These Celebrity Couples Ditched a Big Wedding (at Least at First ...) for an Intimate Courthouse or City Hall Ceremony

Going to the chapel - erm, courthouse - and we're gonna get married!

01 of 15

Jane Lynch & Jennifer Cheyne

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlRtZJkZM94
ABC

The Golden Globe winner reminisced about her "touching" 2021 courthouse wedding to partner Jennifer Cheyne as she appeared on Live with Kelly and Ryan in June 2022.

"We've been together a really long time. It was more touching than I was expecting," she admitted. "Because the impulse to do this, was we're looking for insurance for Jennifer and I said, 'Let's just get married.'"

"I fell on one knee as I said it," Lynch said, then joking, "at the price of the insurance we were gonna have to pay for."

"But then we went down to the Santa Barbara Courthouse, which is where we live, and her son became a minister of Universal Life Church. And the three of us said our little vows to each other and signed the papers, and it was really nice. I shed a tear," Lynch added. "I was a little surprised."

02 of 15

Chloë Sevigny & Sinisa Mackovic

Sinisa Mackovic, Chloe Sevigny
Sinisa Mackovic, Chloe Sevigny. Chloe Sevigny/Instagram

The actress wed her boyfriend Sinisa Mackovic at City Hall in New York City in March 2020, she announced one year later on Instagram. The nuptials took place less than two months before the couple welcomed their son Vanja on May 2 of that year.

"Married on a Monday March 9th 2020 Happy one year anniversary my love💍," Sevigny captioned a throwback photo of the couple.

03 of 15

Brandon Jenner & Cayley Stoker

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Brandon Jenner (L) and wife Cayley.

The son of Caitlyn Jenner married his pregnant fiancée on Jan. 21, 2020, telling PEOPLE: "We wed at the Santa Barbara Courthouse with my daughter Eva and Cayley's grandmother, Joan, as our witness."

News of the Jenner and Stoker's marriage came as they were preparing for their babies on the way. "We're madly in love and we are very excited about this!" Jenner told PEOPLE in August 2019.

04 of 15

Cooper Hefner & Scarlett Byrne

Cooper Hefner wedding
Cooper Hefner and Scarlett Byrne Hefner. Cooper Hefner/Instagram

The son of the late Playboy founder, Hugh Hefner, married Harry Potter actress Byrne at the Ventura County courthouse in California in November 2019.

The pair, who got engaged in August 2015, revealed that they would be celebrating with friends and families in a larger ceremony at a later date.

Hefner wrote on Instagram following the nuptials, "Scarlett and I have made it officially legal and the two of us could not be happier. Cheers to a life full of love, happiness, adventure, and great purpose, Mrs. Hefner. I love you dearly and very much look forward to planning our wedding celebrations in the months ahead. I love you, Scarlett."

05 of 15

Dax Shepard & Kristen Bell

shepard-bell-wedding
Kristen Bell/Instagram

The low-key couple began dating in 2007 and were wed in a courthouse wedding in Beverly Hills in 2013. Shepard and Bell had been waiting for same-sex marriage to be legalized before tying the knot. The wedding cost just $142 to pull off.

Bell told PEOPLE of their decision, "I don't fault anyone who wants a big day - especially girls, [but] we get more than enough attention in our everyday lives. I also wear more than enough party dresses."

06 of 15

Emily Ratajkowski & Sebastian Bear-McClard

emily-ratajkowski-b
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Ratajkowski married her actor and producer hubby in February 2018, just weeks after meeting him, sharing on Instagram that they wed at N.Y.C.'s City Hall.

Ratajkowski wore a pantsuit from Zara for the occasion, and a black brimmed hat with a French netting veil.

07 of 15

Penn Badgley & Domino Kirke

penn-badgley
Domino Kirke/Instagram

The You actor and former Gossip Girl, Badgley married Kirke (sister to Girls star, Jemima Kirke) in a ceremony at a Brooklyn courthouse in February 2017, following their vows with a simple restaurant reception.

