Since the late 1970’s, civil weddings have been the preferred ceremony of choice for UK couples. In fact, national stats covering the last 10 years confirm that – two out of three weddings conducted in the UK are civil ceremonies.
So, will you be saying ‘I do’ to a civil ceremony?
A civil ceremony is an obvious choice for couples who do not subscribe to a religion, or for couples who would like a strong degree of control over the location and logistics of their wedding. In fact, modern values seem to go hand-in-hand with modern civil ceremonies, as these types of weddings can be planned at relatively short notice, and can also be customised to suit any taste.
Gone are the days when a couples’ only option was the register office down the road. Opting for a civil ceremony puts choice at the heart of your big day as there is opportunity to choose from over 3000 licensed venues when planning your civil ceremony.
The full list of licensed venues is available by contacting the General Register Office, and obtaining this list is certainly a good place to start. Whether you would like a simple ceremony in a traditional Town Hall, or a lavish ceremony in a Scottish Castle, you are bound to find a location to fall in love with. The more adventurous amongst us can even hire out the Rovers Return Inn, Bristol Zoo, or the iconic Gherkin building for their civil ceremony. Stately homes remain a very popular choice for couples in the UK, although younger couples tend to be opting for more modern locations for their civil ceremonies, such as contemporary hotels or gallery spaces.
Organising a civil ceremony is generally straightforward, as many venues will offer wedding packages that can include everything from the catering to the confetti; from the bridal suite to the bouquet. If you don’t quite hit it off with the first venue you visit, then don’t be discouraged; keep visiting as many venues as you can until you find ‘the one.’
Remember, it is important to ‘give notice’ of marriage at your local register office, which both of you must do at least 15 days before your wedding. Without this notice, the registrar will not be able to marry you. Civil ceremonies are usually carried out between 8am and 6pm, and at least two witnesses are required.
So, this is ‘civil ceremony weddings’ in a nutshell; are these three little words music to your ears?