3 Tips For A City Hall Wedding - Grand Lens Photography

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3 Tips For A City Hall Wedding

As much as we love an extravagant wedding, not every wedding has to be a grand affair.   In fact, countless couples opt for a simple ceremony at their local city hall, which is a less stressful and less expensive option than traditional nuptials - but certainly no less special.  There is something about having a City Hall wedding that is quite chic and modern.  For brides looking to follow in the footsteps of Carrie Bradshaw, Grand Lens Photography constructed a few ideas on how to make your New York City Hall wedding unforgettable.

Hand in hand

1) Bring a few close friends

The marriage ceremony at City Hall requires the presence of at least one person over 18 years of age to act as a witness.   Your photographer can sign as the witness if you choose to have a private wedding ceremony.  Guests lists at city hall wedding are extremely small; couples tend to invite 2-15 guests and some city halls have restrictions.  Try not to invite an immense crowd of people to the ceremony.  There will already be other people in the building and having several guests in your party will feel overwhelming.

2) Book a photographer

Since you are already saving money by hosting a petite wedding, consider investing in a skillful photographer and capture wedding photographs in iconic NYC locations.  One of the best parts of getting married in New York is that you have the city as a marvelous photo backdrop.  Schedule time for portraits after the wedding ceremony.  There are several wonderful location options to choose from all over the city, from the steps of historical museums to Bethesda Terrace and Fountain at Central Park.  City Hall and nearby locations can also make for beautiful backdrops.

3) Plan a reception for your friends and family

Sure, you might have a miniature crowd with you during the ceremony, but you can have any kind of afterparty you crave.  Whether you are thinking of hosting a post-ceremony brunch or an intimate dinner party at a later time, invite your family and friends for a celebratory meal.  One of the easiest ways to celebrate is to host your wedding reception at a restaurant.  Restaurants are, generally speaking, easier to book for events than traditional wedding venues.  For dinner parties, usually booking three to six months in advance is adequate.  Be sure to send a proper invitation to those you are inviting to the reception.  Use the wording 'wedding reception' to indicate that the invitation is for the party and not the actual ceremony.


There are no rules when it comes to eloping. It can be a simple affair with casual clothing on a weekday afternoon with just the two of you and one witness or, similar to a larger wedding, a handful of family and friends on a Saturday evening with formal clothes, a gorgeous spot in Central Park overlooking the Manhattan skyline, and dinner at your favorite Manhattan restaurant afterward. However you decide to get married, you should do what makes sense for you and your significant other. Do not host an extravagant wedding if that is not your taste. Keep in mind that you don’t have to do anything you do not want for your special day. Decide out what is meaningful to you and your partner and don’t worry about anything else. The wedding day is just one day. What really matters is all the days afterward. That’s a marriage.



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