There is nothing that says a courthouse wedding can’t be fabulous. As with all brides and grooms, this is your event to plan any way you want and nothing is stopping you from having a memorable event… at the county courthouse.
Myth: You don’t have to get dressed up to get married at the courthouse.
Fact: You should wear something special. Buy a beautiful dress, some new shoes and jewelry, have your hair and makeup done. Maybe you don’t want a traditional wedding gown but, this is a great time to wear something really fabulous. I can’t be the only one that thought Carrie Bradshaw’s courthouse look was way better than the “bird on her head” wedding getup. Men should wear at least a sport coat or a tie. You are beginning your lives together and for that you should look your best. Set the bar high and don’t ever forget what a special day this is.
Myth: You don’t have to bring anyone with you
Fact: You should bring the people who mean the most to you. Let them witness this important event and remind you of the commitment you made. They will be happy you asked and you will be happy they came. In fact, you can bring several people with you but, I would keep it to your immediate families so that no one gets hurt feelings.
Myth: You don’t need flowers.
Fact: You should have a small bouquet, and he should have a small boutonniere. It doesn’t have to be fancy or super-expensive, it should be simple and elegant and smell really good.
Myth: All you need is a few snapshots – from your cell phone!
Fact: You should definitely hire a photographer, even if it is only for a couple of hours. Since the majority of their clients get married on the weekend you may be able to hire a photographer for a much lower rate, it never hurts to ask. You will not be sorry that you have a few beautiful photos of your wedding no matter where it is.
Myth: If you get married in the courthouse you shouldn’t have a reception
Fact: There are many reasons that some couples opt for a simple courthouse wedding. Sometimes it is due to economic difficulties, logistics, and then there are some people just prefer the privacy of a civil ceremony. This doesn’t mean that you cannot have a celebration afterwards. Plan a simple family dinner at your favorite restaurant or an entire reception if you want, although you may not want to call it a ‘reception’ since that term is reserved for an event immediate following the ceremony. If you decide to go this route and wait a few months, consult your invitation specialist to change the wording accordingly. Don’t wait too long – the sooner the better!
This is your wedding, your commitment, the beginning of your lives together, celebrate it how you want and remember this: no matter how low-key you want it to be… it can still be fabulous.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago