Getting Married in NYC as a UK Citizen

Sarah McManus MSc
4 min readNov 22, 2022

or, The British Autistic Lesbian’s Guide to an NYC Wedding at the Clerk’s Office!

Photograph taken by the author

There are so many blogs and articles about how to get married in New York as a foreign citizen, and they all helped me immensely; that being said, I feel like there are some bits that weren’t in all that information. Perhaps my wedding was too niche for a lot of blogs to cover? I don’t think so though.

My wife and I were married a little under 2 weeks ago, in mid-November. We got the idea from a friend of mine who had gotten married over there, and when we heard that it’s quite easy for British citizens, and given that my wife and I really love NYC, we decided to go for it too. My friend gave me a lot of information, and while a lot of it was helpful, some of it was no longer correct due to changes that have happened, predominantly because of Covid.

So let’s have a look at some of the details:

You need to make appointments

It used to be that you couldn’t make an appointment to gain the marriage license or for the actual ceremony, in both cases, you and your partner would have to show up on the day and hope you weren’t there for too many hours. Though this changed in July 2022, many websites still list incorrect information.

Due to Covid, and perhaps just the fact that it makes life easier for everyone, an appointment is now required for both. You can make the appointments a couple of weeks before you want your ceremony to take place — that’s right, you cannot book your wedding months in advance when getting married at the Clerk’s Office Marriage Bureau.

You can start your marriage license application online before even going to the US — it saves a lot of time

Filling out the online forms to apply for your marriage license doesn’t take long when doing it online, but I imagine it was a long-winded process back when you had to complete them with staff at the Clerk’s Office! Nowadays you start it ahead of time, and then book your appointment to finish it. The earliest you can apply for the license is 21 days before you want the ceremony to take place, and the latest is 24 hours after arriving in NYC and 24 hours before the ceremony.

Sarah McManus MSc

Sarah is a UK-based writer with an MSc in Psychology. She writes about mental health & Neurodiversity. She is also the Owner and Editor of The Blade & Beyond.