Wedding in New York
Why not get married in New York!
If you don´t want that traditional wedding, maybe a wedding in New York could be a thought!
The priests working at the Swedish Church are licensed to perform weddings according to the American law
in the state of New York. You can also get married in City Hall if you want.
The Swedish Church cooperate with two Swedish photographers who you can book and then get your nice wedding pictures.
What to think about before you leave and which kind of documents do you need in the US?
One thing is for sure, book in good time ahead! - the Swedish Church have a waiting time of 3-5 months.
One couple who had good luck is Andreas and Marie Gärds who got married in New York, Oct 2006.
When they called the
Swedish Church there were only one time left during the two weeks Andreas and Marie had plans to visit New York!
Below you can read their story. You will get some information about what you shall think about before you leave,
what happend in New York and also a wonderful story about their nice wedding day in a sunny New York.
At the bottom of the page you will find a quick-guide for your wedding planning!
|Andreas and Marie Gärds story!
At last - plans for a wedding in New York.
When our friend moved to New York in 2001, both of us got a strong yearning to travel and visit her. Our trip
have been postponed several time, due to different things, the terrorism attack and our sons birth in 2004.
In October 2006, at last, it became real. We have said to each other as a joke, the day we come to New York we shall do that wonderful wedding that we always wanted to do.
No one of us is a big fan of traditional weddings with lot´s of guests so this was a perfect opportunity. We decided immediately that our 2,5 years oldson should not travel with us. This due to that he is very allergic and in his
age he will not get so much out of the trip.
The thing is also, that his grandmother was willing to travel from Söderhamn to Trollhättan and stay in our
house with our son for two weeks.
With these conditions we knew that both our son and we would get pleased this way.
Before our trip to New York we had to prepare some things for our wedding.
|Preparations before we left
Book time for wedding in the Swedish Church
We started with a phone call to the Swedish Church in New York (No. 001-212-832-8443) to book a date and time for the wedding. We really had good luck, they only had one time left during our visit to New York.
(it is really important that you phone and book in good time ahead, it is often fully booked at least 3-4 month ahead).
At the Swedich Church in New York they normally have weddings/blessings Mondays and Thursdays at 1 PM and 3 PM. The cost is
$360 (in cash). We are the Church important importers. Therefore they are very pleased if you can bring along Swedish
coffee, a new hardbound book of a Swedish author (to their library) and some bags of the Swedish candy
(to their cafe).
Wedding dress and suit
Both of us wanted to have the traditional wedding clothes. Andreas already had a suit that would
fit for the occasion but I needed to look for a wedding dress. Were should I start?
I checked how much it would cost to
sew a wedding dress, but I decided very soon that $1000 - $1500 was to much. I had great luck, I went in to a
little shop by a coincidence and they had bought wedding dresses from a liquidation company. To my suprise, I found a dress
that fitted me perfectly.
After that I bought some piece of jewelery, a shawl and underwear. All this plus Andreas outfit and of course the well choosen
wedding ring we brought with us from Sweden to "The Big Apple". Nice to have all this done and not having to
run about in New York to buy or rent clothes!
Our friend in New York helped me to book time for manicure, make-up and hair before the wedding.
(It is very pratical to have
a person on place who can assist you).
Photographer in New York
We also thought it would be nice to take some professional wedding photos to have as a wonderful memory. On the Swedish Church
homepage there is a link to a Swedish girl who works as a photographer in New York, Maria Melin.
Together with Maria we decided were to take the photos and we got really nice pictures of us in the church and
pictures at Brooklyn Bridge. The reason why we choosed Brooklyn Bridge was that we wanted to have the skyscrapes in the background and that it is a famous New York sight. Many wedding couples choose to take their pictures here.
(Contact Maria Melin for more information and current prices- to website)
Consideration of impediments to marriage
and wedding form
After we had booked time for wedding and photographer we had to apply for a "Consideration of impediments to marriage" from our local Tax office och and a "Marriage form" from our parish, (at least one person have to be a member of the
Swedish Church in Sweden to get married in the Swedish Church in New York)
Hotel for two nights
After our wedding we wanted to stay two nights at a hotel. Before we left we checked the internet for conceivable options.
