Exciting news! Your wedding day is around the corner and it’s time to get all the legal pieces together to make your marriage ‘signed, sealed, delivered’ official.
You may already have an idea of how to get your marriage license in New York City, but just in case you got lost in the uber institutional Marriage Bureau website, I’m here to keep it simple and break it down for you.
Let’s first make sure that now is the right time for you to start the process. Marriage licenses have a short life-span of 60 days, which means your wedding date should be less than 60 days away! However, don’t wait to get your license last minute. It’s only valid after 24 hours so keep that in mind before you decide to push this towards the end of your to-do list.
BONUS TIP: The sweet spot to get your marriage license is 30-45 days before your wedding date.
1. START ONLINE
Kick it new school and begin the online application process a day or so before you plan to go to the Marriage Bureau. Make sure to complete it accurately, avoiding any typos, since correcting mistakes after your license is printed can be a huge time-suck. Once you triple-check and submit your application, you’ll receive a confirmation number that you’ll then bring to the Marriage Bureau to complete the marriage license process.
2) BRING PROPER ID & PAPERWORK
Come prepared with your confirmation number, at least one form of photo ID, $35 in the form of a credit card or money order, and any additional paperwork like divorce decrees if previously married. They will complete your application process and BAM, you’ll receive your license right then and there.
3) GO EARLY
Unless you like waiting for (possibly) hours to get your number called, then I recommend you arrive at your local Marriage Bureau as soon as they open - typically 8:30AM. Since you’ll be entering a government building, you’ll go through an airport-style security check, metal detectors and all. So ditch the loose change and pack light.
FIND THE HOURS & LOCATIONS OF YOUR LOCAL NYC MARRIAGE BUREAU.
4) EAT SOMETHING BEFOREHAND
If you’re likely to get hangry, make time to eat a hearty breakfast or a Starbucks snack before heading to the Marriage Bureau. There’s nothing worse than feeling that rumble in your belly while you wait and wait and wait some more.
5) PEOPLE WATCH
Lots of couples choose to get married at the Marriage Bureau and watching them enjoy every bit of their wedding day is a pretty awesome highlight to an ordinary Tuesday. Enjoy the anticipation knowing that you came prepared and are about to get that little piece of paper that’s going to make it oh-so-official!
Congrats, nearlyweds! Cheers to you and your coming-soon wedding day!