Friends, family and stars alike celebrated the pair again when they held another wedding celebration in June of that same year.

You know you love him, xoxo ...

08 of 15

Jessica Alba & Cash Warren

Cash Warren and Jessica Alba
Cash Warren and Jessica Alba. Swan Gallet/WWD/Shutterstock

The pair, who have been married for more than a decade, tied the knot in 2008 in a ceremony in the Beverly Hills courthouse's ceremony room. Alba wore a long blue dress and her hair back in a ponytail, PEOPLE reported.

At the time, she was pregnant with the couple's first child, Honor.

09 of 15

Chris Ivery & Ellen Pompeo

Chris Ivery and Ellen Pompeo
Denise Truscello/WireImage

The Grey's Anatomy star quietly wed music executive Chris Ivery in November 2007, with Pompeo's dad telling PEOPLE, "She just didn't want a big thing."

N.Y.C.'s then-mayor, Michael Bloomberg, served as a witness at the brief ceremony, which was performed at City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

10 of 15

Keira Knightly & James Righton

Keira Knightly
JJames Righton and Keira Knightley. Marc Piasecki/GC Images

Knightly and Righton were engaged for one year before getting married in an intimate ceremony at the town hall in Mazan, a small village in Provence, France, in 2013.

The bride wore a strapless tulle dress and a Chanel jacket for the occasion, with flowers in her hair.

The ceremony was extremely private, but 30 to 50 guests were reportedly invited to attend a luncheon and evening party.

The mayor of the town said of their ceremony, "It was really lovely. They were really happy. You could see it. They were laughing and sharing this moment with family. It was very emotional, but really simple. They were happy about the rings and they took pictures of them."

11 of 15

Morgan Macgregor & Michael C. Hall

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Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

For the Dexter star's third wedding in February 2016, he and his bride decided to keep things low-key by getting married in N.Y.C.'s City Hall.

12 of 15

Salma Hayek & Francois-Henri Pinault

Salma Hayek and . Francois-Henri Pinault
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty

The actress married the French billionaire in a simple civil ceremony in Paris, the City of Love, on Valentine's Day 2009.

The pair followed up their nuptials with an extremely lavish, fairytale wedding in Italy, held in April of the same year. Stars invited included Anna Wintour, Charlize Theron, Bono and Woody Harrelson.

13 of 15

Luciana Barroso & Matt Damon

Luciana Barroso and Matt Damon
Phillip Faraone/WireImage

The pair met in 2002 and were wed three years later in 2005, in a ceremony at City Hall in N.Y.C. Luciana's 7-year-old daughter from a previous marriage served as the witness.

Like many other couples on our list, the duo eventually opted for a more formal celebration, renewing their vows in 2013 in St. Lucia surrounded by family and famous friends.

14 of 15

Chrissy Teigen & John Legend

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
David Crotty/Getty

Though the pair did end up enjoying a lavish Italian wedding in 2013, Teigen revealed to E! News that she and her EGOT-winning husband also got married in an N.Y.C. courthouse with a very special witness.

Teigen said, "We actually got married after going to a couple Fashion Week shows at Vera Wang, ironically who actually did my dress, but we got married at the courthouse right after. We are dumb and didn't realize that our Italian wedding would not be recognized unless we had a real ceremony in New York City. So Irina Shayk was our witness - the most beautiful woman on earth!"

15 of 15

Hailey Baldwin & Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin
Lastarpix/BACKGRID

One year before their star-studded to-do in South Carolina, the pair made it official at N.Y.C.'s City Hall, on Sept. 13, 2018.

"They went ahead and did it without listening to anyone," a source close to the couple told PEOPLE.

A religious source spoke to the family and confirmed to PEOPLE that they were legally married at the courthouse, but were still going to have a religious ceremony and celebration with family and friends. "They're going to have a big blowout, in front of God and everyone they love," the religious source told PEOPLE.

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