Getting Married in Dallas, TX: A Complete Guide

Are you getting married in Dallas? Our guide covers everything you need to know to plan the wedding of your dreams, from Texas marriage license info to local venues and more.

bride and groom sitting on a hay bale
Photo by Zola

Are you getting married in Dallas? If so, the “Big D” (as locals call it) has so much to offer! They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and as home to both the nation’s largest arts district and metropolitan area, Dallas definitely lives up to its state’s reputation.

From rustic barns and lakes to high-end industrial spaces, the Dallas-Fort Worth area has a plethora of venue options to envision your dream wedding. As one of the largest LGBTQ+ populations in Texas, same-sex couples will discover the diverse and welcoming community of Dallas. And if you desire Tex-Mex and food trucks at your wedding, this is the place to do it!

If this is your first time in the city, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about getting married in Dallas, including the marriage license process, COVID-19 updates, local vendor options, and more.

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Places to Get Married in Dallas, TX

With the slogan “Big things happen here,” you won’t expect anything less for wedding venues in Dallas. The city is full of unique sites and outdoor vicinities with breathtaking views.

Find the size, setting, and style of your dreams with our list of prescreened venues throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area:

  • Waterfront venues: Love the water? Opt for a venue overlooking White Rock Lake or Lake Ray Hubbard. Many lodges and ranches in Dallas offer this picturesque view for your wedding.
  • Farms and ranches: The perfect combination of rustic and romantic, consider a barn venue on one of many farms and ranches throughout Dallas. With lush green acres and western ambiance, your wedding can embrace the Texas style.
  • Hotels: Having a destination wedding? Numerous hotels in Dallas provide full-service wedding services, including indoor and outdoor spaces and lodging amenities.
  • Gardens and parks: Whether small and intimate or large and extravagant, parks are a great option to host your wedding, rehearsal dinners, bridal luncheons, and more. Here you can enjoy the Texas countryside charm with beautiful backdrops of nature.
  • Museums and galleries: With a famous art district full of extraordinary architecture and galleries, Dallas is where you’ll find unique venues to complement your personal style and taste. Choose from museums, industrial halls, and even the zoo to host your wedding!

Dallas County Courthouse Wedding

If you prefer to save money and have a quick, intimate wedding, you can get married at the Dallas County Courthouse. Simply complete your marriage license application online and afterwards you will receive an order number to book an appointment with the county clerk. In Texas, couples must wait 72 hours after receiving their marriage license to get married.

How to Obtain a Marriage License in Dallas

COVID-19 Update: The county clerk is only issuing marriage licenses to residents of Dallas County. Due to social distancing regulations, only couples receiving the marriage license may enter the county clerk’s office. All marriage license applications must be completed online to book an appointment at the office.

To receive your marriage license in Dallas County, here’s what to do:

  • Book an appointment: You will have to complete the online marriage license application which will then provide an order number to schedule your appointment at the county clerk’s office.
  • Appear in person: Both you and your partner must appear together before the county clerk to receive your marriage license. The only exception is if one party is a member of the armed forces on active duty.
  • Provide proof of identity: Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license, state I.D. card, current passport, military I.D. card, or certified birth certificate with a valid I.D.
  • Pay the fee: The cost of a marriage license in Texas is $81. You can pay by credit or debit card, cash, or money order made payable to the Dallas County Clerk.
  • Get married within the designated time frame: In Texas, you must wait 72 hours after obtaining your marriage license to legally get married. Couples must also perform their marriage ceremony within 90 days after receiving their marriage license before it expires.

Do I Need a Marriage License in Dallas, TX?

Yes, you will need to obtain a Texas marriage license from the county clerk to legally get married in Dallas County. Fortunately, any marriage license issued in the State of Texas can be used for wedding ceremonies in other states.

Where to Get Your Marriage License in Dallas, TX

You can apply online through the Dallas County official website for your marriage license to schedule an in-person appointment with the county clerk.

Can I Get Married the Same Day in Dallas?

No. Due to the 72-hour waiting period in Texas after receiving a marriage license, you cannot get married the same day in Dallas.

Dallas Wedding Trends

Dallas wedding trends

From luxurious and glamorous to southern rustic and chic, wedding style options in Dallas are endless. Saying “I do” in Dallas exposes you to the Texas state of mind: delicious southern cuisine, live music, and comfy dress codes (pull out the cowboy boots!). If you’re thinking of a summer BBQ reception with mobile bars and homemade key lime pie for the wedding cake, you’re in the right place. And while not all Texas weddings are “large and in charge,” big and voluminous wedding hairstyles are definitely the southern way!

