How Much Does A Courthouse Wedding Cost

The answer to how much does a courthouse wedding cost can be anywhere from $50 to twice as much. We’ll include a sample courthouse marriage ceremony budget breakdown below, so you’ll know the expected costs of a courthouse wedding. 

You will also find the requirements checklist for a courthouse or civil marriage, so you’ll be prepared for this type of wedding. But for a more in-depth explanation of courthouse marriages, please read how a courthouse wedding works

how much does a courthouse wedding cost


Exactly How Much Does A Courthouse Wedding Cost

It’s impossible to mention a specific cost for a courthouse wedding because it will depend on the city and state you’ll marry in. But to help you prepare a budget, have anywhere from $50 to $100. 

To be better prepared regarding how much a courthouse wedding costs, it’ll be better to set an appointment with your local city clerk’s office. Accomplish all the requirements and documents as well as they also have fees. 

For example, some places may cost you over $100 to apply for a civil wedding, including the costs for a marriage license. Some courts can also charge fees for the civil ceremony, the officiant, and if they’ll provide the witnesses for your ceremony. 


Sample courthouse wedding budget

  • Courthouse wedding application: $30 to $150
  • Civil ceremony fee: $20 to $45 
  • Marriage license requirement: $25 to $75
  • Some courthouses may include fees for the courthouse officiant
  • If you don’t have an available witness, the courthouse may provide a witness for a fee
  • If it’s possible to bring a wedding photographer, expect a starting price of $1,000, depending on the package you choose
  • Civil weddings don’t require the couple to dress grandly, so set a realistic budget for your wedding attire like a simple A-line dress and a suit; you can also rent or borrow them to further save on costs
  • Since courthouse weddings limit the guests you can bring, couples sometimes have a reception afterward to celebrate with more relatives and friends; alternatively, you can have a simple dinner or backyard party for an intimate celebration with more guests

Do you want to make your courthouse wedding more special? Then, check this idea on what to do after a courthouse wedding.  


How Do You Get Married At A Local Courthouse?

It’s best to check your state’s website to know how to get married at your courthouse and accomplish all the requirements needed. You might also need to set an appointment with your local government or county clerk’s office, especially when applying for a marriage license

Here are the steps to having a courthouse wedding:

  1. Accomplish all your state’s marriage requirements, such as the marriage license, for example
  2. Know the documents such as IDs needed for the marriage license application; once you receive your license, make sure to set the courthouse wedding during the period when it’s valid
  3. Make an appointment for your courthouse wedding; know the requirements and potential fees as you may need to pay for the civil ceremony or even the witness if the court provides it for you
  4. You can also bring your own wedding witness as long as they meet your state’s requirements
  5. For the wedding day, understand that a civil wedding is quicker and incorporates fewer elements than a traditional wedding; vow and ring exchange is sometimes omitted; therefore, you can plan and set a budget for a separate unity ceremony to have these elements
  6. Rent, buy, or prepare the wedding attire for the civil wedding
  7. Don’t forget to prepare the rings for the wedding ceremony
  8. Notify your guests that you’ll have an intimate ceremony at the courthouse
  9. Prepare the schedule and plans for the courthouse wedding 


What Are The Requirements For A Civil Wedding?

Besides familiarizing yourself with the average courthouse wedding cost in your city and state, make sure to know the requirements and essential documents for the civil wedding. Set an appointment with your local office, but typically, here are the documents you need for a civil wedding: 


How Much Does It Cost To Get Married At The Courthouse In California?

Here is the cost breakdown for the marriage license and ceremony fees if you have your wedding in Sacramento, California, according to Sacramento County:

  • Public marriage license: $84
  • Civil marriage ceremony: $36
  • If you can’t provide a witness, the country’s witness fee is $29
  • One-time deputy marriage commissioner: $44


Can Anyone Officiate A Courthouse Wedding?

Civil weddings are performed by a court clerk, Justice of the Peace, or a judge. Sometimes, a judge or court clerk can give people the temporary legal authority to officiate a wedding. 

To avoid issues with your marriage ceremony, understand that not anyone can officiate your wedding. If you want, you can also have a separate unity ceremony after completing all the marriage legalities. 



And that’s it! You just learned how much does a courthouse wedding cost, which can be between $50 to $100 and up. 

The expenses vary according to your city or state as some civil weddings might charge for the ceremony and witness. When setting a courthouse wedding budget, you should also involve the fees for your outfits, photographer, and rings. 

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