From the moment you met, you knew he/she was the one. After a few months, you got engaged and had the opportunity to share your views on the wedding topic. You both agreed that marriage is not just a ring you wear or a piece of paper you sign. It is something to be lived and enjoyed. Your wedding will be the union of your hearts and the sacrifices you will make to keep each other happy. For you and your partner, your marriage will be a blessing, it will be the eternal bond of your souls.
Yet, you know that you must still go to court before you can savor this unity and sign these papers to formalize it. In fact, this ceremony will probably be among the most important ones in your life. So you must not neglect it under any circumstances, and you must be fully prepared for it. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry! In this article, we look at how you should plan your courthouse wedding.
❤ Decide on the Location
First thing first! You need to choose the city hall where you’ll get married. You can pick a particular place for you and your partner, maybe where you first met and fell in love, or can opt to get married where in the neighborhood where you currently live.
From there, we advise that you do some research on the local requirements. Every municipality may have a different set of rules so it might be helpful to get some necessary information, like the available ceremony dates, the prices, and more.
❤ Prepare Everything for the Marriage License
This will again vary between countries, states, and even cities. But in most cases, you cannot get married before you get your license. Therefore, to make sure your marriage will be legal, you need to figure out the procedures and gather all the necessary documents which generally include:
- your identity card/driver’s license/passport
- a proof of residence
- your birth certificate
- if you were previously married, some papers that prove the end of this previous marriage like a death or divorce certificate.
❤ Apply for the License
Once you are well prepared and have all the documents in hand, you can then apply for the marriage certificate to legally bind you and your spouse. Most municipalities have a waiting period for this, and it is safer to apply for it a few days before your marriage. However, in some countries, this document has an expiry date, so you do not have to get it much before the ceremony’s date.
❤ Set a Date
Decide on a date for your courthouse wedding. You may have to make an appointment with the judge who will officiate the wedding before the ceremony. Remember that it usually has to be within standard business hours of the courthouse. If you are planning for a date in the weekend, it might be more challenging to find a courthouse that will be opened at that time.
❤ Decide on Your Witness
Some countries ask for the signature of two witnesses that will testify that the ceremony has taken place. We advise that you determine in advance who will be your witnesses. You should ask them beforehand, so they make themselves available to share your special day.
❤ Invite Immediate Family and Closest Friends
The advantage of a courthouse wedding is that it is fuss-free, and you don’t need a long guest list. In most city halls, only your immediate family (and of your spouse) is allowed. But if you can invite more people, only choose some of your closest friends.
❤ Choose the Perfect Outfits
It’s not because it is a small courthouse wedding that you and your future spouse cannot look gorgeous. May it be formal or casual, your wedding outfit had to be unique for your special day, and you won’t regret it. You can even wear some traditional wedding attire if you want to! There’s only one rule here: pick an outfit that suits your personality, and that will make you happy.
❤ Book a Photographer
You have to capture the event! Many usually overlook this step but you must hire a talented photographer to document your wedding day. A few years after, we promise that you’ll want to have these pictures so that you can remember that day and cherish it forever. We usually recommend choosing someone who knows the surrounding areas and will be at ease to get some beautiful shots there.
❤ Don’t Neglect the Post-Ceremony
When you are officially married, you will want to party even if you don’t make a big deal out of it right now. After all the paperwork, you’ll be looking for fun, and whether you plan to keep it intimate with your spouse or decide to invite a few friends and family to a small party, make sure you arrange for something exciting so that you can start your married life with a bang.
With these steps, you can be sure that your courthouse wedding will be a real success. If you have any other tips, don’t forget to leave them in the comments below. Until then, have a blast on your wedding day!