Getting Married in New York – Advice for British Couples

It is so much easier to get married in New York than it is to get married in Britain!  The vast majority of our couples are British, and so am I.  I got married in Central Park in 2011, and I was living in New York at the time.  This blog post is a long answer to a frequently asked question about what paperwork British couples need to get married in New York.  Apparently getting married in the UK requires quite a lot of paperwork and British couples almost can’t believe how simple it is to get married in the USA.

If you are not British, then check if your country will recognise your marriage if you get married in New York.  Here’s what the UK government says about getting married in the USA:

“Your marriage will be recognised in the UK if: you follow the correct process according to the law in the USA it would be allowed under UK law.  You don’t need to register your marriage in the UK.”  If you’re a British national getting married abroad, you might need certain documents from the UK government, for example a certificate of no impediment – this is if you have been married before.  Here’s the UK government website with details about getting married abroad: 

The first thing to do, maybe just before your trip to New York, is to register online for your marriage license.  Do this within 21 days of your wedding date.  When you register online you get a confirmation number.  When you get to New York, take that confirmation number and your passport to the City Clerk’s Office to pick up your license.  It costs $35 and you will need to pay by credit card, they do not accept cash.  Do this at least 24 hours before your wedding.  That’s it.  I wrote a blog post about how to get your license from the City Clerk’s Office, but it’s very simple.  The Manhattan branch of the City Clerk’s Office is open Monday through Friday (not open on holidays), 8:30am to 3:45pm, and is at 141 Worth Street.

Then you have the ceremony.  This is the part where I can do everything for you, if you want to get married in beautiful Central Park.  I can help with other locations, too, but I really specialize in Central Park weddings.  I can book the officiant, get your event permit for Central Park, write the ceremony with you, book the photographer, help you to make a plan of timings for the day, book any musicians, video, hair and makeup, and order your flowers.  Check out our wedding packages and prices, or drop me an email at to ask any questions. 

Take your license to the ceremony.  If I’m planning your wedding with you, then I’ll remind you of this maybe a half dozen times!  This is because quite a few couples do forget to bring it with them, with everything else that’s happening on the morning of their wedding!  Do whatever you can to be sure that you remember it – you don’t want to have to deal with a forgotten license on your special day!  After the ceremony, the couple sign the license, along with the officiant and either one or two witnesses (you’re only required to have one witness but there’s space on the license for two).  Then the officiant sends the completed license to the City Clerk’s Office, they register your marriage and then they mail the short certificate to your home address, wherever you live.  If you need to change your name after getting married, you ca use this short certificate to do so.

If you need the marriage certificate straight away and can’t wait for it to come in the mail, then you can take the completed license back to the City Clerk’s Office in person to get the certificate.  If you live in a country that requires the long certificate, and/or the Apostille, then we can tell you step by step what you need to do to get them, or for a fee with a signed and notarized letter, we can get it for you, but the long certificate is not necessary to make your marriage legally binding in the UK. 

Check out our wedding packages and prices, the prices quoted are in US dollars, but my business is registered in the UK, so I can take a bank transfer in GB pounds as payment if you prefer.  Drop me an email at to ask any questions.  If you would like me to help you with planning your own Central Park wedding or elopement, whether you live locally or are planning on traveling to New York to get married, visit our website.  Keep updated with our news and see lots of beautiful photos, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest

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1 Response to Getting Married in New York – Advice for British Couples

  1. Pingback: Five Most-Read Blog Posts of 2021 | Weddings in Central Park, New York

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