Destination Wedding Guide – Getting Married In New York City

02/07/2013 |

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 Image: Amber Johnson via Polka Dot Bride


If you are thinking about getting married in The Big Apple, then our Destination Wedding Guide is a great place to start. We bring you all of the inspiration, information and contacts you need to start planning your wedding in one of the most exciting cities in the world.


The bright lights of this big city make a sparkling stage for a chic metropolis wedding. Come sunshine or snow this vibrant concrete jungle is where weddings dreams are made of. Your guests will certainly be treated to a wedding to remember on the impressive and magical Manhattan island; visiting it’s famous landmarks, enjoying celebration drinks upon sleek rooftop bars and enjoying all things Empire State of Mind!

From grand and glamorous to small and intimate, there’s a wedding style to suit everyone (and every budget) in New York.


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Image: Dave Robbins via Snippet and Ink


Legal requirements

UK couples can legally marry in New York. The wedding ceremonies and the marriage certificate you receive are legally recognised as binding and are in accordance with UK laws.

The legalities of getting married in New York are quite straight forward, however it is always a good idea to use a wedding planner or to make good use of the hotel wedding coordinator (if you’re getting married in a hotel). It will give you peace of mind that everything is running smoothly from across the Atlantic as well as giving you a little hand holding on your arrival in New York – ensuring you’re stress free in the lead up to your big day.


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Images: Amber Johnson via Polka Dot Bride


Marriage License

You will need to obtain a marriage license when you arrive in New York at one of the City Clerk’s offices. Again, if you’re using a wedding planner, they will be able to talk you through this whole process.

  • The bride and groom-to-be need to appear in person at the office with their passports and birth certificates to obtain the license.
  • The marriage license is valid 24 hours after it is issued.
  • On your wedding day, the marriage license needs to be signed by the officiant, the witnesses and the bride and groom and then delivered back to the City Clerk’s offices.
  • The final version of your wedding certificate will then be sent to your home some weeks later.


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Image: Trent Bailey via Grey Likes Weddings


Wedding venues

There are so many exciting locations to get married in the city that never sleeps!

There’s some fantastic venues and hotels in NYC where you can hold both your ceremony and your reception, or with just a little bit of extra planning you can enjoy your ceremony in a beautiful setting and then whisk your guests off in bright yellow cabs or traditional yellow school buses to celebrate your special day at a reception venue of your choice.

A wedding planner can help you to make these all important decisions, book your venue and arrange transportation…along with all of the finer details of course!


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Image: Kuoni – New York Weddings


Popular ceremony locations:



Image: Ultimate USA Weddings via You Mean The World To Me


Popular ceremony and/or reception locations:


Hotels fit for movie stars:

New York is home to some of the world’s most iconic hotels. These hotels are grand and glorious and will no doubt come with a generous price tag!

  • The Plaza – Get hitched like Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway in the movie ‘Bride Wars’.
  • The Waldorf Astoria – Find romance in this historic hotel like J-Lo in ‘Maid in Manhattan’.
  • Four Seasons – Enjoy ‘Sex and the City’ in Mr Big’s hotel of choice in the HBO TV series.
  • St Regis – Show off your  sleek city wardrobe in the hotel which made an appearance in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ – when Simon Baker gave Anne Hathaway the unpublished manuscript for the seventh ‘Harry Potter’ book.
  • The Pierre – ‘Meet Joe Black’ in this landmark hotel – The Pierre’s penthouse was conveyed as the residence of Anthony Hopkin’s character in this haunting film.
  • The New York Palace – Not only a sister hotel to The Dorchester in London, ‘Gossip Girl’ fans will be familiar with The Palace as the establishment that Chuck Bass and his father who own.
  • Mandarin Oriental – “Everyone from Beyonce to Brad Pitt stays at New York’s Mandarin Oriental hotel when visiting The Big Apple…” – Daily Mail 



Image: Ultimate USA Weddings via You Mean The World To Me


Wedding planning services:


Search for more local NYC wedding planners via the following credible USA wedding websites:


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Image: Kuoni – New York Weddings


Hen do

Get your best girls, don your Manolo Blahnik’s and get ready for some Cosmo drinking on the ‘Sex and the City’ Tour.

Try the On Location Bus Tour or the On Location Private Limo Tour!


Getting there

Hopping across the pond to one of New York’s three major airports – JFK, La Guardia or Newark – is a path well trodden these days.

Flights go daily from many of the major UK airports and if you book in advance, or book a flight and hotel package you can find some good deals.


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Image: Trent Bailey via Snippet and Ink



Weddings can be performed 7 days a week and there is flexibility for the time of your wedding.

Spring and autumn are a safe bet for mild  weather as temperatures can sore in the city’s summer. Take advantage of these pleasant seasons and opt for a unique and memorable wedding in leafy Central Park. Or how about a romantic winter wedding? We can picture it now – the city draped in twinkling Christmas lights, the air heavy with glistening snow flakes, the streets bustling with Christmas shoppers and a fur cape wrapped over your shoulders as you head to your candle-lit reception venue. Gorgeous!


We hope this has given you a taster of what a wedding can be like in The Big Apple?

Maybe it has confirmed in your mind that you definitely want your wedding to be abroad, after seeing the ‘Sex and the City’ scenery? 



New York – Real Wedding:

If you think that New York could be the wedding destination for you, take a look at our Real Weddings in New York for more ideas and inspiration.


New York – Real Bride Reviews:

If you think New York could be the wedding destination for you, then take a look at our Real Bride Reviews.

They offer positive, honest recommendations on:



Please Note:

Destination Wedding Guides are meant as just that – a guide to getting started with your destination wedding planning. Please always consult an official in the country you wish to marry, to ensure you have the correct and up-to-date legal paperwork requirements for a legally binding wedding ceremony. We would always recommend using a reputable wedding planner who can fully assist you in such processes.



Comments (4)

  1. kirsty

    Love this site. Great information. Can’t wait to start planning my wedding. So excited. X