Alternatives to the Registry

Many couples incorrectly think that:

  • if they don't want a church wedding, their only choice is to go to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages  - as is the case in many countries
  • they can only have a short ceremony by booking through a Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry Office.

At the Registry they will usually have:

  • little choice about venue
  • little or no choice of celebrant
  • limited or no choice about the wording, and
  • limited number of guests

Many couples do not realise that they can choose a civil marriage celebrant for a ceremony:

  • at a time and place of your choosing
  • with words you choose to acknowledge your love and values
  • as short or as long as you like.

If you are thinking of going to the Registry Office - talk to a civil celebrant about your options for a "Registry Style" wedding - short and simple.

This will save you travel, parking and stress as Registry Offices cannot allow for couples held up by photographers or traffic.

For some couples a five or ten minute ceremony is exactly what they want.  Many celebrants will charge similar fees to the Registry for those short ceremonies.

Don"t dismiss the idea of a longer civil ceremony because you are afraid that your ceremony will be long and boring!

Most civil ceremonies are not boring, because professional civil celebrants :

  • use everyday language that everyone can understand, 
  • encourage the couple to choose their own music, poetry or prose
  • enable to couple to include family and friends in the ceremony 
  • involve the couple in choosing or writing vows
  • deliver the ceremony in a warm, friendly, inclusive and relaxed style.

Here are some Tips for a civil ceremony that is not going to be boring

TIP: Make sure you have adequate seating and be mindful of your guests' comfort by being on or close to time

Standing for a long time before and during the ceremony can make a short ceremony feel very long - especially in high heels.

TIP: Arrange for your ceremony to be held in a local hall or community centre or at the reception centre, then have your photos in the parks or beachside so you have the best of both worlds.

Poor weather - hot, cold, windy or wet.can make even the shortest outdoor ceremony feel long

TIP: Work with your celebrant to ensure your ceremony is different and special - give the ceremony as much thought and care as your do your clothes and the reception

Having the same ceremony as everyone else - which is what happens in most registry offices and churches - can be boring..

Finally even if you choose options that make the ceremony longer, most couples find their civil ceremony goes in the blink of an eye! 

Talk to a celebrant from The Celebrants Network about the type of ceremony that suits your needs and will make your memories of the day special 

Last modified on Saturday, 01 February 2020 14:44

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