Marriage is one of the most important events in a couple’s life. A couple can decide to marry in a lavish manner or in a simple way. When it comes to hosting a simple wedding, civil weddings are pretty popular.
There are a lot of positive aspects to having a civil ceremony for your wedding. A traditional wedding will run you a very high amount of money. Also, it takes a lot of time and effort to organize a wedding. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, an increasing number of couples are choosing to have intimate weddings attended by only their closest friends and family members.
There are numerous benefits of getting married at a courthouse. A marriage ceremony performed in a courthouse is not only economical but also speedy and simple to customize.
So, if you’re also planning to host a wedding at a courthouse, then this post is for you.
In this post, we shall discuss everything you need to know before getting married at a courthouse.
Let’s get started…
Table of Contents
What Exactly Is A Wedding In The Courthouse?
A wedding in the Courthouse, also known as a civil wedding, is a wedding ceremony that takes place in a courthouse. A courthouse wedding does not involve any religious celebration. It, in fact, enables you to marry your partner legally. These weddings are usually simple and without any frills and frails.
Also, unlike traditional weddings, civil weddings are typically simple. You can have only a few guests at your civil wedding, like less than ten guests in attendance. In addition, a wedding that takes place at a courthouse may typically be completed in under ten minutes. It is because the process does not require performing any rituals or traditions that are traditionally associated with a wedding. You don’t even need an officiant or a preacher at your wedding in the Courthouse.
In the courthouse wedding, all you need to do is to sign a legal marriage document in order to get wed-locked. You don’t have to trade rings with your partner. If you want to exchange rings at the wedding in the Courthouse, you can do that. It is completely up to you whether or not you participate in any of these traditions. However, participating in them is not required by law.
These weddings are simple, involving only a legal officer, such as a judge or court clerk, who will preside over a wedding that takes place in the Courthouse.
All that is required for a courthouse wedding is for the bride and the groom, along with witnesses, to get wed-locked. Once you sign the marriage license, you become a married couple.
How To Organize A Courthouse Wedding?
Unlike traditional wedding ceremonies, civil weddings are easy to organize. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a civil wedding. However, you can always customize your wedding at the Courthouse. Of course, your will need to spend some time planning and organizing a courthouse wedding. Your special day will go off without a hitch if you do this to ensure its success.
Here are some of the steps that you need to take in order to organize a courthouse wedding:
1. Pick Up The Location
A local government office is a typical place to submit your application for a marriage license. However, a courthouse wedding does not necessarily need to take place inside a courthouse.
Your actual wedding ceremony can take place pretty about anywhere, from the local municipal hall to a wedding chapel in Las Vegas.
You also have the option of hiring a Justice of the Peace to preside over the ceremony of your courthouse wedding at a location of your choosing, such as your own lawn.
Due to the fact that it is not a religious ceremony, you have a great deal of leeway when it comes to the ceremonial side of your wedding.
However, there are a few conditions for getting married that differ from one state to the next. For instance, some states demand that you submit your application for a marriage license in the same municipality as the one in which you intend to get married.
2. Check Our The Courthouse Wedding Rules
Once you have decided on a location, you should look into the local rules. You can either check online or you can get the information by visiting the office of the city clerk in your area. Check to see if you need to schedule an appointment for your wedding at the Courthouse while you are doing your research. You can also find out if the Courthouse has its own witnesses available or if you need to bring your own.
3. Submit An Application For A Marriage License
After you have determined where you want to get married and have become familiar with the prerequisites imposed by the municipality, you must submit an application for a marriage license. A city hall or other agency of the local government is typically where you make your application for a marriage license.
4. Have All The Documents In Place
Unlike a traditional wedding, you will need to submit your and your would-be partner’s documents in order to get wed-locked at the Courthouse. Here is the list of documents that you’ll need to present before the court for the wedding:
- Latest picture of you two (you and your partner).
- Documentation verifying your identity and those of your partner, such as your driver’s license or your passport.
- A copy of the final Dissolution (or divorce papers if either you or your partner has been previously divorced).
- Birth Certificates of you two (you and your partner).
- Cash as you will need to pay for the marriage license. Prices can differ from one county or state to another. You can contact the office of the city clerk in your area to know the cost of a marriage license in your region.
Make sure to have a folder containing all of the necessary documents in advance so that you don’t miss on anything.
Also Read: All The Marriage Paperwork You Need to Know
5. Know The Expiry Of Marriage License
Most marriage licenses have an expiration date. This indicates that you will need to plan your ceremony in such a way that it takes place prior to the expiration of the marriage license. There are certain expiration periods that last for only 30 days, while others last for up to 90 days.
6. Keep The Waiting Period In Mind
In some states, you are required to wait a certain amount of time after you have obtained your marriage license before you are legally able to get married. The duration of the waiting period ranges from as little as 24 hours to as much as 6 days. When deciding when to have your wedding, you should take into consideration the waiting period as well as the expiration dates.
How To Plan A Courthouse Wedding?
At terms of preparation, a wedding in a courthouse is no different from any other. A lot less is involved in a nontraditional ceremony, but there are still some constants, like the wedding dress and accessories you choose.
Even while you won’t be able to have a typical ceremony at a courthouse wedding, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the day unique for you and your partner. Here are some of the things that you’ll need to plan in advance for your courthouse wedding:
- Wedding Attire: When it comes to the courthouse wedding, you are free to dress formally or casually, whatever you like.
