What is a civil ceremony?

June 6, 2006. Written by

A civil ceremony contains no religious elements or anything with religious connotation…

Civil ceremonies can take place in lots of different venues ‐‐ but how are they defined?

A civil wedding ceremony is basically a legally approved marriage ceremony that contains no religious aspects.

A civil ceremony is conducted by the superintendent registrar or deputy and can take place in a register office or a licensed venue after 8am and before 6pm, subject to staffing arrangements.

The registrar has to receive an ‘authority’ for your marriage to be able to proceed, which can only be obtained by giving a notice of marriage, which you must do at your local register office (or offices if you live in different areas) at least 15 days before the wedding. Read on and we tell you more about this later.

You will need to bring at least two other people to the ceremony who are prepared to witness the marriage and sign the marriage register.

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