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Ask How to Put Together a City Hall Wedding?

Q: My partner and I are coming to New York in October and plan to get married whilst we are there. We are staying at The Millenium Hilton. At present we are planning to marry at City Hall as we have not put a wedding package in place. Would you be able to recommend any of the following for us within close proximity or point me in the right direction to find out the information please. We are looking for: florist for a bouquet and button hole, photographer, hair stylist, a restaurant for a meal afterwards and recommended places for photos? Thank you for your assistance, kind regards, Kate


Brooklyn Bridge

The iconic Brooklyn Bridge makes a stunning backdrop for wedding photos (Photo: iStockphoto)

A: Congrats to you and your partner! The first thing to know about getting married at City Hall is that you can’t just show up. You’ll want to check out the NYC Marriage Bureau’s web page in detail, but in short you’ll want to fill out an application ahead of time online, and then both potential spouses must appear together to apply for a Marriage License. There is a 24-hour waiting period from the time you apply for and receive the license to the time your marriage can be performed. You may want to check out the city’s extensive FAQ on the matter, or its page for same-sex couples if that applies to you. Once your 24 hours have passed, you can be married at City Hall (make sure to bring everything you need, including a witness), and know that there are no reservations.

As to your specific questions, there are many florists in New York City. To keep it simple, you’ll likely want to choose one located in the Financial District. If you’re a fan of somewhat bizarre, free-form arrangements, check out Emily Thompson Flowers; for a colorful but more buttoned-up look there’s Flowers of the World; or try City Blossoms, which builds its reputations on clean, modern arrangements.

Photographers vary so much in style and price, we hesitate to recommend one, but there is a list of local photographers at, which should help you find what’s best for you and your partner. As for recommended places for wedding photos, your photographer will likely have some ideas, but the Brooklyn Bridge is a classic wedding backdrop, especially on the Brooklyn side with the bridge and the Manhattan skyline in the background.

Hair, too, is a matter of style and price, but the nearby Fabio Doti Hair Salon caters to both men and women, and its stylists do cuts and color that range from edgy to conservative. Blow-outs are $70, special events hair starts at $100, and makeup application is available starting at $125.

If we had to pick a spot for a wedding meal, it’s hard to imagine doing better than the bright and airy ABC Kitchen just north of Union Square. You’ll have to jump in a cab from City Hall, but you’ll be rewarded with chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s amazing farm-to-table menu, served for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch. Make a reservation, the Michelin-starred restaurant is no secret.

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