Not every couple wants a big, fancy wedding. For some, it’s due to avoiding the limelight; for others, it’s the wedding price tag that many have come to accept as normal. But many couples worry that they don’t have any other option than to live the extravagant wedding experience.
The truth is that there are other options. In particular, courthouse weddings offer soon-to-be-married couples a cheap, quick, and intimate option to properly tie the knot.
But how does a courthouse wedding work? It’s a rather simple affair, to be honest. With a marriage license in hand and a couples wedding ring set, you and your to-be spouse can make things official, marrying one another in a simple ceremony with little fanfare.
Any city hall will do, but you’ll need to find one that you and your spouse are comfortable with. Consider whether your local city hall is good enough for your wedding or whether you’d like to travel elsewhere, whether it’s to a specific city or the city where one of your parents lives.
Like a regular wedding ceremony, there is a formality that must be followed: You need to have a marriage license to make it official. Your city and county officials will have specific requirements that will determine how your license must be completed and registered, such as a waiting period that is required between registration and the date of your wedding and the expiration date—meaning your license is only valid up to a certain date, so you must be married before then to make it official.
To make the registration official, you’ll both need to arrive in person with all relevant documentation: your driver’s license or state-issued ID, birth certificates, social security number cards, and divorce papers if either of you were previously married.
While some courthouses will allow you to stroll in, others will require you to make an appointment. Be sure to check in with your local courthouse to determine whether you need an appointment and what their availability looks like going forward.
Make sure you and your spouse have everything you need before heading to the courthouse on the day of. You’ll need your marriage license, related paperwork, personal identification documents, and witnesses in attendance—who must be over 18 years old. Furthermore, guarantee that you know how things will go on the day of: whether you’ll be reciting your vows, whether other guests will attend, and whether you’ll have a photographer join you to capture the moment.
While courthouse weddings are a small affair, it doesn’t mean you have to be alone for it. Invite your closest family and friends if you want anyone in attendance. For instance, having just your parents and grandparents can be enough to make it more intimate.
The best thing about a courthouse wedding is that you can wear whatever you’d like. Rather than wearing the expensive, flowing gown, your bride can decide to wear a comfortable dress that they already own. Similarly, you can avoid buying an expensive tux, instead, wearing a suit that’s already tailored to your body. This can cut down on costs, saving you money that can be used for an awesome honeymoon, or making your new home as comfortable as possible.
It’s time to party once you’ve tied the knot with your lover. The type of post-ceremony celebration you plan on having depends on the desires of you and your new spouse. If you chose to have a private courthouse wedding, you might be equally interested in having a small gathering afterward. Others might decide to go all-out once your vows have been said and you’ve exchanged rings. This can be a great option for couples that have a lot of family and friends and would rather celebrate with them after the fact.
If you and your spouse decide to take the courthouse wedding route, that doesn’t mean you have to cut out all of the fanfare. Forget the extravagant wedding ceremony and put that mental effort into finding the best ring for you. Shop our collection of men’s wedding bands in search of the ring that embodies you and your relationship.