Courthouse Wedding: Is It the Right Choice for You?

April 3, 2024

isaac beachy

Wedding Tips

couple engagement photos at the indiana state house

Tying the knot doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank or going overboard with elaborate preparations. For many couples, a courthouse wedding hits the right note of intimacy and simplicity. But is this no-fuss approach to marriage right for you?

Today, we’re taking an informal yet informative stroll down the courthouse steps. We’ll explore the upsides and potential downsides of saying “I do” with a judge officiating.

Pros of a Courthouse Wedding

Simplicity and Ease

The often overwhelming planning of a traditional wedding is simplified into a straightforward affair. Courthouse weddings cut through the noise—no juggling vendors, no sleep lost over seating arrangements, just the pure essence of matrimony with minimal stress.


A hefty wedding bill can herald the onset of married life with a financial hangover. Opting for the courthouse is a gentle nod to frugality, sparing you the expense of a large venue, extravagant decorations, and extensive catering.


Some prefer the public declaration of love to be a private exchange. Courthouse weddings inherently limit the guest list, offering a more intimate setting. It’s a space where vows can be exchanged with the closest of companions, or perhaps just between you and your partner.


If you want to fast-track your nuptials, a courthouse is a sprint to the finish line. Without the need for extensive planning, you can go from engaged to married in the time it takes to obtain a marriage license and schedule an appointment with a judge.

Cons of a Courthouse Wedding

Limitations on Guest Numbers

Thriving on the energy of a large gathering? A courthouse wedding might feel too confined. These ceremonies typically come with a headcount restriction, possibly leaving out some friends and family.

Lack of Customization

Those with a detailed vision of their wedding might find the courthouse setting a bit limiting. The opportunity for personalized touches—like music, decor, or a unique ceremony structure—is comparatively scarce.

Fewer Wedding Perks

The trappings of a traditional wedding—from bridal showers to dancing—might be scaled down or absent altogether. If these rituals are important to you, a courthouse wedding may feel like a sacrifice.

Venue Drabness

Architectural beauty varies from one courthouse to another, but they rarely match the enchantment of a dedicated wedding venue. If aesthetics are a priority, consider how much the backdrop matters for your big day.


A courthouse wedding isn’t just an option; it’s a statement. And while it doesn’t have all the fancy frills of a traditional wedding, it can be just as meaningful, if not more so.

The choice between courthouse and church (or any other venue) boils down to what feels right for your relationship. Evaluate what matters most to you and your partner, and remember, at the heart of that choice is the commitment to each other. Whatever the setting, your wedding day is a celebration of love, partnership, and the start of a new chapter together.

Whether you’re enamored with the idea of an intimate courthouse ceremony or still weighing the options, remember that your wedding day is uniquely yours. Choose the path that best suits your story, and it will undoubtedly be a day to remember.

About the Author

Heya I am Isaac Beachy, my wife and I are a wedding photo and film team. We are based in Kokomo Indiana, but we travel literally everywhere. Together, Liv and I are like peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, or whatever your favorite combo is! Our mission? To capture your story and so authentically that you don’t even know we are there.

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