Are You Legally Married but Want a Traditional Wedding?


The whole point of a wedding is to get married, right? Well, not necessarily. Covid-19 has changed many couples’ plans over the last year, especially when it comes to marriage. More couples are opting to do a civil ceremony first and a traditional wedding later.  Don’t worry you can still have an outdoor wedding ceremony and legally get married beforehand. Covid-19 has created a new wedding era where many couples think outside of the box for wedding planning. The most important thing to remember is that your wedding can be however you want. 


You can do a civil ceremony first and an outdoor wedding ceremony later, if you already have a date and venue picked out. But what does this look like, and how can you do it? 

Civil Ceremony First – Make things Official

In many states, no matter where you get married or when, you must sign the legal paperwork before or after.  You can choose to do the legal stuff first and continue the celebration later on, including an outdoor wedding ceremony, if that’s what you want. This is a perfect solution for couples looking to get married before 2021 is up, but still want a summer wedding next year. Keep these things in mind when you decide to do a civil ceremony before your wedding celebration. 

Do Your Research

Not all states will allow you to acquire a marriage license the same day as getting married. Some town halls may allow you to walk in, get a marriage license, hold a small ceremony, and file on the same day.  They may have an officiant waiting for you, or you may have to bring one with you. 

Think About the Ceremony

If you are legally getting married, you may not want to do another ceremony and opt for a big reception later on. Make this ceremony memorable and invite all of your close family to see it. Choose an outdoor wedding venue for the reception later. However, that is not your only option. You can legally get married and later on have another ceremony without needing to do any legal work. This is a nice way for your family to see vows exchanged while getting married earlier. This is perfect for couples looking to do an outdoor wedding ceremony while making it easier to plan.  

Why Have a Civil Ceremony First?

Couples all over the United States have decided to take this route. Why? They may have life changes coming up and want to make it official before their wedding day, or maybe they’ve had to push their wedding a year out due to covid-19. Whatever the reason is, you can still have a traditional wedding after a civil ceremony or court wedding. 

Celebrate and Throw a Reception

If you still want to walk down the aisle you can do that! You can even hire a second officiant to do a small ceremony for your family to witness without all of the legal work since you’ve already gotten married. The best part is? You don’t really have to tell your guests that you got married prior to the traditional wedding. They will be there for you, celebrating the day at a beautiful venue and watching you celebrate your love. You can do all of the activities you want while celebrating your marriage. You can wear the dress of your dreams and walk down the aisle to the man you love. Your father can give you away, you can toss the bouquet, cut the cake, and even have a first dance. 

Getting married prior to your wedding day can make it easier for you. It can also make it less stressful on the day of the outdoor wedding ceremony. Most importantly, you will have more fun when you don’t worry about the legal side of getting married. Covid-19 has changed our idea of what a wedding should look like, but you can get legally married and still throw the wedding you want.

Communicate to The Venue

If you decide you want a civil ceremony first and still want a venue for a traditional wedding, just tell the venue! This especially works out if you’ve already put deposits down on a venue and have been planning it for a while. You can still do all of your original plans for an outdoor wedding ceremony, but have a courthouse wedding first. 


There are many alternative wedding ceremonies and receptions right now, you just have to choose one that works for you.