Both cheap and expensive places. At last we decided to stay at Radisson Lexington Hotel which are located at 511 Lexington Avenue 48th St,
just a few blocks from the Swedish Church. The hotel was both good and nice and the price was reasonable to be in New York,
approx $285 per night.
|Arrival to New York
When arriving in New York we had to get a "Marriage license". This license can be applied at Municipal Building, 1 center Street
(at City Hall) in Manhattan.
Because we stayed at our friend in Brooklyn, we choosed to go to a Municipal Building "Borough-office" which is located
in the center of Brooklyn. The present cost for a "Marriage license" is $35.
At the Municipal Building you can only pay with a "money order". This can be bought at an American post office.
We bought our at Western Union (60 Hudson St), there are many offices like that in Manhattan. Both contracting parties must be
present and sign the papers to receive the "Marriage license".
Municipal Building is a very bureaucratic place, so
be there in time!
Blue pens, don´t belong here!
We accidently used a blue ballpoint pen instead of a black that was placed at the table were we should fill in our
information. This we shouldn´t have done. When we came to the ticket window we immediately became harshed rebuked
and had to stand in line for a new application form. Sorry to say, this we had to perform several times before the
personnel could approve our application.
Anyway, when everything was done and the form was complete and approved, a small biter lady sat down and put our
information into the computer, what then happend with our careful filled out form, we do not know.
Sad to say, but we do not have anything positive to say about Municipal Building, but of course maybe the personnel had a bad
|To think about when you arrive here,
check the information on all the signs that you will find spread out on the walls in the
building. There we found the information about the pen!
Identification at Municipal Building
At Municipal Building you have to identify yourself, for example with a passport. If someone of the partners is divorced,
you may have to show translated documents from the court, with the date when the divorce became
For the most part there are rigorous safety checks in entire New York, also when you enter to Municipal Building.
After everything was done we had to visit the
rest room in the basement. Even here they checked the persons that had to wee-wee.
We had to sign our names and the time we entered the rest room.
Now we were tired of all questions and all checks and just wanted to leave the building as quickly
A wedding can take place 24 hours after you have got your Marriage license issued and the license is valid for 60 days.
The Wedding day!
When the big day came we took a cab to downtown Brooklyn and a beauty salon to
I made may hair, nailes and make-up at Irene Dinov, 119 Montague Street, Brooklyn. The cost was $140, it was a really
good price if you compare to Sweden.
The bridal bouquet I ordered one week before the wedding, at a flower shop across the beauty salon, James Weir Floral, 160 Montague Street,
Brooklyn. Also this was really cheap if we compare to Sweden. For a a bunch of roses, 25 dark red big roses and Andreas
jacket rose we paid 60$. Fantastic!
After that we took a cab to the Swedish Church which are located in Manhattan, 5 East 48th Street.
When we arrived we met our photographer, who was with us the whole afternoon. We also met our priest, Sofie Moritz, who we have
met earlier in the week when we went through our wedding ceremony.
We brought with us two songs on a CD from Sweden that we wanted to be played during our wedding. Those were "Aldrig ska jag sluta älska
dig" with Jonas Gardell and "Det vackraste" with Cecilia Wennersten.
The cantor played the song with Cecilia and the other song with Gardell was played on a CD-player.
No problem for the priest or the cantor and we could say and decide and come up with suggestions about the most part.
Everything was really easy going.
After the wedding
Coffee and Princess cake
After the wedding, which took approx 25 minutes, we were offered coffee and Frödinge Princess cake!
Photos at Brooklyn Bridge
After the wedding we took a cab to Brooklyn Bridge were our photographer took fantastic pictures of us. After a couple of days
we got a CD with all the pictures. (Really a good way to bring our photos back to Sweden)
We had really good luck with the weather, the whole firts week it was really cloudy, cold and a little rain, but
the same day we got married the sky became blue and the sun was shining the whole day and not a cloud in the sky!
