So you’re planning a courthouse wedding. Which, in a way, checks many of the typical wedding planning boxes in and of itself. Cross “furiously analyzing Pinterest for wedding decor ideas” off your list. The same goes for hiring a caterer, memorizing the first dance moves, and drafting up a seating chart that makes everyone happy. With all that mental space open, there is one thing that rises to the top: what will you wear?! Let’s skip to the good part — today we’re talking about courthouse wedding dresses!
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What to Wear to a Courthouse Wedding
When you’re planning your look for a courthouse wedding, just like any wedding, you should first ask yourself a few questions. 1. What style of dress (or jumpsuit or suit) makes me feel most like myself? 2. Consider the time of year — will it be hot, cold, or mild? 3. What do I WANT to wear? It’s important to consider both the practical and the wish-fulfillment sides as you come to a decision.
GWS Tip: If the first and third questions are hard for you to answer, pay attention to which looks make your heart beat just a little bit faster as you scroll through below. Sometimes our bodies are the best indicators of what we truly want!
Most courthouse wedding dresses are going to err on the side of more simple, casual, and often (though not always) with a shorter hemline. They generally mirror the entire reason you’ve decided to opt for a civil ceremony — to keep it simple. However, should you want to waltz up those courthouse steps with a 10-foot train behind you? We say go for it!
Should you wear a jumpsuit?
Who doesn’t love a chic jumpsuit moment? We’re all for sporting a bridal jumpsuit or a bridal suit on the big day.
What type of shoes should you wear to the courthouse?
Listen, we are not above advising you to spend all that would-be catering budget on a pair of once-in-a-lifetime shoes. With a courthouse wedding, you can either go big or go casual — and either is welcome. From classic wedding shoes to bridal sneakers, you can’t go wrong.
With that in mind, it’s time to look at some of our favorite wedding dresses for a courthouse wedding!
Simple Courthouse Wedding Dresses
Simple courthouse wedding dresses are here to help you do what you came to do: get married! (And look real good while you do it). These simple dresses are still incredibly chic and anything but boring.
This dress kicked off a whole new wave of trends when we shared this elopement on GWS. It was a year into the pandemic and couples were ready to shake things up after all the heartache and changing of plans. Enter: this dress. It’s fun and frills without apology. No wonder brides are rocking the Mini Caspian all over IG — this might just be the perfect courthouse wedding dress!
AKA, the dress with the bow. This dress is all about simplicity in the front but a great big showstopper in the back! Plus, it also comes in powder blue.
You contain multitudes. Aka, you can wear that simple A-line dress AND rock some of 2022’s hottest wedding trends.
The simplicity of that perfect V in the back wins this one for us. In addition to the long sleeves, the high-low skirt, and the way the crepe falls just so.
The feather flourish adds that perfect something to the simple sheath silhouette.
Selkie’s famous puff sleeves take on bridal fashion with this stunning white gown — you’ll wear it again. For real.
The layering on this stunner of a dress and the nondescript high slit make this simple dress absolutely ethereal!
Casual Courthouse Wedding Dresses
Keep it cas’ in one of these casual dresses — no-frills and just begging to be paired with a cute sneaker!
What is it about a dainty spaghetti strap?! This ’90s-inspired dress comes in 14 colors if you’re looking to really mix things up.
For the über feminine, this is simply the dress for you. And just like its full-length counterpart above, you’ll wear this again!
The delicate tulle on this two-piece gown makes it a stunner for the ethereal quality and totally unique neckline!
This dress was inspired by the layers of petals on a rose. Bloom like the flower you are (and please carry roses when you do).
This mini dress is a fave (and we love a bride in a mini dress). Pair it with a long veil for some drama!
Zoom into that darling bubble hem for a closer look at the textured jacquard detailing!
Dress it up or dress it down! With a sexy wide open back, you’ll be a showstopper either way.
The bow tie straps bring a sweet feminine energy to this casual dress…with pockets!!
Courthouse Wedding Dresses Under $100
If planning a courthouse wedding has anything to do with budget, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of truly beautiful courthouse wedding dresses under $100!
This long, luxe, satin pillar gown creates the most beautiful drape!
This white maxi dress from Lulus has almost two thousand reviews and lands at nearly 5 stars. It comes in several colors, extended sizes, and only costs $89.
The column silhouette on this beautiful gown features a low back and a mini train that’s just perfect for those courthouse steps.
The corset style is in! We love it on a short dress with an off-the-shoulder sleeve.
Okay, how utterly chic is this one-shoulder dress? The way it wraps around all the way to the wrist — so good. It comes in a few different colors, as well. (Loving the black mesh!)
The flattering ruffle layers on the bodice can be worn on the shoulders or off. Versatility for a highly reviewed gown that’s under $50!
You can feel like a princess on your wedding day — and it doesn’t have to cost all your savings! This princess dress lives up to its name, with plenty of magic up those puffy sleeves.
This short and sweet lace dress is less than $50 and would be so fun to style with fun jewelry and shoes!
This dress is even cuter in person! The sleeves can be worn on or off the shoulder and there’s an adorable bow to tie it all together in the back.
Boho Courthouse Wedding Dresses
What elements make up the boho courthouse wedding dress? Details like graphic lace, ruffles, and embellished beading all make the cut. These are a bit shorter and a bit more casual but can be worn perfectly with a rad pair of bridal boots, a hat, or statement earrings.
This affordable dress features a knit lining beneath a crochet lace overlay.
This dress is layers of silk crêpe with a modern Victorian detail at the sleeves and it’s just SO pretty.
There are so many fun details to love about this dress! The sheer lace detail, the removable belt, and that classic silhouette. Add a bouquet and you’re good to go!
This boho dress definitely leans casual, but it’s just so cute — it could definitely work for a laidback day. (And then later when you celebrate on the beach!)
There needed to be some sequin embroidery on this list and this little stunner gets it done! Such a fun little number.
The flouncy ruffles are a great big yes and the tie on the back? Bet you never saw it coming.
All over beading with a fringe skirt — imagine this with some cowboy boots. We’re DONE.
Colorful or Alternative Courthouse Wedding Dresses
You’re going to the courthouse — let’s have some FUN. White is never required, especially for a civil ceremony. If you’re looking for something a little outside the box, let’s do this.
Pink. Tulle. Corset. OH YES. This cotton candy dress would be the MOST fun to wear.
This cutie of a dress sells out fast so if you like it (and your size isn’t available) bookmark it to keep tabs!
Polka dots, please! This skater skirt is fit for a twirl after the “I do’s” are all said and done.
We’ve seen a few brides don the full-length version of this dress and it is a WONDER. Such a beautiful and well-made dress that you’ll certainly love wearing.
Go full fairytale mode with this baby pink tulle dress covered in embroidered flowers. Happy ever after, indeed.
You’ll be walking on cloud 9 in this fashion-forward mini. From the exaggerated sleeves to the bow, your something blue is also something very, very chic.
Finally, we come to the tuxedo dress. Always a classic, always a winner.