How To Plan A City Hall Wedding

Did you decide that a traditional wedding just isn’t for you? The thought of being the center of attention in an all-day event just isn’t something that brings you immediate joy? Perhaps it’s time to consider getting married down at city hall. Having a city hall wedding doesn’t make the celebration any less exciting. Besides, the space already limits the number of people than can be present, and that leaves little to no worrying about decor. A city hall wedding is perfect for a couple wanting to host an elopement or a micro wedding.

bride and groom with ring fingers out, bride wearing short wedding dress

A Guide To Plan a City Hall Wedding

The easiest part about going down to the courthouse to get married is getting to file all your paperwork on the same day. This guide for planning your city hall wedding will look a little different depending on your location. If you want to get married in Colorado Springs, or Hawaii check out these detailed blogs. Lastly, if you still looking for a photographer let’s talk, and I am a destination wedding photographer so let’s cook up some magic.

1: Choose The City Hall Location: Pick which city hall to get married in. This will be the first step in planning your city hall wedding. Don’t limit yourself to just the city halls in your home city. Ever thought of having a destination city hall wedding? Do you have the desire to get married in Hawaii and enjoy your honeymoon all at the same time?

2: Marriage License: Find out what are the requirements to get a marriage license. It’s pretty standard to need your social security number and a state ID. Some states require proof of divorce if there was a previous marriage, and some even ask for blood work. Making sure to look up the requirements for the state you’ll say I do is crucial. I’ve seen the marriage license fee be anywhere from $20-100. Keep in mind this is the standard price for the marriage license, and the actual hall fee may vary.

3: Pick A Date For Your Wedding: This is important so you can schedule your time with the courthouse you have chosen. Perhaps you even want a certain judge. Most city halls will allow you to make an appointment with a specific court-appointed judge. Also, if you are going to invite family and friends they will need a date for sure.

bride and groom studio photos, editiorial wedding photos, bride and groom holding each other

4: Document Your Wedding: ABSOLUTELY hire a photographer, and heck a videographer too! Besides, just because it’s happening at city hall doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to be documented. Your badass outfits, your I do’s, getting ready, and everything in between deserve to be documented. All the memories matter. At the end of the day, professional photos and video is all you’ll have left.

5: Ask The Important Questions: Here are some important questions to keep in mind and ask when planning your city hall wedding.

  • How many guests are allowed to attend your ceremony?
  • Can you have music? Live or playing from a portable speaker?
  • Where is the courthouse ceremony held? Some offer outdoor space
  • Is it private or a room full of other couples?
  • Where can you take pictures?
  • Can we walk down the aisle?
  • Are you allowed to read your own vows?

bride and groom during milkyway, bride and groom having a picnic

What To Wear To A City Hall Wedding:

Add as little or as much tradition as you’d like. Explore your options and see what you enjoy the most. It should be noted you can wear whatever the f* you want to wear. Below I will list some options:

  • Short wedding dress
  • Sleek wedding dress
  • Jumpsuit
  • Veil
  • Mermaid wedding dress
  • Ball gown wedding dress
  • Suit
  • Hats
  • Wedding shoes: heels, boots, flats, sandals, sneakers, and anything you feel comfortable in.
  • Flowers: Have a bouquet done for you

bride wearing satin dress, bride wearing wedding gloves, groom pouring champgine in brides mouth

How To Celebrate A City Hall Wedding:

First of all, please plan to celebrate after your city hall wedding. Consider the more intimate route or even plan to celebrate with some friends and family. For instance, get married at city hall in private and then meet with friends and family. The options are really endless, and you get to control your wedding day.

1: Rent a restaurant, pub, or event space: Have some appetizers, food, and drinks. Frequently couples will have a mini cake just to celebrate.

2: Have a picnic: Depending on your location, and time of the year having a picnic is going to be so much fun. Luxury picnics allow the feeling of having a 5-star restaurant experience despite being a picnic.

3: Have a fun experience: Whatever that fun experience is, just do it. Picture your wedding day, and what you are doing the day of. Just imagine what that would look like. For instance, is a night photoshoot something you want to experience? Imagine being under the stars gazing into your significant other?

4: Book A Studio: There are small studios that allow small gatherings. Therefore, it will feel more like a cocktail hour. Again, the space is small and will allow for an intimate feel. Lastly, as a bonus, you will have some editorial photos.

bride and groom about to kiss, bride and groom photos at city hall, editorial wedding photos

Get Married Your Way

At the of the day the best advice I have is to get married in your own way. However getting married looks for you two, just go for it. Above all the day is about you two as a couple, and that’s all that matters. Cheers to getting married in your own way.

bride taking photos with veil, veil wedding photos, lgntq wedding with veil,

VENDORS:
Photographer: @lesliecarbajalphotography
MUA: @skinbybrea
Hair: @locksbyv
Dress + veil: @lulusweddings
Florals: @columbineflowercreations
Stationary:@petalsandinkdesign
Studio: @kindlecos
Earrings: @blaisandblossom

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Colorado Springs Wedding Photographer & Elopement Photographer