20 Personalized City Hall Wedding Ideas

bride and groom celebrate outside city hall after wedding ceremony
Amanda Wei Photo

Traditional weddings aren't for everyone. Luckily, you don't need to stress over planning (or budgeting for!) a formal ceremony and reception to have a magical "I do" moment. A city hall celebration, for example, offers a lot of pros. The intimate setting allows you to personalize your nuptials in ways that a larger wedding wouldn't, resulting in a celebration that's a reflection of you and your fiancé. Isn't that what your wedding should really be about, anyway? Plus, city halls often make beautiful big-day backdrops. More often than not, these buildings feature historic architecture—which means beautiful wedding portraits, as well as a charming ceremony atmosphere, are virtually guaranteed.

If you associate city hall weddings only with elopements, think again. While plenty of couples do elope at city halls, these nuptials can be thoughtful and curated—like any wedding—and offer plenty of romance. There are many ways to make this ceremony type feel elevated, starting with your fashion choices. Take this couple, for example. The bride sported a traditional Jenny Yoo wedding dress for her big day, which she styled with Valentino heels and a colorful bouquet by Studio Choo. Having these classic elements made the couple's city hall celebration feel extra special—and helped the woman of the hour feel decidedly bridal in a less formal setting.

Beyond your attire, there are so many ways to put together a refined city hall wedding. Ahead you'll see how couples put their spin on their small-scale services with announcement stationery, signs, and even getaway cars. Each duo prioritized their love as they celebrated their elopements and intimate celebrations—and you can, too.

01 of 19

Traditional Bouquet

rustic wedding floral bouquet arrangement
Anna Jones Photography

Incorporate an iconic big-day tradition into your city hall wedding by carrying a bouquet, like this rustic iteration by The Petaler.

02 of 19

Marble Entryway

bride and groom standing in marble entryway at city hall
Anna Jones Photography

Getting married at a city hall doesn't always mean exchanging vows in a cramped, utilitarian room—most locations offer scenic spots to tie the knot. This bride wore an elegant BHLDN dress while saying "I do" in this building's vast marble entryway.

03 of 19

Getaway Car

black vintage wedding day getaway car
Caroline Tran Photography

Many traditional big-day elements can still work at a city hall. A getaway car, like this one decorated by Written Word Calligraphy and Amy Burke Designs, is a classic way to elevate your just-married moment.

04 of 19

Patterned Suit

groom wearing plaid brown suit holding bride's hand on city hall steps
Cheers Babe Photo

An intimate, informal ceremony allows couples to have fun with their ensembles. This groom looked dapper in a patterned, brown suit, while his chic bride wore a Theia gown and accessorized with a Farmgirl Flowers bouquet.

05 of 19

Creative Outlet

bride wearing white wedding suit standing with groom wearing navy suit
Christine Doneé

The key to an elevated city hall wedding is to get creative when customizing your big day's elements, which includes attire. Can you believe this bride designed her own wedding suit? She styled her look with a Running Wild Florals arrangement, a vintage hat, and Alexander Wang heels.

06 of 19

Captured Kiss

bride and groom sitting in back of white vintage getaway car
Elizabeth Messina Photography

Make like this couple and share a kiss in your getaway car outside of city hall—it'll make for a picture-perfect moment.

07 of 19

Designer Dress

bride wearing Monique Lhuillier wedding dress to city hall venue
Elizabeth Messina Photography

You don't have to give up your dream of wearing couture just because you're keeping your wedding low-key. This bride showed up to this city hall in a Monique Lhuillier dress and accessorized with a Kathleen Deery Design clutch.

08 of 19

Styled Vows

pre-written wedding vows on rough edged paper with wax seal
Jérémy Froeliger

A simple, no-fuss elopement doesn't mean you should bypass the chance to speak from the heart. We suggest asking a calligrapher to print your pre-written vows on a pretty piece of paper—this vow sheet was styled by Ivy Cousin —for a thoughtful element you'll keep forever.

09 of 19

Sleek Portrait

groom dips bride on city hall steps
Taralynn Lawton

Typically, city halls are beautifully designed and offer plenty of history. You shouldn't have any issues staging the perfect portrait, as evidenced by this pair. The bride looked sleek in an Ellery dress while holding a homemade clutch.

10 of 19

Swept Away

groom carries bride out of city hall after wedding ceremony
The Great Romance

Make your big-day exit grand, even if no one is watching. This groom swept his bride (who sported a short Amy Kuschel dress for the occasion) off of her feet as they left their city hall nuptials.

11 of 19

Wedding Sign

bride and groom holding white wedding sign with blue writing "we eloped"
Kelsey Regan Photography

You may not be able to hang wedding signs at a city hall, but having a display to hold for photos (this "We Eloped" iteration was created by Katie Leavens) is a must.

12 of 19

Celebratory Shot

bride and groom holding hands walking down city hall steps after wedding ceremony
L&L Style Photo

Don't forget to ask your photographer—if you decide to have one!—to capture one of the most emotional moments of your wedding day: the exit. This pair couldn't contain their excitement as they ascended down this city hall's staircase.

13 of 19

Casually Timeless

groom kissing bride on cheek outside of city hall
Melanie Duerkopp Photography

A casual wedding dress can still be charming and timeless, as exemplified by this bride. She sported a tea-length number with a white lace overlay, which she paired with cheerful blooms by Natalie Bowen and a natural beauty look by Jane Kim.

14 of 19

Memorable Keepsake

groom holding city hall ticket number showing wedding date
Melissa Kruse Photography

This couple held onto their city hall ticket number as a memorable keepsake, proving intimate ceremonies are all about celebrating the little things.

15 of 19

Grand Exit

grooms walking out of city hall after wedding ceremony
Barb Simkova/Tara McMullen Photo

Looking to make a grand city hall exit that involves all your loved ones? Take a note from these grooms who had friends and family cheer them on as they left the building as husbands.

16 of 19

Celebratory Refreshments

pink frosted cupcakes with champagne bottle and floral decor
Kelsey Regan Photography

Bring festive treats, like cupcakes and a Champagne bottle, to city hall so you can celebrate post-ceremony.

17 of 19

Romantic Architecture

city hall wedding bride and groom in front of windows
Kat Braman

Make sure to plan your wedding photos beforehand by scouting out the best backdrops in your city hall venue. That's how this duo discovered this charming hallway with breathtaking views.

18 of 19

Elopement Announcements

vintage inspired calligraphed wedding invitation stationary
Kelsey Regan Photography

Even if you opt for a private elopement, you'll still want to share the happy news with friends and family. Your inner circle will love receiving announcements, like these by Katie Leavens, in the mail.

19 of 19

Finishing Touches

wedding couple
Lacie Hansen Photography

Complete your big-day ensembles with the perfect accessories to upgrade your overall looks. This classic bride in elegant Margaret Elizabeth earrings, while her groom finished off his outfit with a boutonnière by Natalie Bowen Designs.

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