- Wedding Vows: The couple is free to choose whether they want a serious or humorous tone for the ceremony, which includes the exchange of vows. Even though the traditional wedding ceremony at a courthouse does not entail the exchanging of rings, you and your partner are free to do so if you so choose. You ought to most likely say your vows, trade rings, and take other traditional steps. Plan ahead of the day so that it goes as planned.
- Wedding Guests: Civil weddings are a simple events so you don’t need to invite too many people for your courthouse wedding. More often than not, only a few people are allowed for such events, including your witnesses. Usually, only friends and close family members are invited. Make sure to check with your venue to see the maximum number of visitors that are permitted.
- Wedding Witnesses: You are required to have at least two witnesses. Make sure to arrange for wedding witnesses in advance and let them know about their role at your wedding.
- Wedding Time: Courthouse weddings take place throughout the week, typically during normal work hours. Make it a point that your visitors (and witnesses, if you have any) are accessible during certain times.
- Wedding Photography: Of course, you would want to capture all the important moments of your D Day. For that, you will need a wedding photographer as well. If budget is a constraint, you can ask one of your passionate photographer friends to do the needful. Before the event, check with the Courthouse to see if you are allowed to take photographs or videos during the ceremony.
- Wedding Reception: After your courthouse wedding you can host a wedding reception. Make sure you plan everything, from your attire to food and décor in advance.
Now it’s time to answer the main question…
How Much Does It Cost To Get Married AT A Courthouse?
The cost of getting married at a courthouse might range anywhere from $25 to $100. The best is to give the Courthouse in your area a call to find out the exact cost of a courthouse wedding. Aside from this, you will also have to take care of the cost of the marriage license. In some cases, you may be required to pay an additional price for the civil ceremony.
To know the exact cost, you should consider visiting the Courthouse in your area. It will help you have a complete understanding of the courthouse wedding.
1. How To Go Ahead With A Courthouse Wedding?
It’s very simple! All you need to do is to choose the location where you want to get married at a courthouse. After that, get all the information from the Courthouse of that area, including the cost of a wedding at the
Courthouse. You’ll need to keep your things, such as your documents, etc., ready in advance. Arrange for a marriage license and be there on the decided date. That’s all!
2. Are A Marriage License And A Marriage Certificate The Same?
No, there is a difference between a marriage license and a marriage certificate. The marriage license is acquired before the marriage in order to get married at the Courthouse. Before you can officially get married, you and your spouse are going to need to go through the process of applying for a marriage license.
Following the wedding ceremony, you, your partner, and any witnesses will need to sign the marriage license. After that, your officiant will deliver the license to the office of the city clerk.
After that, you will be given the certificate of marriage. The marriage certificate is an official document that acts as proof of your wedding. A recognized government entity, such as the office of the municipal clerk in your location, grant marriage certificates.
In order to be eligible for a visa or green card that is based on your marriage, you will need to have the formal record of your marriage, which is the marriage certificate.
3. Which All Documents Do I Need To Present At The Courthouse Wedding?
Here is the list of documents that you’ll need to present at the Courthouse:
- Your marriage license
- Documentation verifying your identity and those of your partner
- You and your partner’s birth certificates.
- Your number from the social security system
In addition to these documents, you are needed to have the necessary funds to pay for the wedding ceremony.
NOTE: Make sure to collect all the details in advance from the courthouse in your area where you’re planning to get married.
4. When Should We Submit Our Documents?
Well, you don’t need to submit your documents in advance. You need to present your documents on the day of your wedding in the Courthouse. Make sure to bring a folder containing all of the necessary documents with you.
5. How Many Witnesses Do We Need To Present At The Court?
You’ll be required to have at least two witnesses to be presented at the Courthouse – one for you and one for your partner. Your witnesses should be at older than 18 years old. You can ask your friends and see if they can help you out. These individuals are required to accompany you to the Courthouse.
6. What Are the Fees to Get Married at the Local Courthouse?
The amount that must be paid to get married at the Courthouse might range anywhere from $25 to $100. Be sure to give the Courthouse in your area a call to find out the exact costs. You will be responsible for covering the cost of the marriage license. In some instances, you may be required to pay an additional price for the actual civil ceremony.
7. What To Expect After Your Wedding At The Courthouse?
A marriage ceremony performed at a courthouse typically does not involve a lot of fanfare and can be completed in a relatively short amount of time. Your wedding in the Courthouse can be tailored to your specific preferences in any way you like. There is no one golden guideline that must be followed in order to have a good wedding in the courts.
8. How About A Wedding Reception After The Courthouse Wedding?
The courthouse wedding is for those who love a simple format. As far as your wedding reception is concerned, you can always choose to host the reception at a restaurant or at some banquet hall. Make sure to arrange for your wedding reception well in advance.
Pick an activity that the two of you would like to do together and that will help to ensure that your wedding day is one that you will never forget.
Putting it all together…
So, this is all about the wedding at the Courthouse. We hope you’re able to comprehend that courthouse marriages are simple and easy to organize. In addition, A marriage ceremony performed in a courthouse is not only economical but also speedy and simple to customize. So, if you don’t feel like hosting a large-scale wedding or are looking forward to an intimate wedding ceremony, then a courthouse wedding is for you. You are free to create a ceremony that is suited to your preferences.
If you put in the necessary preparations, getting married in a courtroom can be a memorable and enjoyable way to commemorate your big day.
Happy Wedding… ☺ ☺