How Much Does a Courthouse Wedding Cost?
A courthouse wedding is a ceremony that takes place at a courthouse in front of the judge. As much as we would like to go for the details in our wedding ceremonies, sometimes our financial constraints do not allow us to have the extravagance we envisioned to have on our wedding day. When money is tight yet the love is strong, the most favorable option you have is to have a courthouse wedding. To be married before a judge or other public official may not be as fabulous as your dream wedding, but it is still the best option available to tie the knot. Not matter where you get married, you will have to apply for a marriage license through the city. Going to the courthouse to get married means that you will receive a marriage license automatically.
How much does it cost?
- The costs for having a courthouse wedding vary from one state to another. The cost of being married in California may be different in other counties and states. In Milwaukee, for example, the cost for the marriage license fee is only $105 to be paid on the day of the application, as indicated in the official site of the city of Milwaukee. The said price may go slightly higher or lower depending on the specific city, county or state.
- According to an article on Yahoo! Voices, most states charge at least $30 for the wedding license fee. However, this does not include the civil wedding ceremonies that may worth hundred dollars or more.
- Other offices offer packages from which the couple can choose. Palm Beach, Florida, for example, offers a “Sensible Start Wedding Package,” which includes a marriage license, ceremony, wedding photography, and marriage certificate all for less than $150.
- There are also services that offer to hold the wedding on your place. Commonly known as elopement, the wedding officer will be the one to go to your location, whether it be a house, apartment, backyard, park, or any other area you wish to hold your wedding. DFWX.com offers something such as this for $95 to $150, depending on the time and specific location. This usually excludes the cost for the marriage license.
- Again, the best way to know the costs associated with courthouse weddings and other similar services is to visit your county or city’s office and inquire for the needed fees. Plan on budgeting anywhere from $30 to as much as $150 for the whole process.
What is going to be included?
- What will happen on the day of the ceremony depends largely on what the couple wants. The wedding officer will generally follow a set ceremony that is performed for all couples in this situation. However, the couple can make requests to modify the ceremony beforehand. Whatever the ceremony will be, the officiant must receive the couple’s consent to wed as an important part of the wedding.
- The payment for the marriage license fee is usually paid beforehand, usually the day the couple registers for the wedding. The costs for the ceremony, on the other hand, may be paid on the day of the ceremony.
- The usual process of the wedding starts with the couple registering for their marriage license at the local courthouse. Most states also require two witnesses to oversee the wedding. Thus, the couple must designate their witnesses ahead of time.
What are the extra costs?
- Additional fees required by the state. As mentioned, the costs for the courthouse wedding vary from one city or state to another. Thus, the city in which you applied for the wedding may require some specific fees other than the marriage certificate and ceremonial fees. Thus, you should inquire if there is any additional fee at the time you register for the wedding.
- Wedding Photography. If you want a professional photographer to take photos in this special day of yours, you need to allocate part of your budget for the photos to be taken. SEE: “How much does a wedding photographer cost?“
- Other wedding necessities. Even if it is not a church wedding, you may need to consider other things which may be needed before, during and after the ceremony. These include the flowers for bouquet, the food and beverages for the handful of visitors, and entertainment as well. These are optional, but it may be nice to have a small reception in your home for close family.
Factors that influence the price:
- Location. As mentioned, the costs for a courthouse wedding depend on the exact city or county you want to get married.
- Package chosen. As previously mentioned, there are states in the country that offer different packages rom which couples can choose.
Tips to know:
- Always check your state’s marriage license laws before you begin planning a courthouse wedding.
- Vows in a courthouse wedding ceremony may be standard vows (set forth by the officiant) or personalized by the couple.
How can I save money?
- Most couples who marry before a government official usually forgo a reception. You can do away with these costs by simply having a small get-together at a local bar or have a backyard barbecue. In the future, you can plan a wedding celebration once you have saved up enough money.