As great as they are, traditional wedding ceremonies can be a pain to plan and execute. As such, many couples decide to forgo the ceremony and instead get married at a courthouse. Even though a courthouse ceremony isn’t as extravagant as a destination wedding, your wedding day can still be special and unique if you get married at city hall.
Top 9 Courthouse Wedding Ideas To Make It More Special
With that in mind, the team at City Hall Wedding is here with courthouse wedding ideas to make the day more special. If you are considering a courthouse wedding, check out our blog to learn how to cut wedding costs even more.
Hire a photographer
Regardless of where it takes place, your wedding will likely be one of the most important days of your life. Make sure you hire a photographer so you can get pictures of your momentous day. The good thing about courthouse weddings is they are usually short, which can help you cut down on the cost of hiring a photographer.
To find a photographer, talk to recently married friends, or look for nearby professionals online. If you’re really strapped for cash, you could ask a friend to take some shots with basic equipment. Whatever option you decide, make sure to get some photos before, during, and after the ceremony.
Invite some friends
You won’t be able to have a full-blown wedding party, but you can invite a few friends and family to the courthouse to witness signing your marriage license. One of the benefits of a courthouse wedding is you don’t have to deal with the traditional hullabaloo of deciding how many people to invite. Every courthouse has rules about how many people it allows, so make sure you don’t exceed the guest limit.
Pick the right outfit
When the big day comes, pick an outfit you can feel good wearing. It doesn’t matter how formal or casual it is—you can get married in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt or a traditional wedding dress if you’d like. What matters is wearing something that makes you feel special on the big day.
Some wedding attire designers even have clothing lines specifically for courthouse weddings and civil ceremonies. We recommend wearing white as the bride since it’s a classic wedding color, but the choice is ultimately up to your personal preferences.
Have a reception
Try to invite your guests to a reception after the courthouse ceremony. You can have a small get-together at your house, or you can have a fancy meal dining out. If you want to hire catering services, you can expect a minimum cost of about $25 per plate. Many couples feel it’s well worth it to splurge on a fancy meal for their big day.
If you want to wait until later to have a larger reception, do something special with your new spouse after the ceremony rather than heading straight home. You could grab a fancy drink or have dinner at your favorite restaurant. Or you could just go to Burger King. That’s the cool thing about breaking traditions—you can celebrate your marriage however you want.
Create a gift registry
Wedding gifts are not usually an obligatory part of courthouse weddings. Still, some of your guests may be inclined to buy something for the happy newlyweds.
You can create a small gift registry online with about 15 items like towels, appliances, bedsheets, etc. There are also websites that let guests give gifts of money to the couple to use toward honeymoon travel.
Gift your guests
Wedding favors are another great courthouse wedding idea. Your wedding presents don’t have to be fancy, just something meaningful to commemorate the day. Framed plaques or quotes from the ceremony are great ideas for guest gifts.
Consider presenting the gifts to your guests yourself instead of having them pick them up on the way home. Giving the gifts personally will make them more intimate and meaningful.
Nothing says wedding like a big bouquet for the bride. Choosing the colors and style of your bouquet is a great way to express your personality.
Don’t forget to get floral accessories for your guests, like corsages and boutonnieres. You will only have a handful of people at your ceremony, so flowers shouldn’t cost too much.
Do something special afterward
After your courthouse ceremony and whatever type of reception or celebration, you choose to have with your guests, make sure to do something fun with your significant other. You can splurge for a weekend in a quaint bed and breakfast or fancy hotel, or you could go bowling and drink beer. The point is to make a special memory with just the two of you to remember forever.
Make it personal
Last but not least, the key to any wedding is to make things as personal as possible. You don’t have as many options at a courthouse as you would at a traditional wedding venue. But you can add a ton of personal touches to give your wedding some individual flair.
For example, you can make your favorite snacks for hors-d’oeuvres or write your own vows to read to one another before the ceremony. Some couples like to choose a playlist to listen to at the courthouse, and others give their gifts and decorations a particular theme.
Just think about what’s important to you and your partner and find ways to incorporate that into the proceedings. You can make these personal touches as subtle or pronounced as you want. Even if you aren’t having a big, fancy ceremony, personalized courthouse wedding ideas can create memories that last a lifetime.
City Hall Wedding is here for all your wedding planning and informational needs. If you need more information about wedding specifics, such as obtaining a marriage license in San Francisco or wedding etiquette tips, check out our blog. We’re your resource for planning memorable city hall and courthouse weddings.