Monday, July 30, 2012

Wedding Planning - Post #16 - Our venue: DeKalb County Courthouse

Stephen and I are doing things a little out of the ordinary, if you haven't noticed from my 15 other posts about wedding planning.  We originally wanted to elope, but decided to keep the ceremony here in Atlanta and have a party that night with friends and family.  We were never big on a church ceremony so after a few short discussions we easily decided that the courthouse was for us.

We live in Fulton County, GA so we checked with their courthouse first.  For several reasons we decided against the Fulton County Courthouse.  First, and most importantly, they don't do private wedding ceremonies with judges.  I wanted nothing to do with a large group wedding ceremony with total strangers.  Negative.  Nine.  No thanks.  I've seen some of Fulton County's finest, Lord knows who would be in there with us.  Secondly, when we looked at parking around the courthouse, there wasn't much and the downtown streets can be complicated with parking rules.  Lastly, we wanted pictures on courthouse steps, the Fulton County Courthouse isn't very pretty.  So, next we went to DeKalb County, the closest county to us.  In DeKalb County private wedding ceremonies are held Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:30pm - 4:00pm.  It's a first come first served system, but we're okay with that.  The current DeKalb County Courthouse is pretty ugly, it looks like what I hate from 1970s architecture.  I have no idea if that's when it was built - but you get the idea, see below.

DeKalb County Courthouse, Decatur, GA
The good thing about the DeKalb County Courthouse, is that the old courthouse is just across the Square from the new courthouse.  Bonus, there is a gazebo in the middle of the two.  After we got our Marriage License at the courthouse we took a walk to take some pictures of the gazebo and the old courthouse to send to our photographer so she'd had an idea of the locations since she's based out of Jacksonville.  Sadly, this is what we found.

Construction around the gazebo

So sad, we can't get to the gazebo.  Doesn't look like work will be done in 3 weeks.  You can see the man in the white hat on the left side of the picture, he is shoulder deep in a trench.
Not only is the construction blocking us from getting to the gazebo, but the fence is really close to the old courthouse so we can't get any distance in our pictures if we're standing on the courthouse steps.  It's not the end of the world, but things aren't as perfect as I had imagined them to be.  Here is the Old DeKalb County Courthouse.




Those three pictures above are as far back as I can get in a photo from the stairs.  Pictures are definitely still do-able on the stairs and they will still be gorgeous, but we can't do the long distance picture that I wanted.  Maybe the construction will be done in time.... maybe.

Old DeKalb County Courthouse.  You can see the fence to the left of the sidewalk.
While we can't take picture at the gazebo right now, we found City Hall not too far from the two courthouses and it can be another location for our photos with our family.


I love the red brick of the building and the dark wood doors.  If I can't have a gazebo, I'll take some red brick.  We'll take our family pictures around the courthouse at these locations and then Stephen and I will take some time with our photographer to some of our favorite places around our area of Atlanta - Grant Park, Turner Field and the Highlands.

The Marriage License process in DaKalb County was really easy.  The forms you need to fill out are online so you can do them in advance.  The ladies behind the counter the we dealt with were friendly, happy and very helpful with all of our questions.

4 comments:

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