Courthouse weddings have quickly become a preference for countless couples wanting to replace the usual wedding extravagance with simplicity. A courthouse wedding can be designed in any way the couple wants and the outfits could range from casual to fancy. But what should you wear to a courthouse wedding? Here’s a style guide for both the bride and the guests.

What a Courthouse Wedding Dress Code Looks Like 

Although the wedding may take place at a courthouse, city hall, or your local county clerk’s office, there are several things to consider when choosing your attire. The space can be tight regardless of your location. This means the waiting area could be crowded or the aisle could be narrow. Make sure you factor these details into the equation when choosing the type of dress and accessories. 

Voluminous gowns, mermaid dresses, and cathedral-length trains and veils may not be the right choice in confined spaces. Instead, attires like tea-length gowns, pantsuits, trimmed lace pieces, and blazer dresses can be some gorgeous options. Brides could also consider who will be helping them get dressed on their big day. If you’re getting ready all by yourself, it’s best to steer clear of complex styles such as elaborate button-down backs or complicated corsets. 

Female guests can dress in attires like jumpsuits, rompers, and linen sets. Make sure you leave the jeans, sports shoes, or any kind of club attire behind. 

What Should the Bride Wear? 

Courthouse weddings are less formal in nature which allows more room to break some bridal fashion rules and have fun along the way. You can never quite go wrong with options in white such as a chic wrap dress, a slim cut-out suit, or a tailored jumpsuit. You can even go for patterns, bold colors, or prints if you truly want your personality to shine.

Lace Dress

A trimmed lace dress would be a great choice if you want your attire to have a touch of the traditional. What’s more, a lace dress would fit well within your budget and make way for some truly breathtaking wedding photographs.

Cut-Out Gown

Nothing screams a city-hall wedding more than a classic cut-out gown, especially if the ceremony takes place during the spring or summer. The outfit will offer you an effortless look while keeping your elegance on fleek.


Jumpsuits are one of the most popular bridal outfit choices, especially when it comes to a more intimate ceremony. They look glamorous and classy and are easy to walk in. Pair your jumpsuit with stilettos and a veil to walk like the “world is at your feet.”

Blazer Dress

If your idea of a courthouse wedding outfit includes the words “simple” and “luxurious,” a blazer dress would be your best bet. Blend it with some minimal and sophisticated jewelry, and a pair of equally gorgeous stilettos, and you’re ready to look the most stunning version of yourself.

Two-Piece Sets

The world of fashion cannot get enough of two-piece sets. The good news is, you can carry this trend to your courthouse wedding as well. Put on those laid-back linen sets and wear a layer or two of gold jewelry for extra glam. 

Tea-Length Gown

If you’re looking to add a traditional flavor to your outfit, don’t hesitate to go for a classy and elegant tea-length gown. Choose a vintage and lacy version of the attire and pair it with a romantic updo.

Summertime Minis

Are you tying the knot in warm weather? Go for a leg-baring mini dress that will keep you comfy during the ceremony without sacrificing your jaw-dropping appearance. Match the look with some beachy waves. You can also have fun with your dress by choosing florals, puff sleeves, or understated ruffles. 


If you’ve decided to go for a courthouse wedding simply because those over-the-top wedding gowns are just not your style, a casual white pantsuit can be your greatest fashion statement. Choose a fit that is dramatic or understated and combine it with an elegant hat. Or, make the outfit sexy with a corset underneath. 

What Should the Female Guests Wear? 

For female guests trying to find a dress, the two most important considerations to make include choosing an outfit that won’t upstage that of the bride and sticking to the wedding dress code.

Velvet dress 

Perfect for winter weddings, a dark velvet dress can be a great formal courthouse wedding attire, especially for the mother of the bride. Whether you want a full-sleeved piece or a slip dress in velvet, make sure you remember to keep the dress short and sweet.


If skirts and gowns are not your thing but you still want to rock a stylish formal outfit, pantsuits can be a great decision. Choose a light color for a summer wedding and a dark one for winter. Pair it with a pair of gorgeous pumps and you’re good to go!


Who said you can’t wear a romper to a courthouse wedding? If you’re looking for a chic and stylish option that won’t end up upstaging the bride’s bridal dress, rompers are your best bet. 

Floral Silk Dress

Fun, fresh, and whimsical, a floral silk dress can be a stunning, low-key outfit to rock at a wedding. What’s more, these dresses are versatile enough to wear for events other than the city hall ceremony. 

What Not to Wear

The golden rule of dressing for a courthouse wedding is to not be underdressed. In fact, it is better to be a little bit overdressed than look like someone who barely put in the effort. Generally speaking, you might want to at least match the attires worn by folks working at the courthouse. 

Those working in the courthouse are typically seen in “smart” outfits. Sure, they won’t be flaunting their floor-length gowns, but they won’t be in denim and sandals either. 

If you feel completely lost, take a minute to observe the pictures of courthouse workers. See what they normally wear and let that guide you to pick your own guest outfit.  

A Final Word 

With less decision-making, planning, and money to put in than a traditional ceremony, courthouse weddings have their own special and intimate way of making memories. Whether you’re the gorgeous bride, loving and elegant MOB, or a friend of the bride – putting in the effort to dress well can decide the overall “look” of the entire wedding.

Now that you understand how to dress for a courthouse wedding, make sure you take a tour of NewYorkDress to explore high-end dresses and find an outfit perfect for the occasion.

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