NYC Elopement Photographer | De Nueva Photography
Elopements are Awesome.
Elopements in NYC, one of the greatest cities in the world? The Best.
As an NYC Elopement Photographer, I’ve been shooting elopements since 2010 and have captured hundreds elopements with couples from across the globe. Whether you’d like to get married in City Hall or Top of the Rock, I’ll be there, cameras in hand. As I know it’s stressful to plan a wedding from afar, I’m always happy to offer tips to clients from a New York local, from the best NYC neighborhoods for wedding photos to how to tackle transportation on your wedding day.
The Complete Guide to NYC Elopements:
Elopement Quick Links:
What exactly is an elopement?
I classify an elopement as having 10 or fewer guests. Usually elopements just have a simple ceremony without an elaborate reception. Elopement weddings can be rather spontaneous, but sometimes are planned well in advance. My schedule is booked on a first come, first serve basis. So as soon you make your plan, contact me and we can get you on the calendar. Generally speaking photography wise, elopements sessions consist of a brief ceremony, portraits with the couple before or afterwards, and maybe a few getting ready photos. If you’re doing something a bit more complex with dinner, dancing, extended family photos, or all the extras, let’s chat and we can work out the details.
How do we elope in New York?
On my blog I have entire post with all the details of how to elope in NYC and have written extensively about How to Elope at NYC City Hall and what you need to know about Elopements in Central Park. These are great places to get you started.
The short and sweet version is: get your license at 141 Worth Street, wait 24 hours, get married!
The longer version:
You will need to obtain your license at least 24 hours before you hope to get married.* You can fill out your paperwork in advance online by clicking HERE, but you’ll still need to go together with your partner in person to pick it up 24 hours in advance. The City Clerk’s office is open 8:30am – 3:45 pm Monday-Friday. Be sure to check if there are any holidays around your desired date as they will be closed on those days. Remember to bring your photo id or passport. The fee for the marriage license is $35, payable by credit card or money order, NO CASH.
Once you have your license, you can decide if you want to get married in City Hall or elope somewhere else in the city. If you opt for City Hall, plan on about an hour to get through the process, though sometimes it can be quicker. The actual ceremony at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau is about 1-2 minutes in length.
If you opt to get married outside City Hall, your next step is to pick your ceremony location and hire an officiant. I’m happy to help with both these areas if you need suggestions.
*It IS possible to apply for a judicial waiver to get married within 24 hours, however this involves lots of waiting, is dependent on the judge working, and makes for a very long day. I recommend getting to the Clerk’s office at least a day or two early if possible.
What do I need to Elope in New York?
The only things you need to get married in New York are: you and your partner, your marriage license from the Clerk’s office, an officiant, and a witness over the age of 18. I’m always happy to act as a witness. In fact, most of the elopements I shoot are just me, the couple and the officiant!
NYC City Hall Wedding vs Non City Hall Wedding, which is better?
Both are great. Some folks love the quirkiness that is a City Hall Elopement. It’s hands down some of the best people watching in town. There are couples eloping from around the globe, some with family, some not; wearing everything from red carpet ball gowns to jeans and t-shirts. There’s no fuss, and it can be kind of a perfect elopement wedding for certain people.
That said, it can involve lots of waiting and the ceremony is short and sweet. If you’d prefer something a bit more personal and would rather spend time taking photos around town rather then waiting in line, then outside City Hall is for you. I know lots of officiants and can help you pick the perfect spot to get hitched.
We want to elope at City Hall in Manhattan. How do we get there?
The first thing you should know: City Hall where you get married is actually the City Clerk’s office (aka the Manhattan Marriage Bureau). If you tell a taxi to take you to City Hall, you may end up down the street. The City Clerk’s office is very easy to get to on the subway, or you can always take a taxi or an uber for your elopement. For the subway, the easiest way is to take the 456 (green colored line) to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall and then walk from there. It’s also a short walk from the R train to City Hall, or slightly farther walk from the A/C or 123 at Chambers Street.
If you’re taking a cab, you can tell them to take you to the City Clerk’s Office at the corner of Worth and Center Street.
Once you arrive, you head up the stairs and head through the first doors on your right.
We are an LGBTQ couple. Can we elope in NYC? Will you take our photos?
Of course! One of the super awesome things about NYC is that everyone can be married and celebrated. Same sex marriage has been legal in NYC since 2011 and legal in the entire US since 2015. I have photographed many elopements for couples who chose to be married in NYC while their wedding was still illegal in their home country. I am incredibly honored to have photographed the weddings of so many LGBTQ couples throughout the years and would love to be a part of your day. I also have been sure to keep all of my client materials and contracts gender neutral since the start of my business.
Where should we take our elopement photos in New York after we get married?
All of my elopement packages offer a bit of time for portraits. How much time you’ll need is something we can discuss. Some folks just want a couple photos, others want to really get out and capture the city. So where should you go to take your wedding photos? Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park or perhaps somewhere off the beaten path? It all depends on you and your partner and what you both enjoy. The best part of New York is that there are endless options. As a local New Yorker I know lots of cool spots and I’m happy to discuss ideas. Whether that’s on the Staten Island Ferry, a quiet neighborhood park, or Coney Island, we’ll find a spot that fits you and your interests and makes for awesome NYC elopement photos. My best suggestion is to pick a neighborhood that suits your interests and we can wander from there.
What time of day is best for an elopement ceremony?
One of the reasons elopements are so great is they have a lot more flexibility in timing. My absolute favorite time of day for elopement portraits and wedding ceremonies is sunrise. While I know it makes for an early wake-up call, there are 3 reasons I say this: 1. There are no crowds. The magic thing about early morning is that you have the city to yourself. We will never be fighting tourists and the city is at its most quiet and peaceful for your elopement. 2.The light is divine. Early morning golden hour is perfection for photos. 3. In the hot summer months, it’s so much cooler and everyone feels better not being sweaty for photos.
If sunrise isn’t for you, working around sunset can also be wonderful in terms of light. Sunset light is golden and delicious and you can also catch the sky turning all sorts of colors if the weather works out. I wrote an entire post about my favorite time of day for photos, so if you’d like more information, check it out here.
What if we need a florist, an officiant, or a hair/make-up artist? Or a recommendation for dinner?
I’m happy to help you with my trusted listed of NYC Elopement vendors. As a photographer in NYC working with hundreds of eloping couples, I have a several folks that I work with regularly who I trust and connect you with easily. Recs for dinner? I can talk about food in the city all day. Let me know what you have in mind and I can offer loads of options.
How much does elopement photography cost?
NYC Elopement Photography Packages
Elopement rates start at $500 for a mini session.
For a classic New York Elopement with coverage of getting ready, your ceremony and portraits in a location or two around NYC, rates start at $1,500 for three hours. If you’d like more or less coverage, that’s no problem at all. Shoot me an email for all the details.
•Your photos as fully edited high resolution files with a personal print release via download
•Unlimited help creating a timeline and picking the perfect NYC elopement location
•A same day sneak peek blog post for friends and family back home
•Trusted local New York vendor recommendations
•A witness who will always offer congratulatory hugs!
Aren’t elopements last minute? How soon should we book an elopement photographer?
But what if we want to elope abroad?
Then we should be friends. Travel is what makes my creative heart sing and I would love to capture amazing portraits of you and your partner in awesome places. Head over to my Travel Rates page for details, or check out Travel Tuesday posts to get inspired with some serious wanderlust!
Are you looking for an NYC Elopement Photographer?
More elopement questions? Email me and we can set up a time to chat!
De Nueva Photography | NYC Elopement Photographer | firstname.lastname@example.org | 347.560.1625