The Pros and Cons of a Justice of the Peace Wedding
Getting married is such a big step in anyone’s life and a memorable one at that. Most people envision white dresses, suits, cake, and rose petals, but sometimes a Justice of the Peace wedding is a more preferable option. Here are the pros and cons I’ve gathered from my own experience with it.
It’s so much cheaper.
In Texas, my marriage license and JotP wedding cost about $120. Split between my now husband and I, that sure beats spending thousands of dollars on a wedding.
There’s less pressure on you.
If you’re a highly anxious person, a wedding where you’re the center of attention can be daunting. A JotP wedding can be simple with few people (or no people if your state law declares) there to make you nervous about reciting your vows. Not to mention avoiding the painstaking months of wedding planning.
It can be more personal.
While a big wedding surrounded by people may appeal to others, a JotP wedding can center around you and your spouse-to-be in a way that a traditional wedding can’t. At a traditional wedding, you may be more inclined to please everyone. You’ll be concerned that the catering is to everyone’s liking, the music selection appeals to all guests, and just general worry about planning a nice party when the day should focus on you. A JotP wedding can do so as you and your future spouse only consider each other on the big day.
It can be less personal.
At the same time, however, a JotP wedding may be less personal in that you don’t get to share the excitement with your family and friends. You’ll show up to the courthouse in semi-casual clothes, spend 20 minutes waiting on the Justice of the Peace, and the actual ceremony is a measly 5 minutes. And then you go home. It honestly just depends on your preference and how you want to celebrate your marriage.
Family may be unhappy with a JotP wedding.
In my experience, my family was upset with me for having such a casual wedding. Some were religious and believed that I could only get married before God in a church, and others just wanted there to be a big day for everyone. Either way, grief was had.
All in all, it’s your wedding, so do what you want. A JotP wedding can be very nice with a small group of people and an inexpensive bill. And remember, you can always have an official ceremony in the future if that floats your boat!
Let me know your thoughts/stories/ideas in the comments about having a JotP wedding!