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A Guide To A Glamorous Courthouse Wedding On A Budget

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

So, you are getting married !? Congratulations! Are you on a budget or just want to plan a simple affair and feel overwhelmed by how grandiose the wedding industry can be? Looking to plan a micro or courthouse wedding and want some inspo? I got you covered fam.


This post is by no means meant to shame those with bigger budgets for their weddings. It's a momentous occasion go ham. Do you.


First things first. You have got to come up with a realistic budget and stick to it. Don't count any chickens before they hatch. That means do NOT plan to pay for your wedding with any money you do not have in hand.


While planning for the budget think about your must haves. These are the things you absolutely cannot celebrate your day with out. Start narrowing down your guest list if you plan to have anyone attend the ceremony or if you plan to host a reception. There are tons of free budget and planning resources online. I used theknot.com for my wedding.


What are your must haves? Dress, suit, pics or it didn't happen?


For my husband and I our must haves were simple. Legally get married, celebrate with our family and closest friends and have some beautiful photographs to preserve the memories. I strongly suggest hiring a photographer. You will want to have quality photos of the special day. I've seen some beautiful and unique courthouse shoots. Bonus if the courthouse is a historical building.


Because the court we chose did marriage ceremonies in groups we oped to take photos in a public park that is a popular place for wedding photos. Luckily we had a photographer friend who agreed to take our pictures as a wedding gift. We still tipped her for her hard work but that was a huge budget saver and a wonderfully thoughtful gift. Plan to spend money here and be budget conscience elsewhere.


The wedding day look is really where you can save. Whether that be by renting, buying up cycled or even simply buying off label. You are only going to wear that dress once. It doesn't need to be a family heirloom and are you really going to try to force your future daughter into wearing your outdated dress because she doesn't want to disappoint dear old mom!? I got my head to toe wedding look for what some have paid for their veil. Who knew tulle and lace could be so expensive?


I did my own make up and I honestly have some regrets in my choice foundation. So if you are going to do your own make up I suggest testing the products out in advance. My foundation didn't stand up well in the heat of the day.


I was also lucky in that I was able to have my hair done by a hairstylist friend as a wedding gift as well. It pays to have artistic friends! However, if you are opting for a simple style you can tackle it yourself if needed. Don't stress trying to pull off some intricate hair art on yourself on the morning of your wedding. Invest in a good hairspray and bobby pins. Practice your style before the big day.


You can't tell if the flowers were fake in the pictures and everyone will eventually throw that invitation away.

Except MOM, maybe.


We just bought invitations you could fill in and added hand written details. Easy. If you are a crafty bride feel free to let your craft freak flag fly high here. Just be mindful not to blow the budget at the craft store.


For our reception we held a dinner at a local restaurant. The normal look of the restaurant was enough decor for our needs. We were able to order enough food from the regular menu to feed 20 people. Service was wonderful and we of course made reservations with the restaurant a head of time.


After the dinner we moved the party to a local tap house that is a popular wedding venue to celebrate with additional friends. We were again able to simply reserve a few tables and no additional fee's were charged. However, it should be noted that we had our wedding on a Thursday and the reason for this was to avoid crowds, extra fees and to encourage the venues to work with us.


In lieu of traditional event pictures we passed around a guest book for folks to sign and an Instapix Camera. This made for a great interactive activity for all and you can see some of the results below. To save even more, we had our guests responsible for their own alcohol bills, we got no complaints and everyone still had a great night out.


It was the best day of my life next to the birth of my daughter. We were able to pull every thing off without a hitch and go on a mini honeymoon for under 3K!


Again not I'm not try to shame those that spend more. They can spend their money how they please. I just wanted to share that you can have a budget wedding and it not look like a Dollar store dumpster fire. It will be all right, sis.












Photo credit @ghostspine on instagram

Hair by @stephaniekolbhair on instagram


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