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Tuesday 7th July 2015  GMT

Civil wedding ceremonies

For Brides who are planning a civil wedding then here is a little advice that may help

If you're planning a ceremony in a register office or approved venue, look no further for a little guidance

What is a civil ceremony?

Quite simply a civil ceremony is a marriage without any religious context. For those living in England and Wales, it can take places at a register office or a venue which has been approved for civil marriage.

How do I find an approved civil venue?

In years gone by register offices solely were approved for civil wedding ceremonies theses more often than not gave little opportunity for beautiful wedding photography, however over recent years venues have become licensed to hold the ceremony.

These include some stately homes, hotels, restaurants, castles, zoos, and many other places of interest. To find a location visit our extensive wedding venue listings, all venues will be more than happy to provide you with details of their facilities.

What will the ceremony be like?

A civil ceremony cannot have any religious content, however the superintendent registrar will be able to help you decide how to make the ceremony person to you both. You may be able to include non-religious music and readings that are special to your memories and the moment.

How do I organise my marriage?

The first thing that you have to do once you have made the decision to get married at a registered venue is to give notice of marriage at your local register office.

If you plan to marry in a different area, you should also contact the register office in the district where you would like to get married. Your notices of marriage are displayed on the notice board of the register office for 15 days. The notice is then valid for 12 months, during this period time you can get married whenever you wish.

By law you must both be 16 years or older, and you may require written consent if you're under 18. Remember to take all documentation with you as you will need to show the superintendent registrar documentary evidence of your name, age and nationality, and a divorce decree absolute or death certificate if you have been married before.

After the ceremony you will receive your marriage certificate, which will be handed to you by the registrar.

I would like to get married in Scotland. Is the law the same as England and Wales?

In Scotland, you can also have a civil or religious ceremony. A civil marriage can take place at a register office or approved venue, and a list of approved venues can be obtained from the General Register Office for Scotland





Post by Phil Jones

Wedding Trivia: The groom's flower, worn on his lapel, usually matches one of the flowers in his bride's bouquet. This tradition goes back to medieval times when knights wore the colors of their lady in tournaments.

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