There are plenty of reasons to get married at the courthouse—you’re on a tight budget, your spouse-to-be is in the military, or the two of you are about to buy a house—but just because your wedding will be low-key doesn’t mean that it’s still not a reason to celebrate! If you plan on saying “I do” at the courthouse, there are many ways to make it a special occasion. After all, no matter the venue or the time it takes to plan, it’s not every day that you get married!
Planning on a courthouse wedding? Here are seven ways to make the day feel more special.
1. Send Out Invitations
Getting married at the courthouse doesn’t mean that you can’t have any guests present (unless of course you prefer to get married solo). If you have the time, let your guests know about your courthouse wedding the old-fashioned way—with a stamped and sealed invitation.
2. Pamper Yourself/Get Your Hair Done
Don’t let the metal detectors and the humdrum setting of the courthouse make you feel like you can’t look absolutely glamorous. Before your wedding ceremony, take the opportunity to get pampered and dolled up. Because you don’t have a wedding planner breathing down your neck or a wedding party to corral, you’ll have plenty of time to take for yourself before it’s time to walk down the aisle. So set up a hair appointment, schedule a professional makeup session, or simply take time to relax, breathe, and maybe have a mimosa or two with your closest friends. It’s your wedding day!
3. Wear White
You may not be wearing a gown with a long train and all of the other bells and whistles, but wearing white will certainly make you feel more bridal. Having a special outfit for the big day will set it apart from any other dressy occasion. You can even add in a veil if you please—it’s your day!
4. Buy Flowers
Flowers are an essential at every wedding, so why should your courthouse wedding be any different? Pick out a bridal bouquet at your local florist, or do something whimsical and romantic like pick a bunch of wildflowers together before you head to the courthouse. While you probably can’t sprinkle rose petals down the makeshift aisle in the courthouse, you can still have a pop of color with a bridal bouquet or a boutonnière.
5. Hire a Photographer
Just like any other momentous occasion in your life, it’s nice to have photos to share with your friends and family—even if there won’t be a huge ceremony and reception. Hire a professional photographer for the day to snap photos of every glance, every kiss, and the way you look at each other when you say your vows. Depending on how long you’ve booked them, you can also take the opportunity to take some wedding photos after the ceremony. Since the courthouse is usually located right downtown, your photographer can capture the two of you with the city in the background or you can head to a nearby park and pose for some pictures out in the sunshine.
6. Have a Reception
The ceremony is what seals the deal, but the reception is the fun part of the wedding where you can relax and have a toast (or two). Having a small courthouse wedding doesn’t mean that you have to go straight home afterwards. Take the time to bask in your newlywed bliss with a killer reception following the ceremony. Whether it’s reserving a room at your favorite restaurant, grabbing a few cocktails at a nearby lounge, or heading over to your parents’ house for a big potluck, you more than deserve a chance to celebrate.
Some couples choose to postpone their wedding reception to a bit later when they can have a large gathering with friends and family, but that still doesn’t mean that you should skip out on the celebration. At the very least, you should be opening up a bottle of champagne at a beautiful restaurant right after the ceremony.
7. Have a Send-Off
If you and your newly minted spouse will be off to a honeymoon right away (or you’ll at least be staying in a hotel for the wedding night), then you should have a proper send-off. Whether you want to use sparklers, flowers, or bubbles, make sure that your guests send you off to married life in style. Don’t forget to have the photographer capture the moments!