What to Wear to a Civil Wedding

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A dark-haired woman wearing a V-neck pink formal dress standing next to a blonde-haired woman wearing a floral cocktail dress

Whether you’re preparing for your more intimate wedding or attending a loved one’s courthouse ceremony, knowing what to wear to a civil wedding can guide you to the perfect outfit for the special day. Traditionally more casual, courthouse wedding attire can still capture the atmosphere of the occasion without sacrificing your dream bridal look. Not sure where to start? Read on for our breakdown of courthouse wedding clothes for inspiration. 

Courthouse wedding dress code

With a smaller, modern setting and a more relaxed feel, civil wedding  outfits tend to adhere to a more casual dress code. For brides-to-be, consider shorter, simpler dresses in lightweight fabrics, while grooms have the freedom to choose a suit in their preferred shade. Of course, newlyweds can still select their preferred attire, and couples can opt to exchange vows in a more semiformal ensemble.  


Woman with high ponytail and sunglasses wearing a pink tulle cocktail dress with a V neckline

For guests attending a civil ceremony, ensure you speak to the soon to-be newlyweds for their preferences on the dress code. Lightweight, summery maxi dresses in relaxed fabrics are ideal as casual wedding guest dresses, while tea-length or shorter designs in more formal materials provide a more elevated look. Suits aren’t necessary for men; instead, pair smart khakis with a collared button-down. 

Courthouse wedding outfit ideas for brides-to-be

Capture the bridal look of your dreams by selecting a civil marriage ceremony ensemble that complements your special day. Sophisticated, short civil wedding dresses allow you to move with ease from city hall to the celebrations in effortlessly chic style. For a more contemporary bridal ensemble, consider our off-the-shoulder beaded top to pair with a white midi skirt, or choose red over white for a thoroughly modern sartorial statement.  


Woman wearing a two-piece bridal outfit with an off-the-shoulder top and a tulle skirt.

Alternatively, select our simple wedding dresses to capture your classic style. Decide between a structured silhouette with elegant, puffed long sleeves for a timeless design or our halter-neck vintage wedding dress for a retro feel. Minimalist wedding dresses give you a clean slate on which you can create your unique bridal attire, dressing them up or down. For a glamorous twist, adapt the gown for your civil ceremony with contrasting accessories, and then turn on the sparkle with jewelry and stilettos for the celebration. 

Courthouse wedding outfits for grooms

Capture the relaxed atmosphere of your laid-back ceremony by opting for khakis and a crisp white button-down as casual courthouse attire. Complete the look with simple brown loafers and a lightweight blazer for an added layer ideal for spring or fall ceremonies. Alternatively, opt for a more modern look by selecting slacks and a sports jacket in a fun color. Deciding to have a more elevated dress code? Ensure a dressy, casual courthouse wedding outfit by slipping on a classic black suit for timeless style. For a unique semiformal ensemble, consider a navy blue suit or warm burgundy for an unforgettable courthouse wedding look. 

Courthouse wedding guest attire

Browsing for what to wear to your loved one’s ceremony can bedaunting. Luckily, knowing how to dress for a courthouse wedding is made simpler with the laid-back atmosphere. In general, guests should opt for attire that strikes a balance between formality and simplicity.

Women’s courthouse wedding outfits

Midi or short cocktail dresses are ideal for civil ceremonies, and if you prefer a floor-length design, ensure you select a model in a lightweight fabric to avoid an overly luxurious look. For a modern silhouette, slip on a wide-leg jumpsuit or dare to create your own unique ensemble by mixing and matching your favorite slacks with a blouse.


Woman wearing a short sparkly cocktail dress in blue with silver high heels.

Pick out a wedding guest dress in a color suited to the season’s palette to adhere to the time of year. Opt for breathtaking pastel hues for springtime's cheery atmosphere and deep, warmer tones for fall ceremonies.

Men’s courthouse wedding outfits

If the couple specified dressy casual or semiformal attire, ensure you arrive in timeless attire by opting for a pair of slacks and lightweight blazer in a neutral shade. Incorporate a white collared button-down for a polished finishing touch.

For a more laid-back look, forgo the jacket all together and instead create a simple yet elegant ensemble by complementing your favorite trousers with a collared shirt in a colorful hue. Slip on brown loafers to complete the relaxed yet refined attire.

Whether you’re preparing for your special day or getting ready to attend a loved one’s, creating the right civil wedding ceremony look can be challenging. Between curating a fairy-tale-worthy ensemble with lightweight, airy fabrics and coordinating with your groom’s suit in a different shade, the possibilities for unique civil marriage outfits for soon-to-be newlyweds seem endless. Similarly, guests can dress their attire up or down according to the invitation’s dress code. Begin the search with these helpful tips in mind to help you find your ideal ensemble even sooner.

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