How to get Married at the Courthouse | 7 Tips to planning a memorable Pittsburgh Courthouse Wedding 

August 17, 2023

Natalia Baqueiro

Eloping, Pittsburgh Locations, Weddings

Couple skipping laughing in the streets of Downtown Pittsburgh after getting married at Allegheny Courthouse

7 Tips to Having an Unforgettable Pittsburgh Courthouse Wedding

You’re getting married to your best friend?! You can’t wait to tie the knot and you’re doing a courthouse wedding with just the two of you and maybe a few of your best friends to celebrate this moment with them. The big wedding? Yeah, that’s happening in two years in Portugal or Spain, you’re still undecided about it, and you have two years to plan your badass destination wedding, so until then, let’s focus on your Pittsburgh courthouse wedding!

This all sounds AMAZING! I can’t wait for you to have the best Pittsburgh courthouse wedding, because… Let me tell you something, it can be as amazing and memorable as you want it to be. Here are a few tips to making it happen. 

First, what’s a civil ceremony? It’s the legal part of a union between you two officiated by a government official, which makes you a married couple in society. The non-religious ceremony, followed by an exchanged of vows, and signing of document which makes you legally married to your person!! Y-A-Y!

So what to do next? Let’s go by order of importance.

Pittsburgh allegheny courthouse Wedding Elopement Couple walking down the street in Downtwon

1. Contact the courthouse and gather pertinent information

Contact the city hall where you want to get married, it doesn’t have to be the closest to you! It can be another one that you like, but keep in mind that each state and even counties have different rules and regulations so keep that in mind when you look for the one, you’d like to get married at. If you haven’t already, apply for the marriage license. 

The Allegheny County Courthouse in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (436 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219) is a beautiful building and one that it’s not only popular, but accessible in the Pittsburgh area. Not to mentioned that the buildings are considered among the finest examples of the Romanesque Revival style for which Richardson is well known. The building’s design is medieval in character, with steep slate roofs, massive walls of Worcester granite, turrets and arched windows. You know what that means, right?! Picture perfect!! 

Once you get to the courthouse both of you must go to the Marriage License Bureau Office together and complete an Application for Marriage License, and WALA!

Bride and Groom Sitting at Allegheny Courthouse after court house Elopement

2. Send out invites to close friends and family

Now that we have the most important part of the list done, figuring out who you’d like to attend, if any apart from your witness is what’s next. Generally, a pittsburgh courthouse wedding is small and personal. But you may want to invite a few of your closest friends and family members, so make sure to let them know in advance. 

Maybe you only want a witness, you guys, and a photographer to document your special moment, and that is also as valid and intimate as the first option. It all comes down to what feel right to you and fiancé. 

3. Selecting your Wedding Flowers: A bad-ass bouquet

Yeap! That’s always a great idea! Flowers are a beautiful detail to have, even if you’re having a small ceremony. It brings details and a special touch to the equation, and the photos will look fabulous as well, so if you’re on the fence about it, please get those flower details ready! 

If you do have a couple of friends and family with you, you can also have pedals thrown at you guys when you exit the courthouse in celebration, and the photographer will capture all those little moments for you to have forever! 

Couple at Allegheny Courthouse with bouquet of flowers

4. Choosing your Outfit: What to wear to a courthouse wedding

Apart from the flowers, choosing what you’re wearing is a major decision! If you’re not sure about what to wear, no worries! I got you. Think impactful and simple, after all that’s what a courthouse wedding is, and the focus is more on you and your fiancé than anything else. 

An elegant simple dress is a great choice, but you can also choose what this couple did: a bridal suite! Wedding suits for brides are a great idea to keeping it simple, classy, and original!! They’re full of personality and the perfect occasion to rock one. You can pair it with your favorite heels, a vail, and a pair of cheek sunglasses. 

City Hall Elopement Wedding in Downtown Pittsburgh Bride and Groom standing

As for your partner, if he is a man, he can wear a tux or suit—depending on the time of day and what his preferences are in style. If your person is a bride, you can either match, or she can wear a dress and you can go for the bridal suite. What I want you to know is you have options, and it all depends on how you want to make this day authentic to you and your story. And as I always say, have fun along the way!

5. Hire a photographer to document it all!

Once you’ve figured out all the details and you have a plan, you MUST book a photographer to capture it all! Please, please, please I promise it’ll be worth it. You’ll want all the special memories captured for years to come—even if it’s just a courthouse wedding, you’ll want this day documented. 

Just imagine you guys walking to the courthouse, right before you sign and are officially husband and wife. The excitement right after, the kisses, the hugs, the excitement, the tears! 

If you have your eye on a certain wedding photographer in pittsburgh, just ask them, especially if you’re getting married on a weekday, chances are they can make it happen, and even help you with the planning of it all! 

City Hall Elopement Wedding at Allegheny Court House in Pittsburgh


6. Just Married: A Courthouse Wedding after party

Okay! Let’s continue with the theme, think outside of the box and what makes you two YOU. What’s one thing you guys love to do?! Have a small gathering with friends and family, or go to a bar in downtown because it reminds you of your first date ever? 

What about your local cafe where you like to have brunch on Sundays? Or a picnic on the park, or a sunset by the beach? 

The point of this is that you’re both happy, carefree, and in the present moment anything goes, and the options are wide open!! And please, don’t forget to coordinate with your wedding photographer so this part is captured as well, I really do promise you, you won’t forget it! 

7. The Last and most important: Be in the MOMENT!

This is my most important recommendation, because the day goes by so fast, and I’m pretty sure you’ve been dreaming of this moment your entire life, and now you get to do life with your best friend and that is nothing less than incredible, so make sure you are present every minute of it!

Just Married Allegheny County Courthouse Wedding in Pittsburgh
Bride and Groom at Pittsburgh Allegheny County Courthouse Wedding
Bride and Groom Bridal Portraits in Downtown Pittsburgh

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