loose definition. People tend to use the term to describe any wedding that is untraditional and usually intimate.

Is NYC a good place to elope?

NYC is one of the best cities in the world to elope! With an abundance of public parks and famous landmarks, there is no shortage of elopement locations to choose from.

New York Elopement

How To Elope in NYC

1. Get A Marriage License

In order to elope in NYC, you’ll need to acquire a marriage license at least 24 hours before your ceremony. These appointments can be done in person or virtually, but they fill up quickly. The NYC marriage bureau releases a week’s worth of appointments each Monday morning. The appointments become available 3 weeks in advance. You can make an appointment to get your license with the city clerk through Project Cupid. Set a reminder so you can log on Monday at 8am to get your most desired appointment!

Note: even with virtual appointments, couples must be physically present in the state of New York to receive a marriage license.

2. Find An Officiant and Witness

According to the NYC Marriage Bureau’s website, you need at least one witness and an ordained officiant. Your officiant will need to be ordained in New York City specifically, not just New York state.

As an NYC elopement photographer, I often serve as the witness to my clients’ marriages. I consider this a tremendous honor and privilege!

Elopement New York

3. Hire Other NYC Elopement Vendors


Hi, that’s me! I might be biased, but I think this is pretty important.


I can offer recommendations for great local wedding videographers if you are looking to make this addition to you NYC elopement.


This will take your elopement to the


4. Make it a Fun Experience

Make it A Party

Have a Staycation

Consider Your Transportation

Bring Champagne

Confetti Poppers

5. Pick a Location and Acquire Permits

While NYC’s city hall can be a magical place for elopements bustling with love and excitement, taking your ceremony somewhere more private and romantic can be a more personalized experience.

6. Best Places for an NYC Elopement

NYC is one of the best places in the world to elope because the city has an abundant number of public spaces that are iconic and romantic! This list focuses on public spaces that require minimal fees like Central Park and other local NYC landmarks. Some require permits, fees, and prior approval, so it is important to know that you should do your due diligence before planning something at a public space.

Central Park

  • Bethesda Terrace
  • Ladies Pavillion
  • The Mall
  • The Bandshell

New York Public Library Steps
Waterfront in Brooklyn Bridge Park
NYC Marriage Bureau Elopement (Check out my guide here).
Janes’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Pebble Beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Top of the Rock
MET Steps
Hotel With a Private Balcony
The High Line
Brooklyn Bridge
Brownstone Stoop
Prospect Park
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
Local NYC Restaurants: There are loads of restaurants in NYC that operate as small wedding venues. While they do usually require a food and beverage minimum for private dining, it is a wonderful way to celebrate while keeping things on the smaller side. Here is a list of my favorite small venue spaces for couples who want to include their family and friends in their NYC elopement.

NYC Elopement FAQ’s | How to Elope in NYC

What should I wear for an elopement in NYC?

I find that prioritizing comfort is the best thing for elopements. We are often on the move and very active for these types of sessions. Consider the length of your dress and know that if it is floor length it will get dirty.

What is the best time of day to have an elopement in NYC?

In New York City public spaces, there will always be people around at nearly any time of day. However, morning is the best time to avoid larger crowds.

Are you looking for an elopement photographer? I have the privilege of capturing many elopements in New York and beyond. Please reach out at the contact form below to find out about my availability and NYC elopement packages.

Hello  there!

I'm a wedding photographer. 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!

I'm Georgia

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Thank you so much for your interest in having me as your wedding photographer! Once you submit this form, I'll be able to let you know if I am available for your wedding date. I limit the number of weddings I take on per year in order to give my clients the experience they deserve.

It is also important to me that we are a good fit for each other, so the next step will be to hop on the phone and get to know each other a little bit. 

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