Let me start by saying this. Elopements now, unlike a decade ago have such a wide span of definitions. We often shoot elopements for couples that have decided to bring along their entire families and group of friends. My definition now states that, An Elopement is a fun, carefree intimate wedding. It can be just the two of you or the two of you with 20 family members. It can be anywhere at anytime.
What do we do first?
Set a Date!
I have multiple inquiries for weddings daily, for all times of the year. And frankly, we can not move forward until there is a specific date set.
Figure out the best time of year for you to travel. Whether it be Winter, Summer, Spring or Fall its up to you. But, remember don’t try to squeeze everything in to a couple of days. Normally, I suggest an arrival day and at least one free day before the ceremony. The reason is, you need a buffer day to get the license and I suggest a 48 hour wait before the ceremony. I have had couples whose flights have been delayed and they were forced to get a 24 hour waiver from the court…. Don’t risk it! (If you are arriving on a Monday, get your license on Monday if possible, and schedule your ceremony on Wednesday or Thursday.)
Go to the Clerks website and take note of all the proper paperwork you will need. Passport, License etc… If you have any questions or concerns your officiant will be more than happy to assist you. http://www.cityclerk.nyc.gov/html/marriage/marriage_bureau.shtml
Please remember everything. It may seem daunting to some, but to be quite honest the city office has it down to a science and makes it pretty easy for everyone.
Hire your officiant. (We have a resource list for clients if you need help)
Gotta get a Witness! When hiring us you have a built in witness. Remember, the officiant cannot do it. If you are coming to the city alone, I find it much less stressful to have a witness ahead of time. You do not want to worry about asking strangers with proper ID to sign a really important document for you. You must have a witness with proper ID for the marriage to be legal.
Once you have arrived to NYC and received your license, schedule a time for your ceremony.
Make sure it is not too early. You want that day to be relaxed and hassle free. Sleep in, enjoy a nice breakfast and maybe a manicure or facial. Then you are properly prepared to get hitched! Ask us which times we suggest based on the time of year/season etc…
Getting married in a park?
A little trick. If its just a few of you, say under 10 including the officiant. You can get away with not getting a permit. However, look at spots that are off the beaten path. If your heart is set on The ladies Pavilion, it might be occupied, But there are a limitless amounts of locations all over the park. Think different and think special. Do something out of the ordinary.