Should You Get Married at Chicago City Hall?



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City Hall in Chicago offers couples specific dates and times to sign up to be married by a judge. The current cost to get married at City Hall is ten dollars. Current rules and requirements are not permanent and will likely change with the rising cases of Covid 19.

Many couples opt to have their wedding ceremonies at City Hall in downtown Chicago. Although the process of choosing City Hall for a wedding may seem straightforward, my personal experiences have varied each time. As a photographer who has had the privilege of capturing numerous weddings and elopements over the years, I would like to share my encounters with documenting couples tying the knot at City Hall in Chicago.

Weekdays are a must

Selecting a weekday as the preferred day to tie the knot at City Hall offers numerous advantages. Firstly, you can ensure that your appointment at the courthouse will be punctual, without any delays. Additionally, opting for a weekday means there will be fewer individuals waiting to meet the judge simultaneously. This grants us plenty of time to capture beautiful portraits and guarantees a relaxed and enjoyable experience for both of us.

Steer Clear of Weekends

If you hire a photographer to document this incredible moment, avoiding a weekend day for City Hall is imperative to your experience and enjoyment. Only two times are offered on Saturdays: 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. This means multiple other couples will wait alongside you with their family, friends, and/or photographers. Because only two times are available, you will have to wait to see the judge. Which could be upwards of an hour. Waiting only eats into portrait time, including time being photographed with whoever you choose to accompany you. Unfortunately, I have witnessed and heard from my couples how this experience at City Hall was stressful and unnecessary.

Hire an Officiant Instead

Consider hiring an officiant instead. Rather than heading to City Hall, there are numerous amazing wedding officiants available in the Chicago area, each with their own unique experiences and style. They can help create a ceremony that truly reflects your personality. By hiring an officiant, you have the freedom to select the perfect location, date, and time for your ceremony.

Based on my personal experience, having complete control over your special day allows you to stay calm and fully embrace every moment. I strongly suggest exploring the following officiants for your big day.

Forever Incredible – Carla

Wedding Day Chicago – Kari

Something Profound Weddings – Rebecca

Get Someone Ordained

A professional officiant can elevate your day and leave your loved ones (if you choose for them to witness) able to enjoy your nuptials. Instead, you can always choose someone close to you and ask them to become ordained online to officiate your wedding. My sweet husband officiated my sister’s wedding day, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was significant, and he took great care and consideration when putting together their ceremony. If you have someone close to you that you trust, ask them!

wilder mansion intimate wedding ceremony

Final thoughts about Chicago City Hall Weddings

Considering having your wedding at Chicago City Hall? It’s important to make the right decision for your special day, and this article aims to assist you in doing just that. Opting for City Hall can be a convenient and pleasant choice. As long as you have the flexibility to pick a weekday and are comfortable with navigating the constantly evolving rules and regulations of the Cook County Courthouse.

I highly recommend selecting a venue that holds significance for you, arranging for an officiant, or considering having a close friend or family member get ordained. By choosing me as your photographer, you can ensure that your wedding day is enjoyable and memorable, regardless of its size. Remember, the size of the wedding should not affect how you feel about this special occasion!




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