If you’re looking for how to plan a destination elopement in NYC, you’re in the right place! Tying the knot in iconic NYC is a treat, whether it’s in a cozy park, at a chic industrial venue, or underneath the twinkling lights of the city.
I’m a wedding photographer based in New York City and have captured many intimate weddings throughout the Big Apple. As an integral part of many couples’ weddings, I’ve rounded up all my knowledge about eloping in NYC to break down exactly how to plan your dream destination elopement in the city that never sleeps.
Whether it’s the city’s romantic vibes, the famous historic landmarks, or the lively atmosphere that’s calling to you, getting hitched in New York City will genuinely leave you with some of the most amazing memories that will last a lifetime. Keep reading to learn how to plan your dream destination elopement in NYC. Plus, get a peek at some great spots to elope in NYC!
How to Plan a Destination Elopement in NYC
Let’s cut right to the chase: how do you plan an elopement in NYC? Here are the steps that you need to take.
Choose your ideal dates
Though it may seem obvious, the first step in planning your elopement is to choose your ideal dates with your partner. Would you rather get married when NYC is a winter wonderland? Or would the fun flowers of spring be a better option for you?
Each season in New York City has its own appeal. We’ll dive into what each season is like in a different section of this article.
Decide on a location
Next, go ahead and choose your location. This should be done early in your process because many venues will require you to reserve your space well in advance. And remember, this is NYC, so it’s a common place to get married in.
By being on top of your planning and choosing your location early on, you can have higher chances of your location being available for your dates. If your location isn’t, you can always decide what’s more important to you and adjust your dates or your elopement venue.
Hire your vendors
You also want to hire your vendors early on. This can include your wedding photographer (psst… if you are still trying to find a NYC photographer for your elopement, click here to get in touch!), your officiant, your florist, and more.
Vendors in New York City (and honestly everywhere) book up far in advance, so reach out sooner rather than later if you have any dream vendors.
You can also always reach out to your #1 dream vendor and see if they have any referrals for any other vendors that you could also potentially hire for your elopement. Since it is an elopement, you really won’t need as many vendors as you would if you were planning a huge wedding.
Visit the New York City Clerk
The next step is to schedule an appointment with the New York City Clerk to get your marriage license. Walk-ins aren’t permitted, so you want to ensure you do this in advance.
It costs $35 for a marriage license, and you must bring the following information:
- The name of you and your spouse
- Your addresses
- Your country of birth
- Your date of birth
- Name and country of birth of your parents
- Your Social Security Numbers
- All marital history information (including previous spouse’s name, date of divorce, and where the divorce was issued)
- One form of proper identification that also shows proof of age
Remember that once you get the license, you must wait 24 hours before using it. It’s only valid for 60 days and has to be used within state lines.
The final step is to elope. Show up with your witness, officiant, photographer, and, of course, significant other. This is the fun part, so enjoy it!
When to Have Your New York City Elopement
So when is the best time to elope in New York City? Like I mentioned before, each season really has its own appeal.
As you might imagine, eloping in New York City during winter can be romantic as snow blankets all the iconic landmarks of the city. The chilly weather creates intimate and cozy moments, and the holiday lights throughout the city can add a special touch of magic.
However, the cold weather might not be for everyone, and you could encounter some logistical hiccups due to snow, like travel delays and closures. But if you love winter wonderland atmospheres and don’t mind braving the cold, a winter elopement in NYC can be a great option.
Spring in New York City is incredibly refreshing. The city blooms with colorful flowers, and the parks really come alive during this time of year. Like winter, though, the weather can be unpredictable because rain can be more frequent.
If you want vibrant elopement photos and don’t mind rain, spring can be a great time to elope in New York City.
Summer elopements in New York City have a great energy that can be hard to match. The city comes alive with festivals, events, and more. Plus, the sunsets during this time can make any rooftop elopements unmatched.
Summer can bring intense heat and humidity, and some parts of the city could be overrun with tourists. But if you don’t mind a bustling city vibe and a little heat, consider eloping in summer.
Fall in New York City paints the area with warm colors. The crisp air mixed with the colorful foliage of fall creates a cozy yet romantic atmosphere, perfect for an elopement. Plus, the weather is typically mild and pleasant compared to other seasons.
Like summer, though, fall could have some overcrowded places, but nowhere near as bad. If you have a soft spot for the romance that autumn exudes, a fall elopement in NYC could be a dream come true.
Best Places to Elope in NYC
Wondering where to elope in New York City? Here are a few top picks that aren’t as popular as Central Park.
The New York Public Library
For couples who love timeless character, The New York Public Library can be an excellent option for an elopement. It has an intimate feeling, and the grand staircase in the library is truly a sight to behold.
The library has breathtaking architecture, marble floors, large windows, beautiful arched walkways, classic column structures, and more. Plus, when you get married here, you have to take the iconic photo in front of the library, walking up the steps.
The Bowery Hotel
One of my absolute favorite NYC elopement venues is The Bowery Hotel. It can accommodate up to 175 guests but can also be perfect for intimate events. Located on Bowery and 3rd Street, this venue is filled with Moroccan tiled floors, rescued brick walls, and more.
If you want a venue that combines history and modernity, The Bowery Hotel is an impeccable option.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Believe it or not, you can also elope at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you and your partner are fans of history and art, then the Met could be a memorable place to elope. Just imagine eloping in your favorite part of the museum, surrounded by tons of beautiful art!
Because it’s such a big museum, it’s easy to find intimate spots, even though it is well-visited. Plus, your wedding photographer will most likely go and scout out some spots before your big day.
620 Loft and Garden
If you want something central in the city that’s not as noisy, consider 620 Loft and Garden, located on top of Rockefeller Center. It offers some of the best views that you can get of Fifth Avenue and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The central location also makes it easy for you and any others in your intimate wedding party to get to the venue via public transportation. Plus, there are many accommodations in the area for you to stay.
Final Thoughts: Elope in NYC
Now you know how to have a dream elopement in NYC. The possibilities are endless, so just remember that you have the power to craft your wedding day to fit your unique love story best. Make it as “you” as possible!
New York City is truly all about embracing the unexpected and being confident in your quirkiness, so the city’s unique charm will add that extra sprinkle of magic to your wedding day.
If you’re still looking for the perfect NYC wedding photographer who gets it, I’d love to learn more about your love story. Click here to learn more about my wedding photography packages to get the conversation started.