In today's digital age, getting married online has become an increasingly popular option for couples looking to start their lives together conveniently and uniquely. New York, with its vibrant culture and diverse population, offers an ideal setting for couples to embark on their journey of matrimony. 

This article aims to guide you through the process of getting married online in New York, highlighting the advantages and benefits of choosing this option for your special day.

The Legality of Online Marriages in New York

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order that temporarily allowed virtual wedding ceremonies in the state. This order was aimed at providing couples with the opportunity to get married remotely by obtaining a marriage license online and having the ceremony conducted via video conference.

However, as of June 25th, 2022, virtual ceremonies are no longer available through New York's local office. Currently, the Project Cupid initiative, which is the official online marriage license application system, only facilitates scheduling for in-person marriage licenses and ceremonies.

Fortunately, couples can still explore the option of getting married online in New York through online platforms like Courtly. In 2019, the marriage license office and information technology departments of Utah County embarked on a year-long endeavor to establish a fully digital process for issuing and recording marriage licenses. This initiative aimed to modernize the Clerk's office and bring it into the 21st century.

Since January 2020, couples have had the convenience of applying for a marriage license, conducting their ceremony, and having the officiant submit the necessary paperwork for the marriage certificate, all through the online system implemented in Utah. This innovative online marriage procedure eliminated the requirement for couples to physically visit the office to obtain and return their marriage license.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Utah online marriage process is that it is open to everyone, regardless of residency. This means that couples from any state can take advantage of this option to legally marry online. Additionally, marriages performed legally in one state are recognized throughout the country, so couples will receive a valid US Marriage Certificate.

Traditional civil wedding in New York

To have a traditional civil wedding in New York, both partners must obtain a marriage license. To obtain this license, there are specific pieces of information that you will need to provide:

  1. Evidence of identity: You will need a valid state or federal ID, such as a driver's license or passport, to establish your identity.
  2. Evidence of residency: If you or your partner is a resident of New York, you will only need to provide residency documentation for one application.
  3. Social Security Number: American citizens are required to provide identification that includes their Social Security number.
  4. Witness: It is necessary to have a witness who is at least 18 years old present when applying for a marriage license.

In addition to the above requirements, both partners must be at least 18 years old and not closely related by blood. If one or both partners are under 18, they may need to obtain consent from a parent or legal guardian. The cost of a marriage license in New York is approximately $35, and payment can typically be made using a credit card.

However, it's important to note that the cost of the marriage license does not cover additional expenses such as transportation to the marriage bureau, the ceremony itself, or the services of an officiant. These are separate elements that couples should consider when planning their wedding.

Obtaining a marriage license online in New York

Yes, it is possible to obtain a New York City Marriage License online through the Project Cupid initiative. However, it is important to note that the online marriage licenses issued through Project Cupid are only valid for ceremonies within New York City. Different counties within New York may have specific requirements.

As of now, Project Cupid focuses solely on online marriage license applications and scheduling for in-person marriage licenses and ceremonies. New York State requires couples to have an in-person meeting with the county to obtain a marriage license. Online wedding ceremonies are not performed in New York. 

Here is a step-by-step overview of how to obtain a marriage license virtually:

  1. Start the application: Click on the "START APPLICATION NOW" button to access the City Clerk's Marriage License application. Once completed, you will need to return with your confirmation number.
  2. NYC.ID account: You will need an NYC.ID account to proceed. You can log in using an existing account or create a new one.
  3. Verification process: Both parties must provide documentation to confirm their identities and marital status. Additionally, you will need to answer personal questions to verify your identity.
  4. Schedule a meeting: You will need to schedule an appointment with the City Clerk to review your application. Choose a convenient time slot from the available options.
  5. Pay the fee: A $35 Marriage License fee will be required, and you can make the payment using a credit card.

It is worth noting that due to the large population and popularity of New York City as a wedding destination, securing an appointment with the County Clerk may be challenging, and there may be a wait time of several weeks.

Additionally, it is important to understand that obtaining a marriage license is only one part of the process. You will still need to find an officiant, plan and organize your wedding ceremony, and ensure that you and your witnesses are physically present in New York for the ceremony. However, other guests may join virtually.

Alternatively, if you prefer to skip the bureaucracy and streamline the process, Courtly offers a convenient solution. With Courtly, couples can complete the entire procedure remotely from anywhere. The platform simplifies the documentation requirements, allowing quick and easy acquisition of a valid US marriage certificate.

