A city hall wedding is a lovely way to avoid the stress that comes with a usual wedding and also a great way to create a small, intimate day but still have lasting memories and celebrate with loved ones.
Read on to learn how to plan some stunning city hall nuptials!
Choose a date
You have so much flexibility on when to get married when you have a city hall wedding! Typically, a traditional venue needs to be booked out nearly a year in advance, but really, you can head over to city hall whenever you want! Have a look at the website for your city’s courthouse, as the days and times can vary between cities. For example, in Chicago City Hall, there are no appointments accepted—it is first come/first served. They hold a special time one Saturday a month for ceremonies, otherwise, they are open during business hours only
Still, minimal planning is required. Be sure to secure your marriage license at least 60 days prior to when you intend to get married, and do not forget it on the day. As long as you’ve got that with you, you could get married during your lunch break on a Tuesday! There’s no way of knowing how busy of a day it may be at city hall, so give yourself a good window of time before they close for the day.
Some states require witnesses to be present at the courthouse ceremony, and some don’t. Part of the reason you may have chosen to have this low-key option may be to avoid the overwhelming process of who to invite, and this certainly limits your capacity. Space in the courthouse is limited, so it’s okay to keep your guests to 6-8 max. It’s completely up to you! You and your partner may choose to just have one best friend each, or just immediate family. Whoever you choose, ensure that those people are there to fully support you and only bring the best attitude.
Invest in the Memories
You’ll be saving money all around, but a photographer is something you should absolutely invest in! Do your research and find someone who reflects a style you and your partner love and wish to exude. Have them accompany you to the hall and for a session afterward to capture stunning shots around your home city! Most photographers bill hourly, and as a city hall ceremony typically takes about 15-20 minutes, you can save a hefty sum and still take your time traipsing around, finding prime locations for photos!
You probably won’t need to go far: some courthouses, like the San Francisco City Hall, are architectural gold, and many a beautiful photo has been taken just outside its doors!
If nothing else, invest time and money in a proper photographer that will allow you to relive the memories for years to come.
Jasmine Lee Photography
You can still feel like a bride without breaking the bank. Many designers are featuring new, less traditional looks specifically for city hall weddings or elopements. Your options range from jumpsuits, short frocks, pantsuits and separates. Not only will these make for a super chic bridal look, but they’ll be easier to transition to post-ceremony brunch or to every-day apparel, and they’ll surely be easier on the budget. Check out sites like BHLDN, Sarah Seven, or even Nordstrom.
Keep The Party Going!
Organize some sort of after-event for something to look forward to, and to add to the celebratory vibes of the big day! Even if it’s something easy, like drinks at your favorite bar or dinner at a fancier-than-usual restaurant, invite some of your friends around to toast to your new marital status!
Style Me Pretty Contributor – Goli Parvinian is a bridal enthusiast and masters student living in Melbourne, Australia. Over the past few years, she has worked for bridal brands in her hometown of Chicago, New Zealand and New York City. You can typically find her in a cafe, face-timing her nieces or out on a long run.