Congratulations! You've decided to ditch the hustle and bustle of a big traditional wedding, and instead get hitched Carrie Bradshaw style in New York's City Hall. Let me be the first to say, "Welcome to the Club".
As someone who eloped herself in NYC, I think I can intimately share a thing or two from experience.
So, are you absolutely, positively, sure you're ready to do this? Okay, here we go:
When's this thing happening? No, honestly, what date do you have in mind? Because that'll make this planning process a lot smoother.
Begin online: City Hall has moved into the 21st century, and now allows you to apply for your marriage license ahead of time. This reduces your wait time when you first come (because you do make 2 trips to City Hall) from 3 hours to 1.5~ish. To pre-apply, go here. Once you've submitted your marriage license application, you have 21 days before it expires to complete the application in person. Follow the instructions on their website and follow all the necessary steps to complete the application.
Don't forget a dress and tie: Just because you're eloping doesn't mean you can't do it in style. But keep it comfortable. Unlike on your wedding day, there's no MOH to hold your dress while you go in the (PUBLIC) lieu.
Speaking of MOH. Yeah, you can still have your BFFs accompany you, but remember, keep the squad levels down. Otherwise, what's the point of eloping?
First come, first married. Living in New York City, eloping to City Hall isn't exactly what some would call a novel idea. So don't be shocked when you arrive circa 2PM and there are 20 other couples ahead of you. To kill the wait, opt for an earlier time in the morning. That way you can be in and out right in a jiffy.
And by Jiffy: I think our marriage ceremony, performed by this guy, lasted about... 3 minutes. From entrance to exit. My wedding processional wasn't even that short! And you say 2 things: I will. I do. Congratulations! You're Married!
Schedule a celebratory Lunch/Dinner. Because you will be hungry after all that waiting.
Lastly, these are totally optional, but do consider getting a bouquet and boutonniere and book a mini session with a photographer for some before and after shots to commemorate the moment. Book these the moment you hit submit on that marriage application, that way it's one less thing to worry about.
When all's said and done, and you're ready to plan the best "Marriage Celebration" bash EVER, Call Me!