What To Wear To A Courthouse Wedding

Here are the deets on what to wear if you're having a civil ceremony or attending one as a guest.
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by
Sofia Deeb
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Sofia Deeb
Assistant Fashion Commerce Editor
  • Sofia writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide with a specialty in fashion and e-commerce.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Sofia was a writer for Santa Barbara Life and Style Magazine.
  • Sofia studied cultural anthropology and journalism at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Updated Dec 26, 2023
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Opting for a courthouse wedding can certainly take a lot of the stress out of wedding planning, but it doesn't make choosing an outfit any easier. Luckily, we're here to help. Whether you're making it official with a civil ceremony or attending one as a guest, you may be wondering what to wear to a courthouse wedding. But don't fret —there's no shortage of super-chic outfit options out there, no matter your role in the festivities. Read up on the particulars of a courthouse wedding dress code, then check out some of our favorite attire options you can shop right now.

In this article...

What is Courthouse Wedding Attire?

While there are no strict rules when it comes to a courthouse wedding dress code if you're getting married at city hall, a courthouse or your local county clerk's office—after all, it's your wedding and you should look and feel like the best version of yourself. However, there are some small details to keep in mind when choosing your attire. Depending on your location, space could be tight—meaning a narrow aisle or crowded waiting area—so take that into consideration when choosing your dress and day of accesories. Cathedral-length veils and trains, voluminous ball gowns and mermaid dresses may not work in more confined spaces. Also, keep in mind who will be helping you get dressed the morning of your wedding. If you're getting ready alone, it's probably best to avoid styles with lots of complicated corsets or elaborate button-down backs.

As a guest attending a courthouse wedding, you should dress for the occasion. Odds are you don't have to show up in black tie (unless specifically requested by the couple), but you should aim to look put together. Translation: Leave the jeans, t-shirts and club attire at home.

What To Wear To A Courthouse Wedding

A simple ceremony doesn't have to mean a simple outfit. There are plenty of ways to show up in style to your next courthouse wedding. Whether you're a guest or the guests of honor, here are some pointers to make sure you look put together on the big day.

As the Couple

Given its less formal nature, a civil ceremony is your chance to have some fun and break the bridal fashion rules. You can't go wrong with a little white ensemble like a chic wrap dress, tailored jumpsuit or a slim-cut suit in more laid-back blue, green or gray. That said, if you're looking to bring the drama to your courthouse wedding and are feeling a grand ball gown or a full-on tuxedo, go for it. All kinds of wedding attire—boho, glam, modern and vintage-inspired—can be seen coming down the steps of city hall. Another thought: Don't feel limited to traditional white dresses or solid color suiting if patterns, prints or bold colors feel more like you.

As a Guest

While a casual dress code can be tricky to decipher (you may find yourself asking what's too casual and what's too dressy), there are some safe bets where courthouse wedding attire is concerned. A courthouse is a public official's office, so it's a good idea to err on the side of business casual, versus a laid-back look you might wear to run errands. Read: A sports coat and slacks, a dressier sundress or a nice blouse plus slacks or a skirt are all great options.

Courthouse Wedding Outfit Ideas

Looking for an outfit to wear to a civil ceremony but unsure of where to begin? Not to worry. We've searched the internet high and low so you don't have to. Shop some of our favorite courthouse wedding outfits below, then check out our roundups of elopement wedding dresses and bridal pantsuits for even more inspo.

BHLDN Riley Long-Sleeve Lace Midi Blazer Dress

bridal blazer dress

Brides: If you're planning a courthouse ceremony, you seriously can't go wrong with a blazer dress or pant suit. This lace option in particular strikes the perfect balance between pretty and poised.

Indochino Farhill Herringbone Charcoal Blazer

men's grey suit

Whether you're the groom or a guest you're sure to look sharp in this classic gray suit. The best part? You can rewear it for special occasions long after the big day.

Park & Fifth Hastings Dress in Off White

white bridal midi dress

This streamlined white midi dress offers unfussy style that's perfect for a laidback courthouse ceremony. P.S.: It's also available in 14 other color and print options for guests.

Bonobos Jetsetter Knit Blazer in Navy with Flap Pockets

men's navy blue knit blazer

Good news: You can coordinate a stylish courthouse wedding fit with pieces you already have in your closet. If you have a crisp button down and slacks handy, just throw on a snazzy sports coat to complete the look.

Reformation Beauden Dress in Caviar Dot

black and white polkadot midi dress

This midi dress is guaranteed to become your new go-to throughout wedding season and beyond. Its timeless silhoette can easily be dressed up or down depending on the formality of the event you're attending.

*Shelley Brown contributed to the reporting of this article.

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