Pros and cons of a courthouse wedding

Pros and cons of a courthouse wedding

Nowadays, weddings are elaborate events. However, bigger isn’t always better. Home Affairs -or courthouse weddings- are a great alternative for couples that don’t want a big fuss or simply don’t have the funds.

If you are considering having a courthouse wedding, you need to be aware of the positives and the negatives that it entails.


More intimate:

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to have a large amount of guests. With a courthouse wedding, you go back to basics with the people that matter. Generally at courthouse weddings, it’s just you, your partner, the officiant and two witnesses. Up to six guests are usually allowed to participate in the proceedings. Invite your best friends or family members to share in your special moment.


Weddings are expensive. Many South African couples spend upwards of R70 000 – R80 000 on their big day. If you don’t have the funds, a courthouse wedding is essentially free of charge (you still have to pay for the marriage licence), leaving you to spend your money in other ways.

Little planning necessary:

With a courthouse wedding, all you really need to do is make an appointment and show up. There is no dress rehearsal, no event planner, no real planning necessary. If you’re a more chilled person that doesn’t want to be bogged down by details, this might be a great option for you.

Less stressful:

Wedding planning can be overwhelming. With vendors, schedules and seating arrangements, it can quickly become a stressful time moving around multiple elements that need to fit together. Cut out the stress by having a simple courthouse wedding.



Loved ones don’t get to witness your wedding:

Weddings are a great time for family and friends to gather together and celebrate their loved ones. What other opportunity do you get to have everyone you love under one roof on such a special occasion? With a courthouse wedding, however, there is little space for guests, as many only allow a maximum of six. Many of the people you love will thus not be present on your big day.

Location is not always pretty:

Most Home Affairs offices are not exactly aesthetically pleasing. With dull brown furniture and bare white walls, you venue can leave you begging for some vibrancy. If you want beautiful pictures and a decorated venue, a Home Affairs wedding might not meet your standards.

At the end of the day, your wedding day is about you. If a smaller wedding feels right, then do it. Alternatively, if you’ve always dreamed of having a big wedding then live your fantasy. There is no one-size-fits-all for weddings.

Image: Unsplash

Article written by