Completing the wedding ceremony and legal requirements

After obtaining your marriage license in New York, the next step is to find an officiant who aligns with your beliefs and preferences. This can include religious leaders, judges, or individuals authorized by the Universal Life Church. Working closely with your chosen officiant, you can personalize the ceremony by deciding on the format, readings, vows, and any rituals or traditions you wish to include. Remember to ensure that the ceremony takes place within the jurisdiction of New York, with you, your officiant, and witnesses physically present in the state.

While physical presence is required for the ceremony, you can still involve your friends and family through online means. Setting up a live stream or video conference allows them to virtually join and share in the celebration, regardless of their location.

Alternatively, Courtly offers a convenient and streamlined process for getting married. With Courtly, you can complete the entire marriage procedure remotely, eliminating the need for in-person visits to the county office. This includes obtaining a marriage license, conducting the ceremony online, and receiving a valid US marriage certificate. This option is particularly beneficial for couples facing scheduling challenges or those who prefer the convenience of an online process.

The legality of online marriages outside the United States

If you intend to have your wedding certified or recognized in a country other than the United States, it may be necessary to obtain an Apostille certification. An apostille serves as a guarantee that your marriage license is valid, legally authentic, and acknowledged in all nations that have ratified The Hague Apostille Convention of 1961. It ensures that your marriage document holds international validity and can be easily verified.

While remote appearance ceremonies performed by a Courtly officiant are legally permissible under U.S. law, it's important to note that foreign countries or immigration authorities may not always recognize them as valid, particularly if your partner is a foreign national. In such cases, additional steps or procedures might be required to meet the specific requirements of the foreign country in question.

Acquiring an Apostille certification can help address these concerns and provide assurance that your marriage license will be accepted abroad. It is recommended to research and consult with the relevant authorities or embassies of the country where you intend to use the marriage certificate to understand their specific requirements for recognition.

A step-by-step process for getting married online in New York through Courtly

With Courtly, couples have the convenience of completing the entire marriage process online, from anywhere in the world. Obtaining a legitimate U.S. marriage certificate has never been easier, as it can typically be acquired quickly and effortlessly in under 48 hours, without the need for extensive documentation.

Here's a step-by-step guide to getting married online with Courtly:

1. Sign up and create an account

To begin, simply click on the "Get Married" icon located in the top right corner of the Courtly website. Follow the straightforward on-screen instructions to create your account, and once done, you will gain access to your account.

2. Upload your photos and personal information

You will need to provide a government-issued ID that displays your name and date of birth. Courtly's concierge will use a secure ID verification process to assist you in obtaining your marriage license. Our system accepts a wide range of ID types from over 200 countries, ensuring flexibility and convenience.

3. Choose the format, setting, and officiant for your ceremony

It's time to personalize your wedding! Select a ceremony style and venue that resonates with your preferences. Depending on the time and date you choose, Courtly will match you with one of our legally qualified U.S. officiants, ensuring the legality and authenticity of your online wedding ceremony.

4. Make the payment and receive confirmation

After selecting your desired wedding package, proceed to make the payment. Once the payment is completed, you will receive an email confirmation from Courtly, marking the exciting beginning of your journey toward marriage.

5. Celebrate your marriage with loved ones online

Gather your family and friends virtually to celebrate your special day! With Courtly, you can tie the knot online from the comfort of your own home, or any location with a stable internet connection. The ceremony typically takes around 15 minutes to complete, creating a memorable and intimate experience.​​

Following your online wedding, you will receive a digital copy of your U.S. marriage certificate immediately, allowing you to start the legalities of your union right away. A printed copy of the certificate will also be delivered to you in 1-2 weeks. You can cherish and share your digital marriage license, commemorating the beginning of your marital journey.

With Courtly's seamless online process, couples can enjoy a hassle-free and efficient way to get married, making the journey toward matrimony a memorable and joyous experience.


Courtly offers a convenient and efficient solution for couples looking to get married online in New York. With Courtly's platform, couples can complete the entire marriage process remotely, eliminating the need for in-person visits and paperwork. The streamlined procedures and user-friendly interface make it easy for couples to register, submit documentation, select ceremony options, and celebrate their marriage online.

The innovative approach of Courtly embraces technology, providing a modern and convenient solution for couples who want to legalize their union in the digital age.

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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