Post # 1
Long story short, I originally wanted an outdoor summer wedding at my dad’s house (where I grew up). Not totally traditional, but with most of the bells and whistles. Well, two days ago, I decided that asking him to have the wedding there would be more trouble than it’s worth. This was after he made a comment about my mother, who left him 2 years ago. He had said in the past that she would never be welcome there again, but I thought there would be no harm in at least asking. But the comment just discouraged me from broaching the subject at all.
My back-up “plan” was to just go to the courthouse with FI, and that would be that. But I realized I still wanted something special, but if I can’t have the wedding I want then it has to be the complete opposite (maybe even moving it up to as soon as this February)! No matter how much googling I do, I still can’t find all the information I need. Anyone here who had a “special” courthouse wedding? Did you invite people/what did you wear/what did you do after you got married (made dinner reservations or something else)? Or if you didn’t marry in the courthouse, how did you go about hiring an officiant and having a small, cheap ceremony? I don’t even know if I’m asking the right questions…it’s all so confusing to me.
ETA: I don’t know how this ended up in the dress section. How do I change that??
Post # 3
I had a courthouse wedding.I had 5 family members come to the ceremony.We made dinner plans and went to a nice restaurant afterward.I’m not sure if there is a limit to how many you can invite to the courthouse to witness the ceremony.I would call and see what rules they have.You could google officiants in the area you would like to get married and maybe have the ceremony in a park.I hope you enjoy your day !
Post # 4
@Sb91: I flagged your post to be moved to “ceremony” 🙂
As far as what kind of wedding you want, really you can do ANYTHING!
Check with your state government website to see who has marrying authority. In Virginia we can use a Justice of the Peace, but I’m not sure about PA.
If you want to keep things simple, you can either go get married at the courthouse and bring along parents/siblings/best friends or you can see if the JoP will come to you, and you can do something for family and close friends at a park, museum, restaurant, wherever really.
Your reception can be as simple or extravagant as you like. You can bring cake and punch to the courthouse with you, have appetizers and drinks at a restaurant, have a backyard BBQ at home, really the sky is the limit! Well the sky and your budget I suppose
Post # 5
my fiancé and I are actually husband and wife. Lol. We went to the courthouse a few weeks ago. For a number of reasons it made sense to get hitched legally and then have the bells and whistles wedding later. It isn’t a big secret but we didn’t tell our extended family just to avoid confusion. Courthouse weddings can be very simple or elaborate. Here are my tips.
we just had our parents with us but the courthouse would allow up to 25 guests. Check your courthouse’s website for their rules and regulations. They also tend to be limited in the days/times they’ll do weddings so make sure it works for when you can.
if you go on a popular day, you’ll be waiting around with other wedding parties. some were in jeans and tshirts and some were in full on ballgowns and tuxes. Wear what you want. It was a fun atmosphere. We’d cheer when they came out and joke around. I got to play with a chihuahua in a tiny wedding dress which was cool. Some had pro photographers and limos so you can def work in those aspects.
The courthouse ceremony is SHORT. We were in and out in under 10 min. No customization, no option to add decorations. That worked for us as we are having our personalized ceremony later. If you want something more personalized, see if your county will appoint someone as ‘deputy for the day’. you submit their name and a check and they approve that person to do your ceremony on a specific date. You could go to a pretty park and have a friend perform a more personalized ceremony.
Post # 6
@DaneLady: Thank you! I have been looking around the area for different type places to hold a reception of sorts. The sky being the limit is part of the problem for me lol…the fact that there’s really no cut and dry guidelines to follow, along with me being completely indecisive. Thank you for the suggestions!
@nocleverbeepun: Congratulations on your recent marriage! It would be awesome if our courthouse allowed up to 25 guests because that’s about the number of people we would absolutely want to be there. If not, it’s either find another place for the ceremony, or have it just be me and FI for that part, and everyone else for the after party. For us though, this would be it. No actual wedding down the road, so I want to make sure it’s not something I’ll look back on in disappointment.
@ninanetti: Your wedding sounds like it was very nice and intimate. The only reason I’m a litle hestitant to just have dinner somewhere afterwards is that we’d have 20 or more people with us, so I think I’d want maybe a more reception-like affair.
More questions: For anyone who didn’t wear regular clothing, did you feel silly for dressing up? Or if you had a photographer there, did that feel like too much? Or did you get any weird looks from other people?
Post # 7
Thanks! I wore a little white dress with a big black fur coat and my husband wore a button down with jeans.lol.So we were kinda dressy casual.I had my hair,makeup and nails done up.We brought our own digital camera and of course my family brought their cameras too to capture the moments.As far as looking silly by overdressing…I wouldnt worry about that at the courthouse.Im sure they have seen everything form big and poofy to short and simple.For dinner/reception with about 20 ppl thats still very intimate and you could easily book a space in a restaurant.What is your dress like btw?
Post # 8
@ninanetti: I guess if you’re going to do what you want to do, the only thing you can do is not care what others think (in regards to dressing up) lol. I haven’t bought anything yet but I was thinking of this dress from ModCloth, or something similar. If you look in the review section, a lot of people have picked it for their wedding dress!
Post # 9
that is a really cute dress!