How to Get Married in Houston: Venue Ideas, Marriage License Tips, and More

Planning a Houston wedding? This guide covers everything you should know—from venue ideas to how to obtain a marriage license and more.

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Photo by Kristen Giles

Dreaming of exchanging your vows in Houston? As the country’s fourth-largest city and the biggest metropolis in the South, this thriving cultural melting pot has much to offer. The hub of Downtown boasts countless culinary delights, renowned museums, trendy nightlife options, and more.

Similar to its diverse population, the choices of wedding venues in Houston can cater to just about any taste and style. Whether you’re picturing a grand, sophisticated ballroom event or an intimate outdoor garden affair, nailing down the logistics up front will help make the rest of the planning process a breeze. From COVID-19 updates to local vendor guides, we’ll walk you through every detail of how to get married in Houston.

Read the complete guide or use our jump-to links below:

Where to Get Married in Houston

In a city as large as Houston, there’s no shortage of unique locations to host your wedding. From iconic museums and art galleries to glamorous ballrooms and historic locations, the only problem you’ll have in your Houston venue search is deciding which to choose!

To help, our list of prescreened wedding venues in Houston has an array of locations that you can filter by price, availability, capacity, and setting. Check out some popular venue types in Houston below:

  • Museums and galleries: Perfect for the couple with creative flair, museum and gallery weddings are the perfect wedding location for an inspired wedding. You’ll find countless artful and elegant spaces in Houston’s vast array of distinguished museums.
  • Parks and gardens: Houston may lean metropolitan, but you’ll still find gorgeous parks, gardens and other green spaces that can bring your outdoor wedding vision to life. Whether you want to say “I do” in a contemporary Downtown park or beneath a shady canopy at the arboretum, Houston has you covered.
  • Hotels and ballrooms: From boutique hotels with an intimate feel to luxury ballrooms boasting classic elegance, Houston is home to some of the most beautiful ballrooms in the state.
  • Rooftops and terraces: A bustling city like Houston doesn’t disappoint when it comes to stunning rooftop views. From sky-high lounges downtown to charming restaurant terraces, the views from Houston’s rooftop venues make for an unforgettable venue.

How to Obtain a Houston Wedding License

A marriage license is required in order to get legally married in Houston. Here’s how to obtain one:

  • Apply in person: Both you and your future spouse must appear together at any County Clerk’s office in the state of Texas to apply for the marriage license. The Harris County Clerk’s main branch is located in the Harris County Civil Courthouse at 201 Caroline, Suite 460. The office phone number is (713) 755-6411.
  • Bring valid identification: Couples must provide a valid form of identification and social security numbers at the County Clerk’s office. Driver’s licenses, passports, and other government-issued documents are acceptable forms of identification at the Harris County Clerk’s office in Houston, Texas.
  • Pay the fee: Prepare to pay a marriage license fee of $72.00.

Do I Need a Houston Marriage License?

Yes. To get legally married in Houston or any other county in Texas, a marriage license is required.

Can I Get Married the Same Day in Houston?

Couples in Houston must wait three days following their marriage license applications before they can hold their wedding ceremony. Your marriage license will only be valid after this 72 hour waiting period has passed.

Houston City Hall Wedding

If you and your partner are looking to get married right away, you can hold a city hall wedding at Houston’s City Hall. To get started, make sure you’ve obtained your Houston marriage license and completed the 72 hour waiting period before scheduling your ceremony.

To schedule your ceremony, you’ll need to complete this online form. A City of Houston representative will respond to your request within 48 hours. Ceremonies can be scheduled Monday–Friday between 1:30 and 3:30 pm. Keep in mind a fee of $100 is required on the date of your ceremony—payment must be made at the Public Service Counter, located on the 1st floor of the Herbert W. Gee Municipal Courthouse at 1400 Lubbock Street, Houston, TX 77002.

Once your payment has been made, bring your receipt and Texas-issued marriage license to the second floor, Room 214, where your ceremony will be held. A maximum of four guests are permitted to attend, if you choose.

Houston Wedding Trends

The buzzing metropolitan city of Houston is known for its rich cultural diversity and is home to residents from all over the world. H-Town’s delectable gastronomy, treasure troves of art, and stunning architecture make it the perfect location for a memorable wedding.

Average Cost of a Wedding in Houston

The average cost of a wedding in Houston is $24,087. Busy metropolitan areas are known to have steeper prices, particularly when it comes to venues.

Other factors that impact average wedding costs are guest list size, location, season, and style. Read below for average wedding costs in Houston, or view the chart below for a helpful breakdown of costs by vendor.

