Civil wedding ceremonies are more and more popular nowadays for various reasons. They have probably been on the market before the religious ones, since they were considered, at the beginning, a way for the community to keep the record of the married couples.
Why would anyone have a civil ceremony?
Most people take this decision because they are not religious at all and they prefer to avoid a church wedding, while they still have to officiate their union in one way or another. Others have it simply to pass over potential conflicts, when the bride and the groom have different believes.
The lack of time is, no matter as difficult would be for one to accept, another significant reason. Finally, those who choose to have an abroad wedding can be forced to stay only with the civil ceremony because the religious one could not be accepted in their country of origin.
What is there to be done?
While a civil ceremony is just a marriage ceremony legally approved, with the main characteristic that it has no religious aspects at all, it does not mean it has to be less formal or festive. You need to find an officiant, which is usually a deputy or superintendent registrar, and to have two witnesses. Nevertheless, before getting to the final step, you should receive a so – called authority. For this purpose, a special paper – notice of marriage – must be filed at the local office, with no less than two weeks before the wedding day. Most important, when going to make everything official, do not forget to take with you, for identification, a birth certificate or at least a passport and the copy of the marriage certificate and divorce in case that one of you two has ever repeated the procedure.
What about the officiant?
The City Hall should provide you all the necessary details, including a list with the most common officiants. Having that list, you would better not settle with a single one, but go see at least three of them to find out with whom do you feel most comfortable. You should ask them which are their preferences, if you will be allowed to come with your own readings or vows during the ceremony, if he will accept to attend on a rehearsal and so far. It is important to express all your worries, desires and questions before the big day, to avoid unpleasant surprises.11