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Award-Winning Wedding Officiant in NYC

Common Ground Ceremonies was founded in 2010 by highly acclaimed officiant, interfaith minister, and relationship coach, Rev. Dr. Samora Smith (aka "The Lovesmith"), a BIPOC native New Yorker who comes from a multicultural and multi-faith background. Dr. Samora's vision was to offer ceremony services to all people, no matter their faith (or non-faith), beliefs, or backgrounds. Her goal is to bring unity and harmony to our world by finding common ground and connecting hearts through sacred ceremonies. Common Ground Ceremonies is committed to providing services that make your special celebration nothing short of extraordinary. With a personalized and inclusive approach, we specialize in creating heartfelt wedding ceremonies, elopements, vow renewals, baby blessings and celebrations that truly reflect your unique preferences. Based in New York, we will also travel to provide services, and our goal is always to support you in making your day memorable and special.

We Assist With Choosing the Perfect Setting for Your Elopement in NYC 

Imagine saying "I do" surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Central Park, with its lush greenery and romantic setting. Or perhaps in the now-popular Brooklyn Bridge Park, in between the iconic Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges serving as symbols of your eternal love with the stunning Manhattan skyline in the background. And let's not forget the magical allure of the Rockefeller Center Tree during the enchanting holiday season. At Common Ground Ceremonies, we offer elopement packages designed specifically for couples seeking to exchange vows in these extraordinary locations. Let us guide you to the perfect spot, ensuring that your wedding is a momentous occasion to cherish forever.

An All-Inclusive Packages for an Effortless Celebration
If you are seeking an easy and uncomplicated celebration, we offer all-inclusive micro-wedding and vow renewal packages. With a curated selection of top-notch New York wedding professionals (whom we also consider friends), we bring together a team that will turn your vision into reality. From photography and videography to floral arrangements and live musicians, we orchestrate an unforgettable celebration that leaves you free to embrace every magical moment. Our "Marry Us Now" Special  is perfect for couples who only require a simple signing. For a small fee of $250, we can arrange to meet you at a mutually convenient location, allowing you to complete the necessary paperwork in lieu of a city clerk. We strive to make the legal process effortless, so you can focus on the joy and excitement of your special day.

Elevate Your Love Story with an Unforgettable Ceremony

Your love knows no boundaries, and your wedding ceremony should reflect that. Our award-winning officiants are masters in creating non-denominational, interfaith, and bi-lingual ceremonies that honor your beliefs and values.  We are an LGBTQ+-friendly business and we believe that "Love is Love".  As a staunch Human Rights Advocate, Rev. Dr. Samora has included on her team a Spanish-speaking officiant, as well as a Native American ceremonialist to offer indigenous ceremonies and diversity. In addition to weddings, Common Ground Ceremonies offers a wide range of services from land acknowledgments, house blessings, and any other exciting milestone you wish to celebrate. Most importantly, we take the time to understand your needs, style, and preferences, working closely with you to design a ceremony that speaks directly to your hearts. Your guests will be captivated by the heartfelt moments and meaningful rituals that make your special day truly unforgettable. For those of you who value preparation and wish to start your marriage with proven tools, Dr. Samora also offers private Pre-Marital Coaching and an online program called "The Marriage Success Blueprint Program" to support couples who wish to build a strong foundation in the comfort of your own home, at your convenience, and at your own pace.

From Local to Global, We Travel for Love

New York City is a fabulous destination for your wedding celebration, and our team is also available to provide our services outside of New York. We provide officiant services throughout New Jersey, Westchester, Long Island, and the surrounding areas, and we travel to your preferred destination, be it out of state or abroad. Wherever your love takes you, we are available to celebrate your sacred union. 

Your Unforgettable Wedding Awaits

At Common Ground Ceremonies, we are passionate about creating extraordinary wedding experiences that are as unique as the couples we serve. Let us be a part of your love story and craft a wedding ceremony that surpasses your expectations. Contact us today to begin your unforgettable journey toward a meaningful and personalized celebration of your love.

Ashley & Aaron - Dumbo Loft

"Dr. Reverend Samora was amazing! She was very warm and kind and we loved that about her from the very first conversation we had with her. After that first conversation, we knew she was the officiant we wanted to have for our wedding. She helped us figure out the vibe we wanted for our ceremony and absolutely delivered! 



Instructions on how to obtain your Marriage License and Park Permit in NYC


A New York State marriage license is valid for 60 days (except for active military personnel for whom the validity runs for 180 days) and can only be used in the State of New York. All couples must wait a full 24 hours from the time the marriage license is issued before a marriage ceremony can be performed unless a judicial waiver is obtained.

To book an online appointment and begin the application process online go to the following link (valid for 21 days)

You must be able to show valid proof of I.D. (i.e., driver’s license, passport, etc.) and proof of divorce (if applicable). The fee for a Marriage License is $35 by credit card or money order payable to the City Clerk. Your marriage is not official until the license is signed after the ceremony. After it is signed, the license must be filed with the office to receive the legal certificate. The signed license may be mailed (can take up to 4-6 weeks) or submitted in person.

For International couples, you must file the license in person in order to obtain the extended license and Apostille (if required)


Central Park and many of the city parks require a permit to hold special events. A permit is only required for a group of 20 people or more, however, a permit is still recommended to reserve a specific location. It takes approximately 30 days to receive the permit, so plan in advance. The permit can be obtained at the following link

The fee for the Permit is $25. If you prefer Common Ground Ceremonies to obtain the permit for you, there is an additional administrative fee of $25 applied.

Wedding ring





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