• Tamara Merri

How to elope at Worcester City Hall | Worcester, Massachusetts

Updated: Mar 6



How to get married / elope at Worcester City Hall


  1. Make an appointment online to file for your marriage intention.

  2. Apply for a marriage license in person and pay application fee

  3. Make an appointment for your ceremony

  4. Read FAQ to be prepared for your City Hall ceremony

  5. Hire Tamara Merri Photography to document your union and location scout for the best photo locations. (see real elopement photos here)

  6. Find other vendors & nearby attractions for your celebration

  7. Get married! Your officiant will return the license to the appropriate city clerk's office

  8. Order a copy of your marriage certificate either online or in-person



How to get a marriage license in Worcester:


  1. Make an appointment to visit City Hall and file your marriage intentions. Note: At the time of writing this, the online application website service is not working. Instead, call Customer Service at 508-799-1121. Press 1 for English, then 7 for customer service. See all City Hall contact info noted below.

  2. At your appointment time, both partners need to go to Worcester City Hall together (455 Main Street Worcester, MA 01608). Your appointment time will be between M-F 9 am - 3 pm. Bring proof of identity as well as all personal information noted below.

  3. Pay $40 application fee. They accept cash, money order, or check. Make the check is payable to "City of Worcester".

  4. There is a 3 day waiting period before you can pick up your license. Your marriage license is valid for 60 days. If you do not get married within the 60 days you'll need to apply for it again.

  5. If you plan to get married at Worcester City Hall, you don't need to pick up the license 3 days later. Instead, just arrive at your appointment time and they'll print it out. See below for how to make your appointment.

Note:

  • You can apply for a marriage license from any city or town in Massachusetts — it doesn’t have to be from Worcester, just because that's where your ceremony will be.

  • Your officiant must sign and return the license to the city clerk who issued it before the 60-day time period is up.

  • Valid proof of identity includes passports, driver's licenses, state ID, or military ID. While you need your SSN number (or reason for not having one), you don't actually need to have your physical card with you. In addition, you'll also need provide what your name will be after you get married, what your parent's names (and maiden names) are, if your parents were married when you were born, and where each of you were born.

COVID-19 Notice: Due to restricted access to the building, all couples planning to file a marriage intention with the Worcester City Clerk must make an appointment online. At the time of writing this, the online application website service is not working. Here is the City Clerk's contact info:


Phone: 508-799-1121

Fax: 508-799-1194

Email: clerk@worcesterma.gov


Sources: http://www.worcesterma.gov/city-clerk/certificates-licenses/marriage-intentions

https://www.mass.gov/guides/getting-married-in-massachusetts-before-the-wedding



City Hall Wedding Ceremony Details


Making your appointment: Make an appointment to get married when you're at the clerk's office filing your marriage intention. If you don't make an appointment at that time, call clerk's office to schedule an appointment.

When: Monday-Friday 8:45 am to 3:00 pm. The last appointment is at 2:30 pm. Arrive at your scheduled appointment time. It is not necessary to arrive early.


Weekend availability: none


Where: 455 Main Street Worcester, MA 01608. Second floor room 206. The ceremony is sometimes in the vestibule room next to the clerk's office. However, lately under new management it is in the doorway across from the base of the grand staircase.


Officiant: Either the Clerk or Deputy City Clerk will perform ceremony depending on who is there that day.


Cost: $87 fee for the ceremony. Cash, personal check or money order are accepted payments. Make checks payable to "City of Worcester".


What to bring: If you already picked up your marriage license, make sure to bring that. You'll also need a form of a payment and proof of identity. Bring rings or a token if you wish to exchange them.


Guests: You are allowed to bring only 2 guests because of COVID. The representative I spoke to said you can bring a photographer in addition to your two guests. There are no special permits or communication required between the photographer and city hall beforehand.

Dress Code: There is no dress code. You can arrive in a large gown or street clothes. Up to you!


Contact Info: Phone: 508-799-1121 Email: clerk@worcesterma.gov


Languages: Unspecified


See Related Blog : Samantha and Phil's Worcester City Hall Elopement


Ceremony Area

This is where your ceremony will be. The officiant will have their back to the far doors. Through those far doors is the Main Street Exit (currently not in use due to COVID). For the below photo, I walked through the doorway and am standing on the emblem. The officiant's back would be to the camera. At the far end of the photo is the grand staircase which you can see a photo of further down this blog.

ceremony area

Photo locations near Worcester City Hall


Front Entrance of City Hall (the Common's side)

Back Entrance of City Hall (Main Street side)

The spiral stairs and black iron gate on the Main street side

The grand staircase on the 2nd floor inside City Hall

The Worcester Common Oval (ice skating ring in the winter!)