  • Venue: $25,000
  • Florist: $9,000
  • Catering: $5,100
  • Photographer: $4,200
  • Videographer: $3,100
  • Band or DJ: $2,800
  • Cake and dessert: $1,700
  • Beauty professionals: $1,500

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If you think a Houston wedding might go over what you budgeted for, you might consider hosting a smaller, more intimate ceremony to cut down on costs. For more tips, check out our guide on how to plan a wedding on a budget.

Best Times of Year for Weddings in Houston

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Seasons are an important factor in wedding planning and will play a role in things like your venue choice and the style of your wedding. For a metro area like Houston, there are significant climate variations across the city. Here are some considerations when choosing a wedding month in Houston.

Fall: September, October, November

While Houston temperatures are known to fluctuate, fall weather is still fairly warm in September with average highs of 88 degrees. By October and November, sunny days remain while things start to cool down—expect more comfortable temperatures around 70 to 80 degrees, and lows in the 50’s and 60’s.

Spring: March, April, May

If you’re looking to host an outdoor wedding in Houston, Spring is the perfect time. March sees pleasantly mild weather as the city begins to warm up without getting too hot, with average temperatures hovering in the low 70’s. By April and May, temperatures rise significantly—expect highs in the mid 80’s and lows in the mid '60s. Late spring months also bring an increase in rainfall, and strong thunderstorms aren’t uncommon.

Summer: June, July, August

Houston is known for its high heat and even higher humidity, so you’ll want to plan accordingly if you’re hosting a summer wedding. Average temperatures sit in the low 90’s all summer long, with highs sometimes climbing above 95 degrees in July, the city’s hottest month of the year. But don’t worry—Houston’s air conditioning is always on full blast, so much so that you might want a sweater indoors.

Winter: December, January, February

Houston winters tend to be cool and dry. Temperatures seldom dip below freezing, but the occasional snow or ice storm has been known to pass through. This is the exception to the rule, however—average high temperatures sit in the low 60’s all winter long, and average lows won’t typically dip past 40 degrees. January is Houston’s coldest month, so be sure to pack a jacket!

Busiest Weeks in Houston

Houston Weddings and COVID-19

Currently, Houston welcomes a safe return to travel by opening its doors up to visitors and residents. While social distancing is encouraged, all businesses are now permitted to operate at full capacity. This includes restaurants, bars, retail stores, salons, museums, and attractions. For more information, visit the State of Texas, the City of Houston, and the CDC's resource pages.

Real Houston Weddings

Looking for some inspiration for your big day? Check out our galleries of real Houston weddings, where you can filter by season, trending styles, and location!

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Best Spots for Wedding Photos

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In a city as huge and culturally diverse as Houston, there’s no shortage of beautiful photo locations no matter what your preferred aesthetic is. From eclectic, colorful galleries to the historic industrial buildings downtown, there’s something for everyone.

LGBTQIA Marriages in Houston

As the city with the largest LGBTQIA population in Texas and the 4th largest gay pride parade in the nation, LGBTQIA couples planning to say “I do” in Houston can expect a warm welcome.

Montrose is the city’s most notable LGBTQ-friendly hub and is historically known as the Gayborhood of Houston. Here you’ll find an impressive array of queer-owned restaurants, bars, and shops, and a host of inclusive entertainment like burlesque shows and stand-up comedy. Be sure to check out JR’s, a staple in the gay nightlife scene, or The Eagle Houston, where you can view their homage to Houston’s LGBTQIA history upstairs.

How to Find Local Vendors

Once you’ve decided on Houston as your wedding location, it’s time to start scoping out your vendors! Check some boxes off your wedding planning to-do list with our list of pre-screened vendors. You can filter by price, venue style, wedding theme, and more.

Houston Wedding Guest Guide

If you have out-of-town guests traveling to attend your wedding, they’ll appreciate having an itinerary of helpful information like travel tips, nearby neighborhoods, and fun things to do in the city. Use the overview of travel logistics below to help give your guests the best experience possible when traveling to attend your wedding.

How to Get to Houston

By plane: There are two main airports operating in Houston:

William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) – Distance to downtown Houston: 9 miles

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) – Distance to downtown Houston: 22 miles

By train: The Sunset Limited Amtrak train is the only Amtrak train that travels to and from Houston. The Houston Amtrak Station is located on the outskirts of downtown, but you can walk to central tourist attractions in 10 minutes or less.

By bus: Megabus offers three drop-off points in and around Houston, and visitors can use Houston’s METRORail upon arrival to travel to local connection points in the city.

By car: If you plan to make your journey by car, Highway 59 offers access points from all directions. Once you arrive, you’ll find many parking garages downtown, along with metered street parking. More parking information can be found at the ParkHouston.

