A Civil wedding service is a marriage ceremony that contains no religious elements whatsoever. They are the most popular and prevelant of all the marriage ceremonies that take place each year in the UK, and the list of approved premises licensed to host such an event is growing all of the time.
Arranging a Civil wedding service is essentially a three step process:
First a couple must choose a date and time for Civil wedding service their to take place.
Secondly, they must detemine the wedding venue.
Finally, a couple must contact one or more Register Offices to inform them of their intention to marry and give notice of the impending Civil wedding service.
Let's take a brief look at each one in turn.
Setting the Date and Time
Most couples will already have a date set by now, in fact it is normally one of the first things that couples do. However, if you are one of the few that hasnít yet sorted this out, then you really need to make a decision now or, at the very least, have a number of possible alternatives that you are willing to consider.
Both the venue and the Register Office will need a confirmed date and time in order to process a Civil wedding service booking so whilst it is OK to have a number of provisional dates at this precise moment, a firm decision will need to be taken very shortly.
Booking the Venue
There are literally thousands of wedding venues out there for you to choose from and working out which one to book for your Civil wedding service can be a bit of a minefield, but with a bit of forethought and research you should be able to draw up a shortlist easily enough.
Once you have wittled the numbers down, the next step is to speak to each one in turn and confirm whether or not they are available on your chosen date and at your chosen time. As soon as you have pinpointed a particular venue, it is wise to make a reservation as early as possible.
Contacting the Register Office
A Civil wedding service will be conducted by a Superintendent Registrar and it is the responsibility of the couple to set up a meeting to arrange their attendance. At this meeting, couples will also be able to discuss options, formalise arrangements and determine the order of service for the day. Full details of the running order and what to expect can be found in our Civil Wedding Ceremonies article, but in a nutshell, music, songs, readings, poems and vows all are likely to play a big part. For full details of arranging this meeting and what will happen at the subsequent get together, check out our Arranging a Civil Marriage Ceremony article.
A Word on Blessings
For those couples who wish to incorporate a religious element to your wedding but have your heart set on a Civil wedding service, then you may want to think about a Blessing. In short, a Blessing is a religious service performed at Church at the permission of, and by, the Minister following a Civil wedding service (often after you return from Honeymoon). If you are interested in one, speak to your local vicar who will be able to provide you with some more information.