How to Have a Courthouse Wedding with $500

Ashraf_Salgado_Natasha_I_Gillett_Photography_IMG_8742_lowIf there is one thing I love about eloping is having the option of going down to the courthouse and tying the knot.

A courthouse wedding can be a quick and easy way to go from engaged to wed without the stress of planning a major event. But why not make your trip to the courthouse a moment to remember?

Plan something unique and special for your trip to the courthouse!

Budgeting an event (big or small) is important, so even thought you aren’t aren’t going full on wedding you should still have a budget in mind and make sure it’s just enough to cover important expenses and to do something special.

Today’s budget is $500 and the location is the beautiful San Francisco City Hall. All you will need for this elopement is:

  • The location of a farmers market or grocery store
  • At least one guest

Because this budget isn’t on rock star status, it’s best suited for the locals (a destination elopement should have a larger budget), but this doesn’t mean you can’t apply these ideas to where you live!

First things first; the cost of your marriage licence and the and cost of the ceremony. For a marriage licence you should expect to pay $97 and $47 for a domestic partnership. There is also an additional $76 fee for a ceremony at the courthouse. You can (and probably should) make a reservation online and pay for you ceremony in advance.

Once that is taken care of, next is adding that something special. I recommend budgeting $250 for this.

IMG_261592Of course you can buy that super cute dress, those “to die for” shoes, that snazzy blazer, or something that can capture your “I do’s”… Like, maybe, a Polaroid Instant Camera.

Remember that guest I mentioned earlier? Have them take pictures throughout the day and then you can put together a fun photo album with the pictures! The Polaroid Z2300 doubles as a digital camera making it easy to upload the photos from your big day and making sharing a breeze!

Now, there are a couple of things that you just can’t go without! A beautiful bouquet and the rings shouldn’t be overlooked.

Set aside $40 for flowers that you can find at the farmers market or the grocery store. A hand tied bouquet is always stylish. Make it fun, wild, or simple so it can be courthouse wedding worthy.

The rings are something else that should be chic, but that doesn’t mean that they have to really expensive. $45 can get you a beautiful wedding band set from Etsy.

And that about covers it!

Let’s take a look at how much we’ve spent:

  • $97 for a marriage license
  • $76 for the ceremony
  • $203 for the Polaroid Z2300 Camera
  • $40 for flowers
  • $45 for the rings
  • $30 tax and shipping

Grand Total: $491

There are, of course, a lot of different ways to go about making this budget work for your unique courthouse wedding. The important thing to remember is this is YOUR special day, enjoy it!

What is something special you would buy for your courthouse wedding?

Safi and Gabriel’s San Francisco City Hall Wedding | Natasha I Gillett Photography

  1. shah dixon 3 years ago

    Such a neat and fun idea. I would add 2 cupcakes!

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