Before we dive into the basics of shopping for a courthouse wedding dress, the most important thing to know is that in the end, anything goes, because it's your wedding! But there are a few details that can be helpful to remember if you've decided to get married at city hall, your local county clerk's office, or a courthouse. Depending on the exact location, you might be limited on space—for example, a very short or non-existent aisle, a small area to stand at the altar, etc.—so be mindful of that when shopping for your civil wedding dress. Styles with large amounts of fabric may not be as easy to maneuver in tight spaces.
Second, think about who, if anyone, will be present to help you get dressed on the day of the wedding. If you'll be getting ready alone, you may want to skip styles with intricate corsets or button-up backs. We always recommend consulting bridal shops in your area before buying a dress online, since many stores offer informal wedding dresses and off-the-rack styles alongside their traditional gowns. But if you're not able to shop in person or can't find a last-minute dress in time, we've picked a few options to consider.
Here are 25 throw-on-and-go courthouse wedding dress ideas you can shop right now.
Allover ruching on this dress hugs your curves to create a gorgeous hourglass shape, while flowy sleeves allow you to move around comfortably. Finish the look with a pair of pointed stiletto pumps to elongate your legs.
Kiyonna plus-size ruched dress in ivory, $106, David’s Bridal
A little bit classic, a little bit flirty—this embroidered lace frock is a pretty courthouse wedding dress if you're planning to marry in the spring or summer.
ML Monique Lhuillier lace midi dress, $495, Nordstrom
A white jumpsuit is a stylish alternative to a city hall wedding dress. This one-shoulder style is perfect for petite brides, thanks to its 28-inch inseam and flattering crepe fabric that will show off your shape.
Black Halo pravella jumpsuit, from $45, Rent the Runway
Don't be afraid to get a little non-traditional with your courthouse bridal look! A high-low skirt is a fun option for your civil wedding dress, especially if you're in the mood to wear a fabulous pair of shoes.
Parker Black Roxanne gown, $388, Revolve
If you've been dreaming of wearing a wedding dress with a full skirt and train, consider this classic number by Jenny Yoo. The A-line silhouette is slimmer than a large ball gown skirt (which means it's much easier to move around in), but you'll still get the full bridal effect.
Jenny by Jenny Yoo Octavia gown, $975, BHLDN
Introducing the ultimate cool bride outfit: this pantsuit. Bridal separates look amazing on your wedding day, but even better, you can re-wear them again and again for years to come by pairing them with other items in your closet.
A floral jacquard print and feminine bustier top give this courthouse wedding dress a flirty, sexy vibe. And it has pockets—need we say more?
Lulus from this day forward jacquard dress, $58, Lulus
This satin LWD hits the mark when it comes to minimalist style. It's a blank slate for whatever type of accessories you're into (like edgy bridal jacket), but this dress is also chic enough to pull its own weight and can be worn long after your wedding day.
Line & Dot Loulou satin dress, $92, Revolve
How about a two-in-one look for your courthouse wedding dress? This lace romper features long illusion sleeves, a cutout back, and a removable overskirt that you can take off after the ceremony.
Galina Signature brocade plus-size wedding romper with overskirt, $899, David’s Bridal
A flowy wrap dress feels totally bridal with the help of a few accessories and details. This linen style, which would be lovely for a summertime wedding, features adjustable spaghetti straps that cross in the back and a sweet bow to tie it all together.
ASTR the Label Ambrosia maxi dress in white, $148, Nordstrom
Wear your heart on your sleeve—or in this case, your dress! This adorable mini dress is embellished with white sequins and the word 'love' in contrasting gold letters, adding a whimsical element to your courthouse wedding look.
Theia Kaida dress, $260, BHLDN
If your style is modern and simple, you'll love this crepe mermaid gown for your civil wedding dress. The buttons down the front give the dress a fresh element and allow you to customize how high the slit goes.
David’s Bridal Collection button-front stretch crepe wedding dress, $399, David’s Bridal
What could be more romantic than a dress covered in lace roses? We're obsessed with this sophisticated sheath style, which features thin straps and a satin waist detail in a barely-there blush hue.
Catherine Deane rose lace Frida dress, from $115, Rent the Runway
For your own Marilyn Monroe moment (without the wardrobe malfunction, we hope!). This vintage-inspired courthouse wedding dress is effortless and comfortable—plus, it's flattering for all body types with adjustable straps and a flowy tulle skirt.
Lulus walking on air tulle midi dress, $99, Lulus
This off-the-shoulder column dress feels red carpet-ready. And for brides who don't want to wear white on their wedding day, it's available in six other colors.
BHLDN Thompson dress in ivory, $168, BHLDN
If you're not into dresses or skirts, a versatile white jumpsuit is perfect for a city hall wedding any time of the year.
Adrianna Papell asymmetric overlay jumpsuit, from $30, Rent the Runway
Calling all fashion-forward brides. Blazer dresses are making their way back into style, and this mini dress is right on trend. Details like puff sleeves and double-breasted buttons give it an updated '80s look in the coolest way.
Bardot button-front long sleeve blazer dress, $149, David’s Bridal
Many brides choose to wear mid- or tea-length city hall wedding dresses, but by no means do you have to. If you prefer a full-length gown, we recommend a slimmer silhouette, such as this airy chiffon style (it also comes in blush!).
Lulus best part of me satin bustier maxi dress, $95, Lulus
You can also go super-short in a leg-baring mini dress. Thanks to the high neckline and sheer lace sleeves, this dress won't leave you feeling totally exposed at the altar.
NBD Abra dress, $310, Revolve
This understated civil wedding dress is timeless and elegant. A plunging v-neckline gives the long-sleeved satin style a contemporary edge.
Bardot Zaria midi dress, $129, Zappos
You'll feel like a million bucks in this glamorous sequined gown, which features a cowl back to offset the higher neckline. It has rave reviews for being comfortable and flattering at the same time, and it's available in three different lengths.
Badgley Mischka award-winner gown, from $100, Rent the Runway
If you're looking for a courthouse wedding dress that offers a bit of modesty, try this classic knee-length style. It's ideal for any season and will give you that classic bridal vibe.
Kiyonna plus-size wedding belle short dress, $188, David’s Bridal
We're into this unique boho-inspired maxi dress, which can be worn two different ways. Brides with smaller busts can wear the deep v-neckline in the front for a sexy (but tasteful) hint of skin, or you can turn the dress around for a little more coverage.
HAH take a bow dress, from $35, Rent the Runway
Wear a floor-length lace dress for a traditional bridal look. This sheath gown is accented with a demure side slit, pretty eyelash lace trim, and a low scoop back.
Melissa Sweet long-sleeve faux surplice wedding dress, $849, David’s Bridal
Sheer mesh cutouts add modern flair to this elegant civil wedding dress. Finish the look with a sleek updo, like a topknot or a ponytail.
Adrianna Papell illusion crepe column gown, $199, Zappos
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