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Church or Civil Ceremony

We know in the modern world, not everyone considers having a religious wedding, which is why civil ceremonies are becoming more and more common. Which would you want to consider?

Some couples struggle to decide whether they should opt for a church wedding or civil ceremony so I thought it made sense to write this article to give you some points and help you decide.

If we haven’t met yet, my name is Nehar. I’m an award-winning wedding planner based in Buckinghamshire. Couples love working with me because for me it's all about working with you to achieve your dream day. Have a read of my tips below, and if you want to chat, just click that big yellow button above.

With church weddings, you still need to have two witnesses and complete paperwork similar to civil ceremonies, however the wordings of the ceremony and of course the setting is much much different. In both civil and church weddings, anyone under the age of 21 requires the consent of their parents.

Curch ceremony

Church weddings are beautiful because of the setting. You are in a place of god. You have a beautiful altar, beautiful aisle, and usually a lovely backdrop. You can decorate the place with petals, flowers, and candles. You don’t really need too much decor, but you can never really over do it either.

In a church wedding, a priest or minister usually lead the couple to take their vows and bless their union, rather than a registrar. The vows maybe more religion orientated, with readings from a bible. You can have alternative to religious music as most venues have built in PA systems.

Weddings that take part in the Church of England and the Church in Wales are registered at the same time as performing the religious ceremony. You won't have to give notice of the marriage to the Register Office in most cases however you will have Ringing of the Bands, which is similar to giving notice.

Civil ceremony

There are many venues in the UK that are registered for civil ceremonies. This means you can usually hire out the room or part of the venue that is licensed to host your ceremony and then have the Breakfast and Reception in the same room.

To have a civil ceremony you will need to book a registrar from the registry office local to the venue. The time of the registrar will determine when you have your ceremony. With the present backlog of weddings you may have to book your registrar a few years in advance, and you may not have many times to choose from. You can usually book this usually up to 40 hours in advance. You will also need to give notice at your local registry office, which must be at least 8 weeks before your wedding day.

With a civil ceremony in a venue you may need to hire out the licensed room at an additional cost as well as the cost of decorations. You can however, similar to the church, have simple decorations which are still very effective.

If your venue doesn’t have a licensed room you can get married in the local registry office. You will still need to book your slot and give notice as usual. Most registry offices have a room dedicated to registry office weddings and they can be decorated similar to venues and churches. Music is allowed too, similar to church and venue civil ceremonies.

I hope that helps you see the difference between Church and Civil weddings and help you decide which is best for you. Remember, if you need some extra advice or want to talk further about your wedding plans, just click that big yellow button above and Boot A Call.


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