Best Neighborhoods for Out-of-Town Guests

With a sprawling city like Houston, there are tons of exciting neighborhoods to explore, each with its own unique culture and charm. Travelers are known to flock to the buzzing hub of Downtown, but there are a few surrounding neighborhoods that are just as popular.

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Downtown: The 1.84-square-mile metropolis that is Downtown Houston is central to a true Houston experience. You’ll find food halls, a lively theater district, parks and green spaces, and exquisite restaurants (or sports bars if that’s more your style!). Be sure to check out Discovery Green in the heart of Downtown, an open green space that frequently hosts special pop-up markets, concerts, and festivals.

Montrose: Located west of Downtown, Montrose is one of Houston’s most eccentric neighborhoods where food lovers, artists, and local creatives spend most of their time. Stroll the streets for views of century-old bungalows, stop at one of the countless restaurants or coffee shops, or visit the Menil Collection for a unique art gallery experience.

EaDo: EoDo was once a warehouse district that’s now become one of the more popular hangout spots in Houston thanks to its many concert venues, plentiful restaurants, and close proximity to Downtown. Spend the day at one of the many top-notch breweries in the area, like 8th Wonder, or take in the nightlife at spots like Truck Yard for some live music.

The Heights: The Heights is one of Houston’s most historic neighborhoods, tucked away in the northwest-central area of the city. The centuries-old Victorian homes lining the streets are home to families and local businesses alike, and there are countless boutiques, antique shops, and galleries to be discovered.

10 Fun Things to Do in While You’re in Town for a Wedding

If your guests are visiting from out of town, help fill their free time with a list of fun things to do and explore throughout the city. Here are some of our favorite attractions, sites, and spots in H-Town!

1. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts: As one of the largest museums in the nation, a day trip to Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts is well worth your time! Thursdays are a great day to go—along with free admission, enjoy a cash-bar happy hour from 6–8 pm to take in the exhibitions with a cocktail in hand.

2. Visit the Houston Zoo: If you have children in tow (or even if you don’t!), a visit to the Houston Zoo is a special experience! There’s a reason over 1.84 million guests make the trip to this zoo each year—with over 6,000 animals and rotating exhibits and special events, you won’t be disappointed!

3. Snap a photo in front of the “Houston Is Inspired” Mural: Don’t end your visit without heading over to this famous mural on 520 Travis Street. Located in the heart of the Market Square district, this vibrant, color-filled mural isn’t just the perfect Instagram backdrop—it also represents some of Houston’s most celebrated characteristics. Don’t be surprised if there’s a line of people waiting for a photo-op!

4. Relax at Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park: Once dubbed the Williams Waterfall, this 64-foot fountain recycles 11,000 gallons of water per minute and creates a breathtaking view. It’s also become quite the photo-opp spot, so be sure to snap a picture before you leave!

5. Check out the renowned Space Center Houston: Adults and children alike will marvel at the 400+ space artifacts, various exhibits and attractions housed in the Space Center. Take a peek into the past and future of America’s human space-flight adventures, or attend a movie featuring actual space exploration footage. Be sure to arrive early, the house is usually packed!

6. Take an Underground Tunnel Tour: Out of town visitors probably don’t know that Houston is home to the most intricate downtown tunnel system in the nation. Take an Underground Tunnel tour for an up-close look at the sprawling underground metropolis that lives beneath the city!

7. Picnic at Hermann Park: If you want to do as the locals do, a trip to Hermann Park is a must. The 445-acre park borders an array of central neighborhoods, attractions, and local institutions, and the park itself is brimming with playgrounds, picnic areas, lakes, and gardens.

8. Shop at the Galleria: In need of some retail therapy? Texas’ largest mall should do the trick! The Galleria is home to over 400 high-end stores and plenty of delectable restaurants, and even has a full-sized ice rink inside.

9. Sip craft beer at Saint Arnold’s: Houston’s oldest craft brewery, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, is an essential stop for craft beer enthusiasts and beer lovers alike. They do everything in house, from brewing and filtering the beer to kegging and bottling it. Opt for a professional tour from their expert staff, or stop in after lunch for a quick refreshment.

10. Stroll through 19th Street in the Heights: One of Houston’s most vibrant shopping districts can be found on 19th street in the Heights neighborhood. Take a stroll and check out the many eclectic antique shops, thrift stores, boutiques and cafes this historic street has to offer.

With this complete guide to how to get married in Houston, you can get started planning your wedding in confidence. Zola is here to help every step of the way—whether it’s designing custom wedding invitations or putting the final touches on your wedding registry, we have all the Expert Advice you’ll need to make your wedding vision come to life.