32 Chic Courthouse Wedding Dresses Perfect For City Hall

You'll be the best-dressed one at city hall.
courthouse wedding dresses
Samantha Iacia - The Knot wedding style expert
by
Samantha Iacia
  • Samantha writes articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a speciality in wedding decor, trends, and fashion
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Samantha was a features and weddings contributor for The Baltimore Sun
  • She is based in Washington, D.C. and holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism
Updated Mar 16, 2022
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Whether you're into the unfussy aspect of a city hall wedding, the thrill of an elopement or just looking to get fancy for your civil ceremony, there are no hard and fast rules where choosing a courthouse wedding dress (or any courthouse wedding-related attire) is concerned. Take a cue from a bygone era and opt for a vintage-inspired tea-length dress, go full boss mode with a sleek jumpsuit or blazer wedding dress, or take a glamorous approach with a beaded gown. We searched the internet high and low to find you the best city hall wedding dresses for every style, budget and size. Read more about how to dress for a courthouse wedding and shop our editor picks below.

In this article:

How to Dress for a Courthouse Wedding

What should a bride wear to a courthouse wedding?

When you're shopping for a dress to wear to your courthouse wedding, the most important thing is that you choose a style that makes you feel amazing. It doesn't have to be a standard white wedding dress (unless you want it to be!)—bridal pantsuits, wedding jumpsuits and two-piece looks are all chic alternatives if dresses aren't your thing. If you are planning to wear a wedding dress, a courthouse venue is the perfect opportunity to play around with shorter hemlines, unexpected silhouettes and statement details. While your local bridal boutique is a great place to start (especially if you're interested in buying an off-the-rack wedding dress), you can also branch beyond traditional bridal gowns in favor of a little white dress from a ready-to-wear collection or a colorful style instead. Finally, consider finishing off your look with a veil—birdcage and blusher veils are two popular options for courthouse weddings.

What should you consider when buying a courthouse wedding dress?

A major detail to think about when shopping for a courthouse or city hall wedding dress is whether or not you'll have help getting ready before the ceremony. Most traditional wedding gowns are more difficult to put on than your average dress, especially if there are zippers, laces, buttons or hooks that you can't reach on your own. If you'll be getting dressed solo on your special day, look for a style that you can easily get in and out of without help.

Ease of mobility and volume of the dress are two other things to consider before making your final decision. Depending on where you're getting married, you might be exchanging your vows in a courtroom with limited floor space, trekking through a city hall parking garage or sitting down on a bench while waiting for the clerk. In these situations, dresses with long trains, very full skirts or restricting silhouettes aren't the most ideal. Instead, look for dresses that are easily wearable and made from lightweight fabrics that won't slow you down.

What do guests wear to a courthouse wedding?

If you've been invited to a courthouse wedding, we know it can be slightly confusing to figure out what to wear. The best way to approach it? Aim for a wedding guest outfit that's polished and put-together (read: no jeans, flip flops or athleisure), but don't worry about going overboard with a fancy gown or tuxedo. Unless the couple specified a dress code, we recommend a business casual-type look, although you can add colors and patterns for a bit of personality. Sundresses, button-down shirts, dress pants and sport coats are all safe options.

Our Favorite Courthouse Wedding Dresses

Reformation Gatsby Dress

long sleeve courthouse wedding dress with deep v-neckline and long sleeves

Like its name implies, this courthouse wedding dress is all about bringing Old Hollywood glamour. A deep V-neckline and high slit are sure to turn heads.

Adrianna Papell Draped Matte Jersey Gown With Deep Slit and Spaghetti Straps

fitted courthouse wedding dress with ruched bodice and front slit on skirt

You'll look statuesque in this elegant courthouse wedding dress with a draped bodice and curve-hugging ruching on the hips. Since it's made from lightweight jersey material, it's incredibly comfortable and also easy to put on, thanks to a single zipper down the back.

Lulus Romance Dreamer White Lace Off-the-Shoulder Maxi Dress

off-the-shoulder fitted lace courthouse wedding dress with long sleeves

This allover lace wedding dress gives you just enough of a classic bridal vibe without being over the top. The fitted bodice leads into an A-line skirt with a barely-there train that you won't have to worry about stepping on.

