What is a Civil Wedding/ Partnership?
Civil / partnership weddings are for couples that do not wish or cannot have a full religious Wedding Ceremony, but want something more than a wedding in a registry office, during office hours. It is important to note that civil/ partnership ceremonies are not legally binding though, so you will have to get officially civilly married in the Registry Office first.
A civil/partnership wedding ceremony tends to be very personal and meaningful and the officiant will work with the couple to decide on the style that will suit them. Guests to a civil/ partnership wedding ceremony may have reservations at first (a religious relative or an overbearing parent!) however, it’s often the case that the most skeptical guest will be the most impressed at the end of the ceremony.
The format is actually very similar to a traditional church wedding. Traditionally the bride will walk down the aisle, there are readings, music, vows and an exchange of rings. The only difference, is that there is no mention of God.
The officiant will talk about the couple coming together to celebrate their love for each other and mark their commitment to each other in front of their family and friends. The readings can be poetry, prose, or song lyrics! The civil celebrant will make suggestions and common readings would be Shakespearean Sonnets, Yeats poems etc. No surprise, the readings are usually around the themes of Love, Marriage, Commitment and Friendship.
Couples that opt for a civil/ partnership wedding, will often write their own vows which makes the whole experience even more personal for them and the guests. For those of you who are maybe divorced and getting married for the second time round, or non religious people who are still looking for “special occasion” then this is ideal.