Average Cost of a Wedding in Dallas, TX

The average cost of a wedding in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX area is around $26,000. Keep in mind that other factors, including number of guests, location, and season, can affect overall wedding costs.

average wedding costs in dallas

Best Times of Year for Weddings in Dallas

The season you choose to host your wedding plays a major role in your venue and style options. Before choosing a wedding month, here is some insight on climate and weather.

When it comes to Dallas, the good news is you can experience year-round sunny weather. Summertime, especially July, is the hottest season, where temperatures can soar up to 100°F. Fall and winter are generally mild, with daytime highs averaging around 65°F. Springtime is usually bearable, but is also the rainiest season and known for occasional thunderstorms.

Despite the temperature, humidity levels vary greatly season to season. Overall, if you’re shooting for an outdoor wedding, check in regularly on heatwave and humidity level warnings a couple of weeks before your wedding date. Having a plan B for your wedding venue is the best way to beat the heat.

Dallas seasonal guide chart

Busiest Weeks in Dallas, TX

Below are a few popular events held annually in Dallas where you can expect high volume of traffic and tourism:

  • MLK Jr. Parade- January
  • Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival- March
  • Dallas Film Festival- May
  • Taste of Dallas- June
  • Deep Ellum Arts Festival- September
  • Dallas Pride festival & parade- September
  • Dallas Holiday Parade- December
  • BMW Dallas Marathon- December

Dallas Weddings and COVID-19

As the situation of the pandemic is ever-evolving, Dallas County continues to update its official website daily on the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the area. As of March 2021, all Texas businesses are allowed to open at 100 percent capacity and face masks are not required.

The current travel advisories of Dallas follow the CDC recommendations, including maintaining social distancing and hand hygiene, and instructions to stay home if sick. Dallas residents and visitors can register through the county’s official website for the COVID vaccine as well as find a comprehensive list of COVID testing sites.

Real Dallas Weddings

From wedding colors to personalized ceremonies, these real Dallas weddings will help inspire your plans for the big day. Use our filters to find inspiration by season, trending styles, and location.

Modern Black-Tie Wedding at Omni Hotel Real Dallas Wedding at the Omni Hotel

Glam Winter Wedding at Hall on Dragon

Real Dallas Wedding Glam Winter

Whimsical Wedding by a River

Real Dallas Wedding by a River

Best Spots for Wedding Photos in Dallas

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is a bustling metropolitan area full of hidden gems. From vibrant murals to stunning architecture, you’ll definitely find great photo ops during your visit. Whether you’re out on the town for your bachelor(ette) party or looking for dreamy backdrops for your wedding photos, here are a few notable spots to consider:

Best Photo Spots in Dallas TX

LGBTQ+ Marriages in Dallas, TX

LGBTQ weddings in Dallas TX

Texas has recognized same-sex marriage equality since 2015, after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling of Obergefell vs. Hodges. Owing to its “Big things happen here” slogan, Dallas has the sixth-largest LGBTQ+ population in the nation, and the biggest in the state of Texas. The city is also home to the Cathedral of Hope, the world’s largest inclusive LGBTQ+ place of worship and Sue Ellen’s, one of the largest lesbian bars in the country.

Planning a same-sex wedding? Check out venue options in Oak Lawn and the Bishop Arts District, two Dallas neighborhoods known as prime gathering places of the LGBTQ+ community. From Dallas Pride (a month-long celebration) to dozens of gay-owned businesses, the diversity and inclusivity of Dallas will welcome you with open arms.

How to Find Local Dallas Vendors

Now that you’re set on the “Big D'' as your wedding location, it’s time to jumpstart your wedding to-do list! The next step is to book your vendors and venues, and quickly! To help, we have a list of local vendors in which you can sort by price, venue style, wedding theme, and more:

Dallas Wedding Guest Guide

Dallas Wedding Guest Guide

As for wedding guests, there’s much to prepare before arrival. To assist in logistics, we’ve got you covered on tips of getting to Dallas, places to stay, and fun things to do.

How to Get to Dallas, TX

As one of the largest cities in Texas, there are plenty of ways to get to Dallas, depending on your method of transportation. Best of all, Dallas has more domestic nonstop flights than any other city in the U.S.

Arriving by plane: Visitors have the option of flying into one of Dallas’ two major airports, the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and the Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL).

