Can we get married anywhere?
Technically in NYC you are able to tie the knot anywhere, unlike in some states/countries where the venue itself must be registered. But it still requires some investigation - some public spaces require permission, some require permits, some are not very friendly towards group gatherings, and others still are completely fine to show up unannounced and have your wedding. In Central and Prospect Parks, for example, you are absolutely allowed to get married anywhere you like, but it's a really good idea to buy a permit if you have a specific spot in mind. (You can get a permit for $25 for an hour). These parks are very popular wedding destinations - a permit gives you some peace of mind that your dream spot will be available when you get there, while also giving you the right to ask others to leave the space. You won't need a permit or permission to get married on the steps of the Met, or on the beach at Coney Island, or in some spots in the big parks. But if you wanted to get married inside the museum, I recommend contacting the venue itself. And if you have your sights on Ladies Pavilion or Wagner Cove in Central Park (for example), getting a permit is highly recommended being that they are so popular.
Generally if you have more than a couple of guests, it's a good idea to explore the idea of permits and/or permission, so you aren't disappointed on the day. I'm happy to chat with you about that.
We are eloping, just us two, can you help us get a witness?
If you have a photographer, that person can stand in as your witness, but if it's just you two and you are seeking a witness, I can absolutely help you with that.
Can we use confetti and/or decorate in the parks?
Sorry, you aren't allowed to throw confetti in the parks. The parks are refuges for much wildlife - confetti pollutes the lakes and ponds and can also be mistaken for food for birds, turtles, squirrels, raccoons, etc.
It is also not recommended that you decorate gazebos etc. (The park itself is so beautiful, all year round.) Even if you have a permit, you will be asked to clean up after yourself and leave the space just as (or better than) you found it. Often there will be another wedding right after yours and there won't be time for you to dismantle decorations amidst all the celebrating. There are no staff members coming in to clean between ceremonies, unfortunately.
Let's keep the parks beautiful and safe for all who visit.
What is the process of working with Sacha Jones Ceremonies?
We will have a conversation on the phone or zoom where we'll learn more about each other, and see if we are a good match and which package works best for you. If you decide you would like to work with me, then I'll create a contract, ask for a deposit of 50%, then send you two questionnaires. The first will be to work on as a couple, the second one will be a "secret" questionnaire, that you each fill out separately, where you share what you adore about your fiancé. From there, I will create your personalized, love-story-centered wedding ceremony.
Can you recommend a venue, ring maker, florist, photographer, wedding musician, etc...?
Yes, I have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing wedding vendors across the years who I love to recommend.
We have no idea what we're doing! Help!
You are in good hands, fear not! That's why it's really wise to work with a trained, certified and highly experienced lifecycle celebrant. I've worked with hundreds of couples and created a wide range of ceremonies, from the very simple to the very elaborate and everything in between. Our initial conversation and my detailed questionnaires will really help me to help you know what kind of ceremony you want.
Wedding License FAQs ~
Much of the following pertains to New York City and New York State. While some of the same principles are true for other states and cities, it's important to look into rules and guidelines for the state or area you are planning to marry. You must get a license in the same STATE you are getting married, but you are welcome to get a license in any county or city within that state. For example if you live in NYC and are getting married upstate NY, you can still get your marriage license in the city (in any borough). Likewise if you are having a city wedding but live upstate, you can absolutely go to your local clerk's office or registrar to get your marriage license. If you live in New York but are getting married in New Jersey (for example), you must get your license in NJ.
Can you "legally" marry us?
Yes, absolutely. I am an ordained minister with the Universal Brotherhood and am registered with the City and State of New York. (I am able to officiate in other states too, something we verify in advance if ever unsure).
How do we apply for our Marriage License?
You'll find everything you need to know about applying for your Marriage License in New York City here:
Please be aware that, except in very specific circumstances, a Marriage License issued by the New York City Clerk's Office needs 24 hours to mature, and expires in 60 days. This means that there must be at least 24 hours between the time you are issued your Marriage License and your ceremony, and that your ceremony must take place within 60 days of when you obtained your Marriage License.
Who submits the signed Marriage License to the Clerk's Office after our ceremony?
Once all necessary parties have signed your Marriage License, I, as your officiant will take the license and mail it to the Clerk's Office in the envelope that the Clerk's Office gave you when you were issued the license. Before placing it in the mail, I will make a copy of the license for my records and will email copy. If you would like to obtain your Marriage Certificate from the Clerk's Office in person, please see answer to "What if we need a copy of our Marriage Certificate sooner than 6 to 8 weeks?" below.
Do we need a witness for our ceremony?
Yes, you need at least one witness for your ceremony, though you are allowed to have two. The only requirement is that any witness be over the age of 18; it is not necessary that he or she live in the United States. If you need assistance obtaining a witness, we are happy to provide one during your ceremony for an additional fee.
How soon after our wedding can we expect to receive our Marriage Certificate?
The short answer is "it depends." It is not uncommon for it to take up to 6 to 8 weeks for your Marriage Certificate to arrive, especially if you are married during the height of wedding season in the late spring to early fall when the Clerk's Office is at its busiest. However, we've also had clients receive their Marriage Certificates in just a couple of weeks, though that is usually the exception, not the norm.
What if we need a copy of our Marriage Certificate sooner than 6 to 8 weeks?
If you need a copy of your Marriage Certificate more quickly, just one, or both of you may take your signed marriage license to the Manhattan Clerk's Office Only in the first 5 business days following your wedding. The Clerk's Office will process your license on the spot and issue you a Marriage Certificate that day.
We are from another country - how do we make sure our marriage is legally recognized back home?
New York City is a wonderful place to get married, and we love that so many couples travel from other countries to celebrate their weddings in this amazing city. However, before traveling to New York to get married, please remember to contact the authorities in your home country and confirm what you'll need in terms of documentation so that your marriage is recognized at home. Once you know what is required by your own government, you'll know what questions to ask the Clerk's Office when you apply for your Marriage License and what steps are necessary to get the documents that you'll need!
A great place to start is the City Clerks website where, under the heading "Fees," you'll find information regarding how to obtain an Extended Marriage Certificate and Apostille in person. In addition, you'll find information on how to request an Extended Marriage Certificate by mail under the heading "Marriage Records Request by Mail". If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to call the City Clerk's Office directly to be sure you know how to obtain whatever is necessary to make your marriage legal in your own country. As you might imagine, the Manhattan Clerk's Office can be a bit difficult to reach, so we've included the contact information for those offices in New York's other boroughs as they will also be able to answer your questions.
New York City Clerk's Office Phone #s ~
Staten Island 718-816-2290