Created By: billybobfred on February 3, 2012

City Hall Wedding

No fancy party. Just get married.

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Probably Needs a Better Title. Definitely Needs More Examples. The quote may not be adequate (it's pretty much only there because it's the reason i checked for this trope in the first place).

Indices: Wedding and Engagement Tropes, Marriage Tropes (?)
The Miner Alice McBride and the Mason Bob McGroom have married. Congratulations!
They have decided to forego any formal celebrations.

A couple doesn't technically need a wedding to get married. If they can't afford it, or don't want the hassle, or aren't particularly romantic, they'll just get their marriage license signed and call it done.

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • Often happens in Dwarf Fortress because the player hasn't designated anywhere to hold a wedding in the first place.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • February 3, 2012
    And I remember some tv show using this trope, but I can't remember which one it was.

    The couple decided to donate the cost of the wedding to a children's charity instead, and Hilarity Ensues when someone convinces them that weddings are awesome and they can't get their money back.
  • February 3, 2012
    Subtrope of My Own Private I Do, in which this happens, THEN there is a larger wedding.
  • February 3, 2012
    • In the episode "Hawaii" of Modern Family it's revealed that Phil and Claire had to get married at a local courthouse due to Claire's unexpected pregnancy with Haley. At the end of the episode Phil surprises Claire with a wedding ceremony he prepared so they can have the wedding they truly deserved.
  • February 3, 2012
    Danny and Lindsay in CSI New York. Mac and Stella surprise them by showing up to act as witnesses (and de facto best man and maid of honour).
  • February 3, 2012
    Done quite frequentlyin Ranma One Half Fan Fiction, usually because Ranma and Akane don't want another destructive fiasco like their first wedding attempt.
  • February 3, 2012
    The 1934 Frank Capra comedy It Happened One Night has the heiress and the reporter tie the knot in a simple civil do in front of a justice of the peace. This is in contrast to the huge circus-like wedding she fled to rejoin the reporter.
  • February 3, 2012
    NYPD Blue: Bobby Simone and Diane Russell, both detectives in the 15th squad, get married at City Hall during a lunch break.
  • February 4, 2012
    • This happens a few times in Robert Heinlein's novels.
      • The Number Of The Beast. Zebadiah Carter is married to Deety Burroughs and Hilda to Jacob Burroughs, both by the Elko County Judge. There's no wedding ceremony involved.
      • In The Puppet Masters, marriages are treated like contracts. You go to a clerk at City Hall, answer some questions, fill in some forms and you're done.

    Real Life
  • February 4, 2012
    The climax of The Wedding Planner had the titular hero having a justice of the peace ceremony with the man her parents picked out instead of the love interest. the family object to the wedding, unwilling to knowingly let their daughter marry a man she didn't love.
  • February 4, 2012
    billybobfred, the "Charity donation" episode you're thinking of happens to be from Friends, with Phoebe and Mike's wedding. It's Monica who convinces Phoebe to go nuts with the wedding.
  • February 4, 2012
    Drat, got beat to the CSI NY one. It was a surprise wedding, too, because the first time Lindsay had said no, as she wanted to be sure they weren't just marrying because of the baby. Several eps later, Danny lured her down City Hall or wherever it was and asked again, and as the other poster said, she said yes and Mac and Stella were there too.
  • February 5, 2012
    In The Soviet Twenties, this was the norm. In The Twelve Chairs, Ippolyt, who worked as a petty clerk after the Revolution, is seen signing a marriage license for one of these.
  • March 25, 2012
    Another Frank Capra movie, Arsenic And Old Lace, has Mortimer married to Elaine at city hall in the opening scene. (In the play, Mortimer and Elaine are merely engaged.)
  • March 25, 2012
    Needs a better name, since city hall weddings are the only legal ones in many countries following the Code Napoleon. For that matter, a civil wedding can be just as big and formal as any church wedding (a friend of mine got married this summer in a civil ceremony, in the grand hall of Riddarhuset, and ran the festivities for two days), and some church weddings are decidedly informal affairs.

    Some possible titles: Simple Wedding, Private Wedding.
  • March 27, 2012
    Increasingly common in Real Life, due to fewer couples being able to afford an elaborate wedding.
  • March 27, 2012
    @ Duncan My Own Private I Do is a sister trope. Not a subtrope. Neither trope fully encapsulates the other.