Arriving by train: A cheaper alternative to flying, you can get to Dallas, on Amtrak from over 300 different cities. The Dallas train station, Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station, is located downtown and near many popular tourist attractions, including Reunion Tower and the Dallas Convention Center.

Getting around by rail: The DART rail system in Dallas has over 65 stations throughout the city, including the DFW airport. One-way fares cost $2.50, but you can opt for an All Day Pass (unlimited rides) for $6.

Getting around by car: Since there are a lot of connections, freeways, and heavy traffic in Dallas, some visitors may not feel comfortable driving in the city. In this case, Dallas has plenty of rideshare options, including Lyft and Uber.

Best Dallas Neighborhoods for Out-of-Town Guests

Best Dallas Neighborhoods

After planning your arrival to Dallas, the next step is booking a place to stay. From trendy restaurants to eclectic art galleries, there’s a place that suits your tastes! Below are our top recommendations for neighborhoods in Dallas County:

Arts District: Do you have a passion for art? This downtown hub is the nation’s largest urban art district. Walk the 20 square blocks of creativity to see performing arts, the Nasher Sculpture center, museums, and more!

Fair Park: From concerts and aquariums to sports and live music, this family-friendly neighborhood has something for everyone. Fair Park is also home to The State Fair of Texas, where people from all over the world come to experience all things Texas: southern fried cooking, the largest car show in the southwest, rodeos, and other entertainment.

Trinity Groves: The best destination in town for foodies, this West Dallas neighborhood is 15 acres of restaurants and trails. Trinity Groves is where you can find some of the best Tex-Mex, seafood and barbeque cuisine, as well as relaxing spots for hiking and picnicking.

Downtown Dallas: Looking for great food and entertainment? Downtown Dallas is where you’ll find luxurious shopping, walking tours, and southern cuisine. Stroll through the West End to find a strip of shops, bars, museums, and the Dallas Farmers Market.

Design District: Just two miles north of downtown, the Design District boasts upscale art galleries, antique shops, and numerous dining options. You’ll also find the Dallas Market Center, the most complete wholesale marketplace in the world.

10 Fun Things to Do in Dallas, TX

Fun Things to Do in Dallas TX

From diverse neighborhoods to prime shopping destinations, there’s so much to see and experience while in the “Big D.” Whether you’re a Cowboys fan or a foodie lover, Dallas has something for you! Here are 10 of the top attractions to visit while you’re in town:

  1. Explore the Dallas World Aquarium: Take the kids to see penguins up close and personal! Located in central downtown Dallas, the aquarium is easy to get to and offers full-service restaurants.
  2. Check out the Dallas Museum of Art: Located in the downtown Art District, this art museum is one of the largest in the country. Enjoy over 25,000 works of art from diverse cultures, talks, tours, and more.
  3. Catch an event at the AT&T Stadium: Home of the Dallas Cowboys, this retractable stadium is the largest domed structure in the world! From the Super Bowl to concerts by Paul McCartney and Beyonce, you find an event here all year long.
  4. Enjoy a show at the Medieval Times Dinner Theater: Fun and family-friendly, this 11th century-styled castle will take you back in time to knights and swordfights. Tickets for the tournament include a four-course feast!
  5. Visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial: Have a love for history? This museum offers public programs for visitors to learn about the life, presidency, and legacy of JFK.
  6. Texas Motor Speedway: Did someone say NASCAR? Enjoy races, camping areas, five-star dining, and more! The Speedway even allows you to book and host events, including weddings!
  7. Visit the Dallas Zoo: This 106-acre zoo is the largest in Texas. See over 2,000 animals, including rare and endangered species, along with interactive and educational exhibits for the kids.
  8. Relax in Klyde Warren Park: This urban green space sits in central Dallas and is a popular gathering place for visitors and locals alike. From yoga retreats to outdoor concerts and films, there’s always something to do!
  9. Listen to music at the House of Blues Dallas: For nearly three decades, the House of Blues has been the home of folk art, southern-inspired food, and live music. Enjoy an evening of dinner, cocktails, and shows.
  10. Take dancing lessons at the Red River Dance Hall: Last but not least, if you’re in Dallas, this night club is the place to go! From live country music and swing dance lessons to a mechanical bull, you can say you’ve truly experienced Texas!

With everything you need to plan the perfect Dallas wedding, Zola is here for you every step of the way. From building your wedding registry to customizing invites, we’ll help bring your wedding vision to life.

Sources: Dallas County Clerk | Visit Dallas