wedding witness nyc

Is a Wedding Witness in NYC still required in 2024? 💌

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New York is the dream destination for many couples to tie the knot. The good news is that getting married in New York is rather straightforward and the required documents are easily gathered. However, if you’re from another city, state, or even country, things may get tricky when it comes to organizing a witness. Especially if it’s just the two of you who were planning on visiting the city for an intimate ceremony.

The question is: Do you need a wedding witness in NYC? The short answer is: Yes!

In this article we are going to explore why a wedding witness is required in the state of New York and what you should do if you don’t know anyone in the city who can step in as your witness.

Skip to the part you’re most interested in: Why do you need a witness in NYC?Who qualifies as a wedding witness in NYC?What are the responsibilities of a wedding witness?What happens if you don’t have a wedding witness in NYC?What to do if you don’t know anyone who can step in as your witness?Wedding Witness FAQ

Why do you need a wedding witness in NYC?

Without at least one witness, you can’t tie the knot in New York. This has always been the case. Before the pandemic, when it was still possible to take advantage of “walk-in” marriage ceremonies, couples were essentially able to approach strangers on the streets and ask them if they were willing to quickly come inside City Hall to be their witness. Sadly, that’s not possible anymore.

The process of getting married has permanently changed and walk-in appointments are not allowed anymore. Not only does this mean that you now have to schedule your appointments in advance, but also that many documents have to be filed ahead of your wedding day. Including the name of the attending wedding witness in NYC.

You have to identify your witness early on in the process of planning your wedding. The first time you have to list the full details of your witness will be when you schedule the marriage ceremony with the City of New York. Don’t just put any name in there, you must submit the person who will be with you on your wedding day, because your witness will need to show up in person and show their ID multiple times and sign several official papers. Needless to say, the witness must also be present during the ceremony.

Who qualifies as a wedding witness in NYC?

Wondering if your witness can be anyone? Yes, it can be anyone, as long as that person is over the age of 18. It doesn’t matter if your witness is from another city, state or country. Neither does it matter if they are not fluent in English. As long as they can provide a valid ID, e.g., a passport, you’re all set!

What are the responsibilities of a wedding witness?

Apart from signing a few official papers and showing their ID, your witness only needs to be present in the ceremony room. They don’t have to say anything and they don’t have to hand you the rings. Of course, if you want your witness to speak a few words or act as the ring bearer, you are definitely welcome to involve your witness during the ceremony.

What happens if you don’t have a wedding witness in NYC?

Showing up on your wedding day without a witness means you will not get married. The Office of the City Clerk is very strict about that. Without satisfying the city’s requirements of having at least one witness, they will not perform your Marriage Ceremony.

What to do if you don’t know anyone who can step in as your witness?

Not knowing someone in the city who can be your witness should not prevent you from having your dream wedding in New York. We are here for you. Our team will happily jump in as your wedding witness in NYC on your preferred wedding day, even at short notice.

We’ve helped multiple couples already and it has always been an honor for us to be a part of their special day. Here’s what you can expect when you request our witness service:

Book your witness package: once you’ve booked your preferred witness package, we’ll reach out to you to introduce ourselves and to confirm details, such as the wedding day and time. Upon confirmation we’ll pick the most suitable witness from our team for you and share their details. Approximately two to three days before the wedding day we’ll reach out once more to make sure nothing has changed on your end.

Wedding Day: we’ll gather approximately 15 to 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment in front of the Office of the City Clerk for a quick meet and greet. After that, we’ll head inside and accompany you to several clerks, show our ID and sign the required papers. When it’s time for the ceremony, we’ll be with you in the room and perform our duty as witness.

Post Ceremony: depending on the package you booked, we may keep on supporting you through the extended process, take a few photos or simply part ways after the ceremony. If you’re looking for advanced wedding assistance, reach out to us, we can make anything happen!

Service FAQ – Wedding Witness in NYC

A stranger as my witness? In case you’re worried about a stranger acting as your wedding witness in NYC because it may shift the focus from your special day to engaging in small talk with a stranger… we totally get you. However, we want to reassure you that our team knows how to make you comfortable and let you enjoy your day. After all, this day is about you, not us! We may ask you how you met, what made you choose New York as your wedding destination, what’s on your bucket list while you’re in New York, etc. Many times this is a fun conversation and lets couples reminisce about their romantic past which is especially nice before a ceremony.

Do I have to stay in touch with my witness? There’s absolutely no obligation from your side to remain in contact if you don’t want to. All you really need from your witness is that they are present and sign the required documents on your wedding day. The witness is not needed at any point in the future anymore. However, if you would like to stay in touch with us personally, please know that we are always happy to hear from you!

In summary, determining who will be your ceremony witness is one of the most important pre-wedding tasks, especially in New York. However, if you don’t know anyone in the city, you can always rely on us. All you have to do is set the date and time, book our witness package and we’ll be there to witness your wedding.

If you still have doubts or questions, feel free to connect with us or directly book a 1:1 conversation with us. We’ve helped many couples fulfill their dream wedding in the Big Apple and we can’t wait to be part of your ceremony.


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  1. Samuel & Mike on June 1, 2024 at 6:52 PM

    Using the inlovewithnewyork witness service for our wedding in the Big Apple was very simple and hassle free which is what you want on your wedding day. Denise was amazing, very knowledgeable with all the questions we asked. Me and my partner would highly recommend this service and you can have peace of mind and enjoy the day!

    • In Love With New York on June 3, 2024 at 9:59 AM

      Hi Sam and Mike, thanks so much for your kind review (our first review ever, yay 🎉 ). It was a pleasure meeting you and supporting you on your wedding day, I had a lot of fun 💜

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