Showpo Entwined Dreams Pearl Strap Cowl Back Gown

white floor length slip dress with pearl beaded spaghetti straps

These aren't your average bridal pearls. Beaded pearl spaghetti straps and a cowl back give this effortless slip dress an extra special touch.

Elliatt Reception Dress in Ivory

strapless courthouse wedding dress with oversized ruffle detail down the front

After your courthouse ceremony it's time to party, and this dress was made for the job. An oversized ruffle down the front adds plenty of personality and whimsy to this crepe style.

Sleeper Boheme Feather-Trimmed Satin Mini Dress

mini ivory silk courthouse wedding dress with feather trim neckline

Feather trim instantly transforms this simple satin mini into a total statement dress. The super-short hemline is great for warm weather and showing off a brand new pair of shoes, but if you want to be less exposed, there's also a midi version.

ML Monique Lhuillier Lionel One-Shoulder Dress

one-shoulder courthouse wedding dress with front slit and oversized bow shoulder accent

Modern, minimalistic brides will love this simple courthouse wedding dress. The structured column silhouette has a front slit for walkability, with an oversized bow and one-shoulder neckline topping off the bodice.

Hope & Ivy Maternity Leila Gown

ivory maternity wedding dress with floral embroidery

A roomy wrap dress is perfect for expectant brides. This one is finished with pretty floral embroidery and bra-friendly flutter sleeves.

DB Studio Cowl Neck Spaghetti Strap Jersey Jumpsuit

white wedding jumpsuit

Stepping out in a jumpsuit on your wedding day is something we'll always get behind. Choose a slightly fitted style for the most sophisticated look—we love this one with a cowl neckline and simple spaghetti straps.

Sachin & Babi Archie Dress

short courthouse wedding dress with oversized bow and train

If you're looking for a courthouse wedding dress that wows, consider your search over. This playful short dress has an oversized bow and streamers that create the illusion of a train as you walk. The bow easily detaches for two looks in one.

Reformation Ginny Dress

chic courthouse wedding dress with midi skirt and puff sleeves

Go for a sweet but sexy look in this cute ivory number. Details like delicate puff sleeves and lace trim add to the feminine vibe.

Lace & Beads Bridal Embellished Bandeau Maxi Dress

strapless bandeau wedding dress with allover beading

Allover beading on this dress makes it feel super glamorous, but the chiffon fabric keeps the overall style light and airy.

ML Monique Lhuillier Amarie Dress

vintage inspired tea length courthouse wedding dress with empire waist

Made from gorgeous floral jacquard fabric with a ruched bodice and square neckline, this vintage-inspired courthouse wedding dress is worthy of Audrey Hepburn's own closet. The attached sash can be tied in the front or the back, depending on your preference.

Lulus Resplendent Love White Lace Button-Back Mermaid Maxi Dress

fitted courthouse wedding dress with sheer lace back

Simple with a dash of lace—this understated stretch crepe gown will hug your figure in all the right places. A sheer lace panel reveals a hint of skin on the back, and the racerback straps are adjustable for a perfect fit.

Silk Maison Cleopatra Bridal Silk Maxi Dress

silk courthouse wedding dress with wrap halter neckline and midriff cutout

A sexy midriff cutout and thigh-high slit add just the right amount of va va voom to this silk dress. If ivory isn't quite your taste, it also comes in a romantic rose pink hue.

Anna October Snowdrop Asymmetric Cotton-Blend Maxi Dress

chic courthouse wedding dress with bustier top and ruffle skirt

Say hello to the perfect summertime dress for your courthouse wedding or elopement. Made from lightweight cotton in a dreamy soft white color, this flowy style has a trendy bustier bodice and wide-set straps that showcase your décolletage.

Elliatt x REVOLVE Bottlebrush Dress

midi lace fitted courthouse wedding dress with sweetheart neckline and 3/4 sleeves

Sheer lace sleeves add just enough coverage to make this work as a winter courthouse wedding dress, but it's something you could easily wear year-round. A sweetheart neckline completes this classy style.

