Have you dreamed of being married to someone? Can you legally be married to someone without having the marriage license and having the ceremony take place? Does New York State have laws regarding marriage that other states have?

What about the couple that was always referred to as married, but they never went through the actual ceremony, there were never any documents filed, etc.? Is that a legal marriage according to New York State?

So, what is marriage according to New York State?

Andrik Langfield
Andrik Langfield

What is marriage, according to New York State? It is a binding agreement, that is legal and recognized by the courts. It is an agreement that begins with a marriage license, someone overseeing or witnessing the event, and then the documentation to be filed with New York State. That is what they consider to be a legal wedding.

What about other 'marriages' in New York State? Keep reading. 

Get our free mobile app

What does New York State think about 'Common Law Marriage?'


Common Law marriage is not recognized in New York State. In fact, common-law marriage was abolished in 1933. That being said, there are a few things that New York State will recognize, including if you have been in a Common Law Marriage in another state (that was recognized by that other state) New York will recognize it as well. New York state does recognize the term Domestic Partnership. What is that?

What is a Domestic Partnership as defined by New York State?

Bride and groom figurines standing on two separated slices of wedding cake
Jeffrey Hamilton

So, what is a domestic partnership in New York State? Personally, to me, it sounds a great deal like what one may perceive a Common Law Marriage to be. A Domestic Partnership is when two people are in a close and personal relationship for more than 6-months and do not wish to go through the steps of being married.

While New York State will recognize this, there is also an additional step you can take if recognized by the county you live in. Certain counties in NYS also have a Domestic Partner Registry, which will give proof in emergency situations that you are truly a partner for that person and entitled to the same privileges as a spouse would be.

Thinking about getting married? Make sure you have all of these things on hand

Wedding season is approaching, although some of the weddings that are happening, probably just got put together at the last minute, due to the now loosened restrictions. DJs, photographers, venus, and pretty much all wedding vendors have been extremely excited to hear the news. Now, let's be honest, I think there are going to be some people still a little nervous about taking off their masks, and I'm sure there are going to be some venus that is still gonna require it until New York State decides to follow the CDC guidelines. Before your big day arrives, there are some things you should make sure these items are on point.

What songs really need to be on your ideal wedding playlist? Here they are!

Discover the top 15 first dance songs used at wedding around the world, below (as of March 2022).

6 Things You Must Consider Before You Have a Hudson Valley Barn Wedding

Six things to consider before you book a barn wedding.

12 of the Hudson Valleys Most Gorgeous Fall Wedding Venues

12 of the best Hudson Valley fall wedding venues.

Own a Hudson Valley Farm with Dutch Barn Wedding Venue, Farm Shop and Farmhouse

If you are looking to live on a picturesque farm with income potential we may have just found your next dream home. Located close to everything but tucker away off the beaten path this farmstead has lots to offer. Just a five minute drive to Poughkeepsie, about 12 miles south of Kingston and a stones throw from New Paltz, this farm with main house and farm shop complete with a large Dutch Barn perfect for use as an entertainment space has just about everything you could want.