South Africa, Cape Town, Bride and groom sitting on wall

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Whether it be for financial reasons or religious ones many lovebirds are turning to a Justice of the Peace to preside over their nuptials. This doesn’t mean that your wedding should be any less special, though. Having a civil ceremony can be just as elegant as a traditional wedding if you keep these three things in mind.

1. Dress It Up

When they say “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” they’re not talking about getting married in your friend’s jeans from 2002. You can still wear a gorgeous white dress for your wedding. Whether you wear a full-length gown or a white cocktail dress–or whatever will make you feel like a bride–is really up to you. And even if you do want to rock some jeans for your wedding day, you can always pop on a cute white, shirt and birdcage veil for a little bridal flare.

2. Have A Bridal Party

You are going to need to need witnesses on-hand for your wedding anyway, so you and your hubby may as well invite your nearest and dearest out for the special occasion. In a nod to the traditional ceremony, you could have everyone dress in a certain color scheme. It’s not the same as having all your bridesmaids in the same dress or the groomsmen in tuxes, but it will give your bridal party a cohesive look for your casual nuptials. You might even be able to have your father (or someone very special) walk you down the aisle to give you away.

3. Take It Outside

Getting married by a Justice of the Peace doesn’t mean you are necessarily relegated to having a courthouse wedding. Although that is certainly one option, many JPs will travel to your desired destination, which could be anywhere. You want to get married in your friend’s backyard fine? Cool. Tying the knot on that bridge in the park? No problem. A small ceremony at a local library? Sure thing (as long as you clear it with the staff first)! The possibilities are endless, and a Justice of the Peace should be able to accommodate them.

Simple & Special: 3 Ways To Dress Up Your Civil Ceremony  was originally published on