If you’re looking for an exciting elopement location within the US, there’s no better spot than New York City. (Even a city hall elopement there can be gorgeous and full of adventure!) Learn how to pull off the perfect elopement in the Big Apple—from out of town or even abroad—with NYC elopement photographer Sylvie Rosokoff‘s tips below!
Gorgeous pastel spring bridal bouquet by BLOOM BLOOM.
How to plan an NYC elopement
1. To elope in NYC you need to have a marriage license issued at least 24 hours before your ceremony (but no more than 60 days prior). Virtual marriage licenses are harder to come by than in-person ones and require the couple to be located in New York State, so when planning your trip and NYC elopement, make sure you’ll have a couple of weekday options after arriving to get your license before your ceremony date.
2. When picking locations—for your ceremony as well as photos before/after—think about what NYC means to you. If you love wandering through Central Park, exploring museums, taking the subway, or getting a drink at your favorite downtown bar, incorporate some of those locations into your elopement to highlight your unique relationship with the city.
3. Lean on your photographer’s experience! As someone who shoots many dozen elopements in NYC each year, I can help you figure out what’s possible within the photo time we’ll have together, and how different locations and backdrops will photograph, especially at different times of year. (And I might know a stoop cat or other local celebrity we can look for together… See below!)
4. Having your ceremony at city hall is the easiest “one-stop shop,” but if you want to get married somewhere else in the city, hire a professional officiant/celebrant in advance who can handle all the paperwork for you and take that off your plate. Linsay and Marc worked with Honeybreak Officiants who made sure everything went smoothly.
5. Book a florist (like BLOOM BLOOM, whom Linsay and Marc used) who has tons of experience with elopement bouquets that will complement, not overpower, your elopement outfits and locations, and might even be able to deliver your flowers to you the morning of your elopement.
6. If you’re wearing a dress, make sure it’s on the shorter side! Wedding dress trains WILL get dirty walking around the city, and most elopement photographers shoot a lot while walking in between locations; you don’t want to be holding up your dress in all those photos.
7. Consider booking a hotel room near your elopement locations; in addition to a shorter trip, you’ll have the option of starting or ending elopement photos there, capturing you getting ready together in the morning or having cake and champagne afterwards.
8. Leave extra time to get to your ceremony! Taxis and the subway are great for getting around the city but delays are often unavoidable. Ask your photographer or other local vendors how early they recommend planning leaving your hotel so you don’t lose out on the light or anything else you’ve planned.
Want to learn more about planning an NYC elopement? Check out these styling tips here!