how we got our marriage license

The hall of dreams!


Being a summer baby, I never had to go to school on my birthday. After graduation, I made it my beeswax to take vacations over the week of 4th of July. This way I was off for my birthday (the 3rd) and since generally everyone already has off for the holiday, it's an excellent week to scoot out of the city.

Getting married on the 13th of this year means it's not really prudent to take a week-long vacation over my birthday (I still thought about it), but I knew there was no chance I was sitting inside an office when I could be outside celebrating ME, HRH Juliet.

But, being the multi-tasker that I am aspire to be, Mike and I decided to be productive and get our marriage license in the morning. If we were both off, we wouldn't be stressing if the line at the City Clerk's office was two hours long. We woke up bright and early at 7:30 and got to the office a little after 8:30, right when the building opens. There was a bit of a wait, but nothing too tortuous. Excellent people watching, by the way.

The line. Note the duo in the matching white outfits. 


The City Clerk's office is like heaven's version of the DMV. You still get a little piece of paper spit out of a machine with your number on it, but everyone is smiling and you don't have to get your picture taken. Well, unless you want to. There's a giant wall with a photo of the city of New York for newly-marrieds to pose with. And, as I mentioned before, you can start your application online, meaning by the time you get there you don't even have to fill out any forms. The building has marble columns AND there's a gift shop you can peruse while you wait for them to call your number.

Not too shabby.


What I didn't realize until I started this process is that you're not actually married when you get you leave this office with your paperwork. You can tie the knot here, but you need to bring a witness and you will have to complete an official, albeit short ceremony. For couples like us who are planning on having a more traditional ceremony, you bring the paperwork you receive at here to your officiant, who then signs it and sends it back to the City Clerk. Your official license is sent in the mail about eight weeks later.

Everyone, whether they're getting married or just applying for their license is in the same line, however, so it was a lot of fun to see all the couples just minutes before they said "I do." There were some ladies in full-on ball gown wedding dresses and others just in short white cotton sundresses. But everyone really did look radiantly happy.  I think it also warmed both our hearts to see so many gay couples that morning. New York is a great state.


I was also very impressed by the selection of bridal accoutrements in the gift shop. Check out the collection of fascinators in the above photo! I almost bought one just because I want to be British royalty all the time, but I restrained myself.

Just like the DMV!


We waited only a little bit for our number to be called and then it was a pretty simple process. Our lady verified our information, printed out a form for us to give to our officiant Katherine, and that was it. There were photographers waiting outside the building to take "official" photographs, if you felt like paying. Intrepid!

When we left, about an hour later, there was hardly any line at all, so for anyone planning on going soon, it doesn't seem necessary to get there right when doors open.

Six days left!

how we're choosing our wedding songs

how we chose our cocktails