When it comes to getting married, most couples dream of hosting a grand celebration in some lavish venue, surrounded by hundreds of guests. However, there’s a growing trend for intimate and adventurous weddings that allow couples to focus on their love for each other.

We recently had the privilege of capturing an intimate wedding at Gainesville’s own Alachua County Courthouse. With our sweet couple, Matthew and Amira, this simple ceremony was transformed into an incredible adventure.

As we delve into the details of Amira and Matthew’s courthouse wedding, we’ll provide you with a few helpful tips as well. If you’re considering a courthouse wedding in this charming city, we’ll help you to make the most of every precious moment.

A Glimpse into Their Adventure

Courthouse Ceremony

Amira and Matthew decided to forgo the traditional wedding route in favor of something a little more intimate. Their love story is a testament to the idea that weddings should be a reflection of the couple’s personalities and desires.

While they were unable to have all of their family in attendance, Matthew’s parents tearfully watched as the happy couple exchanged vows. Throughout the ceremony, Amira’s phone was displayed on FaceTime, sharing this huge moment with family members all over the world.  

Urban Exploration

Following their courthouse elopement, Amira and Matthew headed out for an adventure in downtown Gainesville. From landmark to spectacular landmark, they celebrated the charm and character of this city on their special day.

Notably, they captured several romantic moments on the steps of Gainesville’s beloved Hippodrome Theater. The Hippodrome’s historic architecture made for the perfect backdrop to highlight their love story, adding a touch of grandeur to every image.

On a nearby rooftop, Matthew and Amira took in an incredible view of the Gainesville skyline. As they danced, laughed, and embraced one another, these two knew there was nothing in the world that could shake them.

A Sunset Hike

Amira and Matthew’s adventure ended with a sunset stroll at Sweetwater Wetlands State Park. Here, they took in the natural beauty of Florida’s landscape while celebrating their whirlwind romance.

Under a sky painted with hues of pink and orange, Amira and Matthew shared their first dance as husband and wife. Trust us when we say, this felt like a scene pulled straight out of a Hallmark movie.

Why we love courthouse weddings

Low stress

Planning a wedding can be one of the most challenging tasks for a couple to complete. From hunting for venues to researching countless wedding vendors, what should be a joyful time can quickly become a huge pain.

Courthouse weddings can be a great way to cut down on stress while still honoring your union. Instead of spending months trying to complete various checklists, you can actually look forward to exchanging vows with your soul mate.

If you’re worried about missing out on the grand celebration with your loved ones, you’re welcome to host a full ceremony or reception at a later date. Saving the party for another day can help to relieve pressure, allowing you to settle into married life before showing off your brand, new spouse.

Easily customizable

The best part about hosting a small, intimate ceremony is that you’re free to put your preferences first. As far as attire, decor, and floral arrangements, this is your big chance to show off your creative side!

To add a little fun to your elopement, you can bring various accessories, props, and sentimental items related to your story. With this in mind, your special day will be full of character, charm, and most importantly, love.

Saves money

With inflation on the rise, milk, gas, and just about everything else seems to be more expensive than ever. Unfortunately, weddings are not exempt from this trend, as the cost of professional services has continued to rise in recent years.

In fact, the average cost of a wedding in Florida is roughly $30,000, so we’d certainly understand if you wanted to save a dollar or two on the ceremony. Having a courthouse wedding can be a great way to make your union official without breaking the bank.

The money that you save on the wedding can instead be put toward a honeymoon, wedding present, or even a down payment on your forever home. However you choose to spend your hard-earned cash, you’ll have plenty saved up for your next adventure.

FAQs: Planning the perfect courthouse wedding

Now that we’ve shared the elegance of Amira and Matthew’s adventure, we’ll provide all the information you need for a courthouse wedding in Gainesville. If you’re considering an intimate ceremony in this beautiful city, you’ve come to the right place.

Where is the Alachua County Courthouse?

The Alachua County Clerk of Court is located at 201 E. University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601. This is where you’ll need to obtain your marriage license and where courthouse weddings are typically held.

Can you get married at the Alachua County Courthouse?

Yes, couples are welcome to get married at the Alachua County Courthouse! Since this is a government agency, you can rest assured that the process will be detailed, efficient, and fully legal.

How much does a courthouse wedding cost Florida?

Regardless of the state, you can expect marriage license fees nationwide. For your courthouse wedding, you will need to bring cash or a credit card for payment. 

In Florida, you can get a marriage license for the price of $86.00. This fee can be reduced to $61.00 if couples have completed a licensed premarital preparation class in the state of Florida.

How do you get married at the courthouse in Florida?

In order to have a courthouse wedding in Gainesville, couples are required to follow a specific series of steps.

1. Fill out the online application

On the Alachua County website, you will find the online application for your marriage license. Once you’ve entered the necessary information, you can begin scheduling your appointment.

2. Set up your appointment

After filling out the online application, you can set up an appointment to come pick up your marriage license. Be sure to choose a date/time that you both can visit the courthouse, otherwise, you will not be able to pick up these documents.

3. Obtain your marriage license

Couples must fill out a marriage license application if they’d like to exchange vows in Gainesville, Florida.

Note: Couples must fulfill the 3-day waiting period before the ceremony can take place. 3 days from the time of application, couples are eligible to get married.

This waiting period is waived for international residents.

4. Get married!

After the three-day waiting period has passed, you can finally say “I do!” Just head into the Gainesville courthouse, and you’re ready to begin a beautiful future with the love of your life.

If you would prefer a more convenient setting or have accessibility needs, the court can also perform drive-thru wedding ceremonies. This gives you the option to celebrate your romance, all from the comfort of your own car.

What do I need to bring to the courthouse to get married in Florida?

  • Marriage License: You can apply for a marriage license at the Clerk of Court’s office. Both parties must be present, and there’s a waiting period of three days, but this can be waived for non-Florida residents.
  • Proof of residence: In order to get accurate pricing and policy information, you may be asked to bring in proof of Florida residence.
  • Witnesses: Two witnesses are required for the ceremony, and they can be provided by the Clerk of Court’s office if needed.
  • Valid photo identification: couples must present a photo ID in order to obtain a marriage license. Examples include: valid passport, military identification card.
  • Birth certificate: IF one or both of you are 16-17, you will be required to bring a birth certificate, as well as written parental permission.
  • Divorce decree: if one or both of you were previously married, you may be requested to bring official proof of your divorce.

In Conclusion

Amira and Matthew’s courthouse elopement was the perfect example of a unique love story. Gainesville provides a stunning backdrop for courthouse weddings, offering couples the opportunity to combine adventure and intimacy into a perfect wedding day.

Whether you’re considering a courthouse wedding or a more traditional celebration, remember that your wedding should be a reflection of your love. With its natural beauty and historic charm, Gainesville is a vibrant, charming location to start your married life together.

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Mel & John



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