Michael Lo Sordo Kora Gown

satin slip courthouse wedding dress with open back and t-strap

This isn't your ordinary slip wedding dress. Sparkly crystal straps accent the backless style—show them off with an updo to keep your hair off your shoulders.

Courthouse Wedding Dresses Under $100

ASTR the Label Lace A-Line Midi Dress

white lace a-line midi wedding dress with spaghetti straps

This flirty lace dress will look amazing for your courthouse wedding and beyond. The top-rated style, which comes in sizes XS–XXL and 10 different colors, can be dressed down with a denim jacket and sandals after you're married.

Lulus Melt My Heart White Strapless Mermaid Maxi Dress

strapless courthouse wedding dress with sweetheart neckline and back cutout

Get a classic bridal look without breaking the bank. This simple courthouse wedding dress has boning and built-in bra cups to provide support, with a cutout at the low back that shows a hint of skin.

Superdown Erika Deep V Jersey Maxi

simple white courthouse wedding dress deep-v neckline jersey dress with high side slit

This sleeveless dress is a sexy option that will never go out of style, whether you're having a beach wedding or headed to city hall. A plunging V-neckline and high front slit take the maxi to another level.

Pretty Little Thing Plus White Oversized Blazer Dress

short courthouse wedding dress blazer wedding dress

Feeling bold? A blazer dress with a super-low neckline is another option for your courthouse wedding outfit. Keep your look streamlined by finishing it with a Kendall Jenner-inspired updo and nude heels.

Showpo Amour Diamond Halter Shirred Bodice Midi Dress

white midi halter dress with shirred textured fabric

We're feeling subtle '70s vibes from this casual wedding dress. Pair it with oversized hoop earrings and platform sandals to complete the boho chic aesthetic for your big day.

Lulus Molinetto White Lace Ruffled Tiered Sleeveless Maxi Dress

sleeveless white lace maxi dress with tiered skirt

This tiered lace frock is a fancier version of your average white sundress. It would be the perfect dress for a courthouse wedding in the summer, followed by a backyard celebration with your loved ones.

Plus-Size Courthouse Wedding Dresses

Reformation Winslow Dress

flowy white wrap plus-size dress with adjustable bow at waist

Customize the fit on this floor-length wrap dress depending on how much (or how little) cleavage you want to reveal. The floaty dress comes in sizes 1X–3X and is bra-friendly thanks to elbow-length sleeves.

Torrid Ivory Lace Short Sleeve Fit and Flare Wedding Dress

simple lace wedding dress with cap sleeves

This timeless plus-size wedding dress has a short train and a skirt that's just flowy enough for twirling. Add a beaded sash if you want a touch of sparkle.

DB Studio Satin V-Neck Tea Length Plus Size A-Line Dress

satin tea-length courthouse wedding dress with v-neckline

Make it official in this demure tea-length courthouse wedding dress with—wait for it—pockets. The satin style is available in sizes up to 30W.

Eloquii Tiered Puff-Sleeve Dress

blush tea length dress with sheer chiffon sleeves and flowy skirt

Ballerina chic. Have a little fun with your courthouse wedding style by wearing this light pink dress featuring a knee-length tulle skirt and sheer long sleeves.

DB Studio Flutter Sleeve Satin Plus Size Dress with Ruffle

plus size white wrap dress with ruffle skirt

We love a wrap dress for two reasons: It exudes effortless glamour and can be dressed up or down, depending on the vibe you're going for.

Adrianna Papell Plus Size Beaded Off-the-Shoulder Mermaid Gown

courthouse wedding dress with allover beading and off-the-shoulder straps

Who says you can't wear sequins to a courthouse wedding? This off-the-shoulder dress with monochromatic sequins has just the right amount of shimmer.

Lulus Your Hand in Mine White Lace Flutter Sleeve Maxi Dress

stretchy lace courthouse wedding dress with front slit and short sleeves

Turn around to reveal an open back on this white lace gown. Delicate lace flutter sleeves are a pretty finishing touch.

DB Studio Crochet Lace Overlay Midi Plus-Size Dress

midi lace courthouse wedding dress

Crochet lace is a more whimsical take on the traditional fabric. This sheath dress is a great option for a civil ceremony, bridal shower or rehearsal dinner.

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