Where to Get Married in NYC for Free
To celebrate the official start of gay marriages in New York on July 24, chapels and ministers all over the city will be joining people in holy matrimony for free, minus the cost of a marriage license. And that matrimony is not limited to LGBT couples -- there's at least one officiant offering her services to all couples. If you're not one of the lucky 764 to win spots in New York's public marriage lottery for a city ceremony on July 24, refer to our list, after the jump. Now updated!
The Pop Up Chapel with the Knot was one of the first free-wedding celebrations we reported on after the passage of gay marriage. Now it's a full-fledged event with sponsors and an architecture contest to design the chapels. That said, registration is closed. So if you wanted this opportunity, hopefully you are already one of the 24 -- a number chosen to signify the day gay marriage bill was signed and the day it became a law, June and July 24 -- same-sex couples already participating. It's happening July 30 at Merchant's Gate in Central Park from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ordained minister Connie Howes is driving down from Kingston, Ontario, to conduct weddings (gay and straight) in Times Square on July 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. She doesn't have specific spot picked out yet, but look out for, in Howes' words, "two tall blondes waving a pride flag." All you need is a marriage license.
Washington Square Park
The Reverends Annie Lawrence and Will Mercer will be performing same-sex weddings in Washington Square Park on July 26. Couples can make appointments, but, as Lawrence told us, there will also be a staff of officiants who can marry walk-ins. Some of the reverends' "professional wedding photographer friends" will be on hand to provide their services also free of charge.
That said, if you want to get hitched on the actual day head to that same park Sunday where officiant Mary Pugh will marry any couple who has a marriage license and the waiver for the 24 hour waiting period from 10:30 to 2 p.m. She told us that the weddings do have to be for under 20 people -- otherwise she needs a permit.
Lower East Side
If you don't want to rush to the altar, you can head over to Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Parish where Pastor Phil Trzynka will be performing free weddings for same-sex couples for an entire year.
Upper West Side
Although the Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York is asking for a donation of $250 to get married during their "Wedding Week," no one will be refused if they can't pay. The weddings start at 1 p.m. Sunday.
If you know of any other free opportunities, let us know.