Behind city hall with the lamp posts at night

Union Station

Love You Marry Me Mural on the wall of thee DCU center

Other nearby murals - learn more at POW! WOW! Worcester



Worcester City Hall as seen from the Commons
Worcester City Hall as seen from Main Street (non-courtyard side)
Staircase on the back (non-courtyard side) of City Hall
The Grand staircase in City Hall
Third floor of Worcester City Hall
Love You Marry Me Mural
Love You Marry Me Mural
Love You Marry Me Mural Street View

Pro Tip: Photographers will need a super wide lens in order to photograph the entire wall at once. Probably a 16mm. The above photos were taken with a 35mm.


Nearby Attractions for your Celebration


Eat & Drink

Beer Garden Worcester

Craft Table & Bar

Chashu Ramen

The Muse Bar & Kitchen

Bay State Brewing Co


Desserts

Glazy Susan

Table Talk Pies

The Queen's Cup


Entertainment

WooHaHa

Worcester Palladium


Florist

La Jolie Fleur

Perro's Flowers



How to get a copy of your marriage certificate after your wedding:


You'll want to get a copy of your marriage certificate for proof of marriage for reasons like changing your health insurance or getting a new license. Most orders are filled within 2-3 weeks.


Online - Order a marriage certificate online by clicking here.

Cost: $14 - check and credit is accepted.


In Person or By Mail - Fill out a Marriage Certificate Request Form by clicking here. Submit it to the City Clerk's Office or via mail.

Cost: $12 - If paying in person, cash, personal check or money order are accepted payments. If by mail, only personal check or money orders are accepted. Make check or money order payable to "City of Worcester".


Source: http://www.worcesterma.gov/city-clerk/certificates-licenses/marriage-certificates




FAQ


Parking

There is free 30 minute parking at the City Hall garage right next to the building.


Can I have a photographer at my city hall wedding?

Yes! Right now you are only able to have two guests at your wedding ceremony. Depending on who you speak to, the photographer may or may not be included in that guest count. Recommended photographer: Tamara Merri Photography.


What does the room look like where the ceremony is?

The ceremony is sometimes in the vestibule room next to the clerk's office. However, lately under new management it is in the doorway across from the base of the grand staircase on the second floor.


What is the accessibility like?

There is an elevator inside and a wheel chair ramp outside.


How long does a city hall ceremony take?

Appointments are in 30 minute time slots. The actual ceremony takes anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes depending if you choose to say your own vows or not.


How many people can I have at the ceremony with me?

Two guests.


Can you just show up to the city hall and get married?

No. You need a marriage license first which has a 3 day waiting period. After that, it is required to make an appointment.


Do I need a witness at my city hall ceremony?

No, it is optional to have a witness sign the marriage license.

Do we exchange rings at a city hall ceremony?

You can exchange rings if you have them but it is not mandatory.

Can we say our own vows at a city hall ceremony?

You have the option to say words, but it is not mandatory.


How much does it cost to get married at City Hall?

$127, comprising of a $40 application fee and $87 ceremony fee.

I have more questions about City Hall

For more information not related to scheduling your appointment, call the Clerk's Office at 508-799-1121. Press 1 for English, then 8 for the clerk.


I have more questions about wedding photography

Email Tamara at hello@tamaramerriphotography.com.




Worcester City Hall Info


City Clerk

City Hall Room 206

455 Main Street

Worcester, MA 01608

Entrance: Bell Lobby door at the back of City Hall only. Exit: Main Street door only.


Phone: 508-799-1121

Fax: 508-799-1194

Email: clerk@worcesterma.gov


Office Hours: Monday from 8:45 am - 5 pm. Tuesday - Friday from 8:45 am - 4:15 pm.

COVID office hours: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.


Learn More about City Hall's history by clicking here.


Have question this blog did not address? Leave a comment or email me at hello@tamaramerriphotography.com.

Interested in hiring Tamara Merri Photography for your courthouse elopement? Check out the elopement experience online and submit an inquiry form.

xo,

Tam


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I'm Tamara!

I'm a Massachusetts wedding & elopement photographer. I'm the voice behind this blog and the girl behind the camera. 

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Tamara Merri Photography
Massachusetts based Wedding & Elopement Photographer
hello@tamaramerriphotography.com