If you are a recently engaged bride or groom in North Carolina, then it may come to a surprise that the average cost of a traditional wedding in Charlotte is now roughly $32,000. Between the venue, caterers, the DJ, photographer and videographer, and the florist, the total cost can become an overwhelming flash flood.
It’s no wonder why so many engaged couples are choosing drop everything, to run down to the courthouse and get eloped! Okay, there’s still a tiny bit more planning you need to do, but if saving roughly $31,000 on your wedding planning sounds appealing, then getting eloped may just be for you! We will go over the entire process of how to get married at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Uptown Charlotte, from the location and times, to the paperwork and costs.
Before Your Wedding Day:
The very first step is to apply for your marriage license. North Carolina is one of the lucky states that do not require a waiting period, but it is recommended to apply for your license a few days prior to your desired wedding day. Once your application has been submitted your ceremony must be performed within 60 days of the issuance date.
Applications can be pre-filled out here or in person, but both must be physically turned in at the Register of Deeds office located at 720 E 4th St, Charlotte, NC 28202 . Make sure you bring the following with you for a speedy license approval:
-Both persons planning to be married must be present
-Government issued photo I.D.s (Driver’s License, Passport, Military I.D.)
-$60 cash/credit/debit Payment
-SS# (not the physical card)
Pick Your Day:
Weddings/Civil Ceremonies are performed at two different locations depending on which day you choose. Mondays and Fridays, 2pm-4pm they are done at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 7pm-8pm they are done at the Central Jail. Addresses and information can all be found below. Just between you and I, the County Courthouse is much more pleasant of an experience!:
North Carolina requires you to have 2 witnesses to sign your marriage license, and attend your ceremony. Make sure whoever you bring has their government issues I.D.s with them.
If you have chosen Riley Lewis Photography to shoot your wedding, Brittany and I love signing to be witnesses and being a part of your ceremony! The courtroom that the ceremony is held in can hold anywhere from 20-30 guests so family is always welcome.
Contact A Photographer:
Although photography is strictly prohibited within the courthouse, making capturing your actual ceremony impossible (not even phones are allowed to be out), you still shouldn’t skip out on a photographer for your wedding portraits. Riley Lewis Photography has a very affordable Elopement Package and we know all the great Uptown locations nearby for your photos.
The Day Of:
We love it when our couples dress up for their wedding day! This is one tradition we suggest you keep (Okay, maybe hire a photographer too) and one that doesn’t have to be expensive. Most couples realize they have most of their wedding wardrobe already in their closet.
The ceremonies are on a first come, first served basis so we suggest you get there right at 2pm for a shorter line. You will need your marriage license (from the Register of Deeds office), your 2 witnesses, government issued I.D.s, and $20 cash for the ceremony fee.
Ceremonies are held on the 2nd floor in courtroom 2370. As soon as you are checked in you are given a number that will be called out when they are ready for you. Ceremonies last roughly 2 minutes after they have begun, so you and the love of your life will be married before you even know it!
We enjoy stealing you away for an hour or two after the ceremony for your photos. Marshall Park is just 1 block away with beautiful nature and city landscapes.
Thinking of getting eloped at Mecklenburg County Courthouse, or anywhere else in North Carolina? We would love to talk to you, and help plan your wedding day!