Courthouse Wedding

melissa + josh: a memphis courthouse wedding

We recently got the chance to photograph our first courthouse wedding, and we can’t wait to do it again! I’ve always thought that civil ceremonies are so intimate and sweet! It’s a private affair, with only a few family members and friends. It completely removes all the stress and (most of) the planning that a formal wedding involves, and makes it all about the couple. It really concentrates on the most important part of wedding… getting married!

Josh is in the military, and he was being stationed in New York. He wasn’t willing to go without Melissa, so they decided on a quick civil ceremony at the courthouse so that they could move together as husband and wife. Photos were very important to Melissa, and I was honored when she asked me to capture their nuptials! We photographed their short ceremony, then took some time to get plenty of portraits in and around the courthouse.

Melissa and Josh took a few moments for themselves before it was their turn in the courtroom.

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Melissa made a stunning bride, and her sister surprised her with a red, white, and blue bouquet for the occasion. The happy couple couldn’t take their eyes off each other while waiting for the Judge to enter the courtroom.

Courthouse Wedding

Even in tight quarters, the judge didn’t mind photos and told us that we could move freely about the courtroom. Loved that! We were still pretty stationary so that we wouldn’t be distracting, but we were able to get in nice and close. I could get used to that luxury!

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After a few family photos, we roamed around the courthouse for some portraits. The courthouse had lots of big windows, and we were surprised at how picturesque it was!

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A spiral staircase is a must!

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This hallway was lined with floor to ceiling windows and everything was covered in marble. It made for beautiful wedding photos! Because it was a weekday afternoon, there weren’t many people milling around, so we had the place to ourselves!

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To finish things up, we went outside for a few more photos before the rain started coming down.

Courthouse Wedding

Melissa, you are stunning! I could have photographed you all day.

Courthouse Wedding

And Josh looks so suave in his uniform! These two were naturals in front of the camera.

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Melissa and Josh, thank you so much for sharing this special day with us! We were honored to capture your ceremony, and we know you guys are having a great time in New York!

We can’t wait to photograph another courthouse wedding!


  • Sarah
    Posted at 09:53h, 31 July

    I never would have imagined that a courthouse could be a backdrop for such beautiful photos! These two look so natural & gorgeous in all the surroundings! Love, love the spiral staircase pictures … and that silhouette, stunning!

    • Jamie
      Posted at 09:06h, 09 January

      What court house was this?

      • Amy
        Posted at 11:01h, 09 January

        Hi Jamie! It’s the Shelby County Courthouse 🙂

        • Kelly Dougherty
          Posted at 16:38h, 29 May

          Hi there – beautiful wedding! How did you arrange the judge to serve as your officiant? We’re looking to get our official ceremony done at the courthouse too, but I can’t find info on how to do the ceremony, only the license. Thanks!

          • Amy
            Posted at 11:20h, 05 June

            Hi Kelly! I wish I could help you more, but as the photographer, I am not involved with the scheduling. From what I have learned from past couples, they only do elopements on certain days. If you call the courthouse, I’m sure they could help you! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Romantic Memphis Elopement | Detra + Fred
    Posted at 03:00h, 12 January

    […] To see another intimate elopement that we’ve done, click HERE. […]

  • Yellow + Grey Memphis Courthouse Elopement
    Posted at 00:07h, 01 April

    […] To see other courthouse weddings, be sure to check out this one and this one. […]

  • Amber
    Posted at 15:43h, 25 October

    Was this courthouse in Memphis? It is beautiful.

    • Amy
      Posted at 16:07h, 11 January

      It was, Amber! It is the Shelby County Courthouse 🙂

  • Lollette Rhea
    Posted at 07:21h, 02 March

    So Beautiful. You really took Awesome Pictures of this Beautiful Couple.

  • Nicole Caraway
    Posted at 21:41h, 14 March

    When was this wedding? Someone told me you can’t get married at the courthouse anymore and I hope that’s not true!

    • Amy
      Posted at 16:52h, 15 March

      Hi Nicole! This wedding was back in 2014, but we photographed a wedding there just this February! They still do them, but I think they only do them one day a week.

      • Celine
        Posted at 08:09h, 05 March

        Hi Amy,

        I was this website by searching from courthouse civil ceremony in Memphis. I am wondering do you know how to make an appointment to have the ceremony in Shelby County Courthouse please? Thank you.

        • Amy
          Posted at 15:52h, 18 March

          Hi Celine! No, I’m afraid I don’t have the answer to that. I’m sure if you give the courthouse a call, they will be able to help you! Good luck!

  • Jenny
    Posted at 12:45h, 24 July

    Just curious if the outside pictures were taken at the shelby county courthouse on 140 adams, but the ceremony was in 201 poplar? we are trying to do ours too but a bit confused about the process

    • Amy
      Posted at 10:46h, 27 July

      Hi Jenny! The ceremony and photos were both taken at the Shelby County Courthouse, at 140 Adams. If you give the courthouse a call, I’m sure they will be happy to help you. And please keep us in mind for any photos you may want!