If courthouse wedding elicits a vision of underplanned simplicity for you, prepare to have your mind utterly blown. In the midst of wedding planning, Chelsea and Nate had a change of heart and decided to elope to their local county courthouse, bringing along the awesome Kat Braman to photograph the results. Their day was just as beautiful as any other I’ve seen!

asheville nc courthouse elopement wedding

From the photographer, Kat: Chelsea and Nate originally planned on getting married in Florida and decided to elope instead. Chelsea emailed me and asked me to pick their wedding date. They ended up inviting their closest family and friends to their elopement and created a beautiful wedding exactly like them: warm, intimate, fun and completely stylish. I was so honored to be there to document their unique date; My favorite moment was the elevator ride with 2 convicts in orange jumpsuits on the way to the ceremony. We weren’t sure what the Courthouse would say when 20+ people showed up to witness a wedding, but everything worked out exactly how Chelsea and Nate wanted it.

asheville nc courthouse elopement wedding

asheville nc courthouse elopement weddingasheville nc courthouse elopement wedding

From the bride, Chelsea: We decided early on that we weren’t interested in having a traditional wedding and since neither of us were keen on being the center of attention, a courthouse elopement seemed fitting. We wanted our day to feel spontaneous and intimate with a vintage feel to match the character of the 81 year old courthouse. From the borrowed jewelry, to the look of handpicked flowers, to the cupcake shop that we walked to after the ceremony –we wanted to create a day that felt effortless.

asheville nc courthouse elopement wedding

asheville nc courthouse elopement weddingasheville nc courthouse elopement wedding

asheville nc courthouse elopement wedding

I’d describe our wedding as simple and organic with some vintage flair. We started with neutrals and earth tones – whites, beiges, greens, and greys – and added pops of blue and red to match the beautiful painted ceilings of the courthouse. Initially I got a little DIY crazy (like all brides do) and eventually limited myself to 2 projects – the hair piece I wore and the magnets that we gave to our guests – with other mini projects sprinkled in.

asheville nc courthouse elopement weddingasheville nc courthouse elopement wedding

asheville nc courthouse elopement wedding

asheville nc courthouse elopement weddingasheville nc courthouse elopement wedding

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Since I did all the planning myself it was really important for me to prioritize. Make a list of what’s most important and focus on those things. Also, find a photographer that shares your same vision. Those photos might last longer than your memories so make sure they’re going to capture your day the way you envision.

asheville nc courthouse elopement wedding

asheville nc courthouse elopement weddingasheville nc courthouse elopement wedding

View all photos from this wedding

Wedding vendors (Asheville, NC):

Ceremony venue: Buncombe County Courthouse / Reception venue: The Market Place / Wedding Photographer: Kat Braman Photography / Wedding dress: Calypso St. Barth / Bride’s sweater: Anthropologie / Bridesmaids’ dresses: chosen by bridesmaids / Bride’s shoes: Loeffler Randall / Groom’s suit: J. Crew / Wedding flowers: Blossoms at Biltmore Park / Wedding hair: Bliss Salon / Wedding invitations: e.m. papers / Wedding cupcakes: The Sisters McMullen Cupcake Corner / Hair accessories: made by bride

e.m. papers is a member of Blue Label.

18 comments
  • Thank you so much for featuring this wedding Amanda! It was truly the best of everything a wedding should be.

  • Jenny

    What a gorgeous day! I can’t imagine that anything else could have been more perfect! I love the bride’s engagement and wedding rings! Any chance I could find out where they are from?

    THanks!
    Jenny

  • Those invitations are so simple, yet so unique. They seem to blend effortlessly with the entire vibe of the wedding. I love it all.

  • Best “elopement” I’ve ever seen!! Lovely :)

  • I love your jacket. Great pics as well!

  • maggie

    I love your dress and simple, pretty ceremony! We are doing a courthouse ceremony and they forbid you from bringing more than six people into the chambers, bride and groom included. I wonder if they would kick you out if you show up with a posse anyway. :)

  • This is so lovely! The style of the outfits mixed with the excellent photography make me swoon!

  • Veronica

    Simply gorgeous wedding! The simplicity and subtlety are the things I like best.

    One thing, Ruffled, and know I <3 you… This is not and elopement. I think I've seen the word elope get thrown around loosey goosey on the blog in the past, too. Getting married at a courthouse does not an elopement make. Eloping is defined by secrecy, spontaneity, and rarely involves guests or photographers or invitations. I'm not sure why it bothers me the way it does to have a wedding be called something it's not, but it does. Has it become a "cool" word to use for an intimate and small wedding?

    I apologize for the rant. Like I said I love this wedding and Ruffled. I just wish folks would call things what they are – there is no shame or "uncoolness" in a courthouse wedding. Nor us there shame in buying last minute tickets to Hawaii and getting married in the ocean. Own each if they make you happy.

  • These are beautiful~ I love her jacket!

  • I love the second photo! So cute! I never get tired of looking at peoples wedding photos. So many great ideas. I’ll have to remember that photo for the future. Sometimes I assist in shooting weddings. Thanks for the cool idea!

  • I’m always looking for beautiful elopements and I love this one! I’m going to share. I’d love to know whenever you post more and I will share them :)

  • an unusual button hole and some stunning photography, thank you for sharing

  • Amanda

    Veronica, I know we already exchanged emails about this but I wanted to leave a response here as well. I am so sorry if we offended you, that was definitely not our intention. There is no such thing as an “uncool” wedding for us. All weddings are created equally in our eyes, and by no means we would call one what it isn’t. I will go ahead and edit Ashley’s intro, but I just wanted to say that she/I meant no harm.

    No need to apologize – constructive criticism is what helps our site grow, and I appreciate all the feedback we receive from readers, good or bad :)

  • Elopement or not, this wedding is just perfect! I love when people dont get caught up in the showyness a wedding can sometimes entail, instead focusing on the few MOSt important people and elements they want! Its great!

  • Veronica

    No, no offense at all!

    I just wanted to express an opinion, and certainly I know no harm was intended in the description.

    Your reponse is an indication of a true class act and I really appreciate and am impressed by your comments.

    Thanks so much.

  • I’ll have to remember that photo for the future. Sometimes I assist in shooting weddings. Thanks for the cool idea!

  • Sharon Przybylski

    I would like to have a court house wedding as you show. Would the date of May 2, 2012 be available. It is a weekday, so I don’t know if you can do a morning wedding or not. How much is the price. It will be just the two of us. Thanks, Sharon

  • Kayla Henson

    Hello my name is Kayla Henson and me and my fiance just wanna go and get married and elope, I was wondering if you could tell a price range.
    Thanks.