If you’re considering a Chicago City Hall weddings then you’ve come to the right spot. Here you’ll find everything you need to know to plan the perfect day.
How do I get married at Chicago City Hall?
step one. get your marriage license
The very first thing you’ll need to do if you want to get married at Chicago City Hall or the Chicago Cultural Center is get your marriage license. Both you and your partner will need to go together in person to obtain your license which will be issued while you wait. You can start the process online, however you’ll still need to go in person to complete the process. The marriage license fee is $60. You can find more detailed information on the Cook County Clerk’s website.
*Important note: marriage licenses are only valid for 60 days from the day they were issued.
step two. schedule an appointment for your ceremony
Once you have your license you’ll need to schedule your ceremony. It’s highly recommended that your schedule your date as soon as possible as dates fill up quickly, particularly on the weekend. It’s also important to act quickly since your license is only valid for 60 days from issuance.
Your wedding ceremony can be held at either location: Chicago City Hall or the Chicago Cultural Center. It’s important to note however that Cultural Center ceremonies only occur on one Saturday each month are limited to ten couples. Ceremonies at Chicago City Hall occur six days per week, but appointments are required for either location. There is a $10 fee to schedule your ceremony whichever location you choose. You can find additional details as well as covid specific requirements on the Cook County Court website here.
step three. book your photographer.
Once you have your ceremony date and time scheduled, it’s time to find your photographer! Chicago City Hall and Cultural Center weddings are just as important and as meaningful as any other wedding and should be documented. From getting ready, to the ceremony, portraits, and celebrations – your day can and should be documented like any other. I personally love photographing City Hall weddings and would love to hear from you.
step four. plan out your day
City Hall and Chicago Cultural Ceremonies are limited in the number of friends and family that can attend so you’ll need to plan out who you want to join you. You may not be able to invite every you’d like to the ceremony, but dinner receptions at a local restaurant are a great way to celebrate with extended guests later in the day.
Also, consider where you’d like to go for photos. After your ceremony we can head out and take an hour or two and get some amazing photos around the city. This is a great opportunity to hit up that super special spot that means the world to both of you.
step five. the ceremony day
You made it! The morning of your ceremony your day will start with getting ready. Photography can begin shortly before getting into your dress and once ready, you can head over to your scheduled ceremony or first look. If you decide to do a first look, I love to do them right at sunrise out by the lake. There is something special about starting your wedding day early and seeing each other for the first time at the break of dawn.
Plan to arrive for your ceremony about 30-45 minutes before your scheduled time to check in and pay your $10 ceremony fee. After a short wait you’ll be ushered in for the ceremony itself.
How much does it cost to get married at Chicago City Hall?
At a minimum you’ll pay $60 for the marriage license, and $10 for the ceremony. However you’ll also need to factor in additional costs like photography, your dress, suit/tux rental, a dinner reception, etc. These costs range widely so the overall amount spent will vary significantly from one couple to the next. Chicago City Hall weddings can be extremely affordable or they can be as expensive as traditional weddings. The amount you spend is really up to you.