The mere thought of planning a civil wedding is already daunting in itself. Just like a church wedding, you want to ensure that you get every single thing right, from the venue to your vows, to ensure that you will be legally married and ready to embark on your new life together.
But this process remains to be a mystery to some, with several couples even wondering if there are limits to this type of wedding. One of the many questions they often ask is “does civil wedding has expiration?”
The simple and straightforward answer is no, a civil wedding doesn’t have an expiration. Marriage ceremonies and weddings, whether it is religious, non-denomination, or civil, don’t come with expiration dates. These events are not a joke, so they don’t have an obsolescence or expiration date. The only time that a wedding or marriage will expire is when any or both parties file for annulment and divorce.
Continue reading below to know more about civil weddings and what they entail:
What is a Civil Wedding?
Civil weddings are basically marriages that don’t have a religious context. It only means that a functionary, registrar, or governmental official conducts the wedding ceremony.
Now, you might be wondering if a civil wedding is legally binding. Yes, it definitely is. Civil weddings are 100% legally bound.
Some couples choose to hold a religious ceremony that can either follow or precede the civil ceremony. However, many couples choose to hold a civil ceremony as their only wedding ceremony.
Is a Civil Wedding Ceremony Different from a Wedding?
It is only understandable that some people are confused about the difference between a wedding and a civil wedding ceremony. The primary difference lies in the fact that vows are the ones that form the marriage. It is also often conducted in a religious ceremony. This is then followed by signing the marriage certificate.
In a civil wedding ceremony, on the other hand, signing the civil partnership certificate will cement the union. And as stated earlier, it is non-religious as well.
What Can You Expect from a Civil Wedding Ceremony?
Even if civil marriages have now become more popular compared to their religious counterparts, there are still many couples who have no idea or don’t understand what civil wedding ceremonies are and what is involved in them.
A civil wedding ceremony is basically a legally binding non-religious marriage. A civil representative or legal representative officiates a civil wedding.
The ceremony often takes place in a town hall or registry office. However, couples are also free to choose to marry in approved venues. It is a very appealing option to those couples who want or prefer to say their vows with stunning sceneries in the backdrops, such as mountains, beaches, and the countryside.
Civil wedding ceremonies are also often more relaxed gatherings where couples can wear anything they want. They can also set how long or short they wish the ceremony to be.
Couples can also enjoy the flexibility to include readings from the Bible, extracts, or poems that are special or meaningful to them instead of a prescribed copy.
Civil weddings are also the perfect option for same-sex couples, with thousands of marriages now registered in many parts of the world.
How to Plan a Civil Wedding
You can organize a civil wedding in just a matter of one month. But just like other celebrations, make sure that you book your venue of choice as early as you can to prevent any disappointments.
You have more options and more freedom to style your civil ceremony any way that you like. For example, you can exchange your “I do” on a white sand beach or hold your wedding inspired by a festival. Civil wedding ceremonies have more flexibility and more options on how you do it just like what you want.
Registry offices are also different from churches in the sense that they can also undertake several bookings on any given day, which means they have better availability.
There are some countries where you will also need to register at the registry office of your intention to marry at a certain period of time in advance as shown in the public register. Some might also require you to live in the district where you plan to marry at least one week before you give notice.
Venues for Civil Weddings
Another good news for you is that you have fairly open options when it comes to the venue of your civil wedding ceremony. Civil ceremonies are usually held at the registry office. You can also use an approved venue for your civil wedding.
Good examples of these venues include hotels, restaurants, barns, country houses, and others. Many wedding venues also have licensed areas for civil wedding ceremonies. It means that it is all up to you to decide if you can hold your ceremony and reception in just one place.
What to Expect During a Civil Wedding
Before the civil wedding ceremony, the registrar will hold a meeting first. It is to make sure that everything is in place and that the day will go smoothly as planned. The ceremony will then begin.
Standard civil wedding ceremonies are often pretty quick, lasting for an average of 20 to 30 minutes. If you prefer the ceremony to be shorter and probably a bigger party, the timeframe is just perfect. But some couples choose to include music, poems, and readings into the service to lengthen the nuptials.
Couples must also exchange their vows during a civil wedding. It will ensure that the marriage will be legal. After the vows are exchanged and everyone feels emotional, the bride and groom will now be declared married.
The couple will then need to sign the register following this, with the registrar and two witnesses present. Once everything has been said and done, you will now be officially married. The party will follow where you can throw the confetti, take photos, and cry happy tears.
Civil weddings don’t have any expiration so enjoy the moments and prepare for a happy married life ahead!