Check in at the hotel
After photographing we went back to the Swedish church were we had left our luggage as we should stay at
a hotel the two coming nights. We took our luggage and went walking, in our wedding clothes, along 48st Street down to
our hotel, it was really fun, as we got a lot of attention from people while we were walking.
When we checked in at the hotel we were upgraded to a better room, just because they saw that we had got married,
this was really a nice gesture from the hotel!
Wedding dinner and the ladies from America
Earlier in the week we had walked around a little and looked for a restaurant were we could have our wedding dinner.
At last we decided a restaurant that a guy from the Swedish Church recommended to us.
The restaurant is the Blue Hill and it is located just at Washington Square Park. When we arrived to the restaurant
in a yellow cab in our wedding outfit, we got the best table by the window.
Two odler ladies sat at the table beside us and we asked them if they could take som photos of us. They thought it was
great that we had got married and they joked with the waitresses the whole time and said "The bride need some
We spoked with them during our whole dinner. When they left, one of the ladies came back to Andreas and
said something like "in behalf of my newly deceased mother...." and slipped a rolled bill to Andreas, who quickly put
the bill in the pocket, without looking at it.
He thanked the lady and then she and her friend went to the closet to get their jackets.
Me and my friend was of course curious and said at the same time after they have left.
- What did you get? then Andreas took out the rolled bill and looked at it,
He had received a $100 bill !!!!!
……Only in America…!!!!!
Champagne at the hotel room
When we returned to our hotel, it rang on our telephone. Some minutes later a guy came up with a bottle of
champagne and a box a chocolate!! Very surprised we took the delivery and read the note on the bottle.
The note said:
"To the wedding couple, with love from Sweden"
Then we understood that the gift were from Jonas and Anna (my brother and his wife), they were the only one that knew
that we should get married in New York.
This was a very great and a nice ending on a fantastic wedding day!
Ending and return to Sweden!
One thing is for sure, we will return to our friend to this amazing city !!!!!
When we arrived in Sweden, in fact the same day as we landed, we had arranged a small wedding party. The party were
with our closest family and friends. We had arranged the party before we left for New York and had ordered a nice steak on a board and had guessed how many
people that should come.
We phoned from New York and confirmed our order. Our relatives had to help us to pick up the cake and the steak.
Even the cake we had arranged before we left.
We bought our cake from the English Cakehouse in Gothenburg. The shape of the cake was like an apple with a wedding
couple on the top. Very humorous and nice at the same time.
Everything was successful and this is a memory that we will never forget!
Marie & Andreas Gärds, Trollhättan, Oct 2006
Checklist for your wedding plans in New York
|Book time for your wedding.
The Swedish Church in New York perform weddings.
Note! phone them a good time ahead.
No.001-212-832-8443 (in most cases fully booked 3-4 month). Check their homepage which days
they perform wedding. A nice gesture, bring som Swedish candy, some coffee, a Swedish book or something else to their cafe. They will be so happy. After the blessing/wedding the Swedish Church
will offer coffee and cake
|Book time with a Swedish photographer in New York
||At the Swedish Church webpage you can contact these two Swedish photographers.
|Consideration of impediments to Marriage
||Order consideration of impediments to marriage from your local tax office.
||Order Marriage form from your parish (at least one need to be a member in the Swedish Church to get married in
the Swedish Church in New York)
|Book your stay
||If you don´t stay with persons you know, it is best to book your stay in good time ahead. You can book
everything from a hotel to an apartment.
|Arrange with Marriage License
||(you will need a Marriage license to get married in New York state).
The marriage can take place 24 hours after the issue
of the Marriage License and the license is valid for 60 days. Both parties must also be able to indentify oneself and also
sign the documents. You can only pay with a "money order". (This can be bought at an American post office). Cost $35 (2006).
More information here
||Book a nice restaurant after your wedding.
Make-up / Hair
Music for your wedding
You can also prepare some of the above in Sweden. Andreas and Marie brought with them their clothes, rings and music
from home and arranged with make-up, hair, bridal bouquet and dinner in New York.
We thank Marie and Andreas, for
sharing their experience and their wedding celebrations in New York.