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