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How to Perform Marriage in New York City


This is a guide on the legal side of performing a marriage in New York City. To perform a wedding in NYC the minister must get ordained and register with the City Clerk of New York.

File for the marriage license. Any wedding performed in Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond county is recorded by the City Clerk of New York. The couple can file for the license online at the New York City Clerk website but needs to show up in person to pick it up. The address for the NYC Clerk's Manhattan office is:

New York City Clerk
Manhattan Office
Worth Street
New York, NY 10013

The marriage license costs $35 and is valid for 60 days. The couple must also wait a minimum of 24 hours before the filling out the license.

Get ordained. There are many churches that offer free online ordinations. Be aware that the New York City Clerk requires that the minister submit documentation of their ordination and authorization from the church to perform marriages in New York City. American Marriage Ministries offers the minister the documents needed to register with the City Clerk.

Register with the New York City Clerk. Once the minister has been ordained and has received their paperwork, tey need to register with the New York City Clerk in person at their Manhattan office (listed above). They must bring their ministerial credentials as well as two forms of valid ID. Their office hours are 8:30-3:45 M-F so the earlier the better. Getting registered should not take more than an hour.

Perform the ceremony. There is no legal form to the ceremony and it is difficult to suggest advice as weddings are personal celebrations. This guide is not meant to cover the ceremony, though if the minister knows the couple well, they should have a pretty good idea of what to do. Just remember to have fun, weddings are celebrations.

Complete and return the marriage license. This is the legal part. the wedding officiant is responsible to deliver the signed marriage license to the New York City Clerk. The license must bear the minister's signature as well as those of the couple and needs to be signed in the presence of two adult witnesses. Once submitted the marriage is binding, congratulations!

Last Updated: August 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm
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