32 Chic Courthouse Wedding Dresses Perfect For City Hall
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.