Planning a Civil Wedding Ceremony may less complicated than planning a traditional wedding, but there are still things that must be done and cannot be overlooked. A civil wedding is a non-religious legal marriage ceremony that is performed by a government official or a justice of the peace. Unlike religious weddings, civil weddings do not involve any religious rituals, readings, or prayers. Civil weddings are often held at a courthouse, city hall, or other government buildings, but can also take place at a non-religious venue of the couple's choice. 

How To Choose An Officiant

Before selecting an officiant for your wedding, it is crucial to verify their legal authority to perform weddings in your state or country. Check with your local government to understand the legal requirements for officiants in your area. Next, consider the type of ceremony you desire and search for an officiant who can perform it. For example, if you prefer a non-religious ceremony, search for a secular officiant. You can ask friends and family for recommendations of officiants they have used in the past, or search online for officiants in your vicinity. Once you have a list of potential officiants, arrange interviews with them to discuss your ceremony and inquire about their experience, availability, fees, and other relevant matters. Ultimately, choose an officiant with whom you feel comfortable and who comprehends your vision for the ceremony. The officiant plays a vital role in your special day, so it's essential to select someone whom you trust and feel a connection with.

Who To Invite

When it comes to a civil ceremony, it's up to the couple to decide who they want to invite. The guest list can be as small or as large as they want, but typically it includes close family members and friends. However, the decision on who to invite ultimately depends on the couple's preferences and their relationship with the potential guests. Some couples may choose to keep it very intimate and only invite a handful of people, while others may opt for a larger gathering. It's important to remember that a civil ceremony is typically a more low-key and informal event, so the guest list may reflect that.

Prioritize The Ceremony

The initial consideration in planning a wedding is your budget. Determine the amount you can comfortably afford to spend and plan accordingly. You may need to restrict the number of guests you invite to remain within your budget. The size of your venue will also influence how many guests you can accommodate. Ensure that the number of invitees will fit comfortably in the space you have reserved.

When deciding on guests to invite, think about those who are essential to you and your significant other, such as close family members, friends, and individuals who have supported your relationship. Determine whether or not you will permit guests to bring a plus one, and if so, consider setting some guidelines such as only allowing significant others or partners.

Create a priority list of the people you absolutely want to invite, starting with close family and friends, and work your way down the list. Keep in mind that a civil wedding ceremony is generally a more intimate event than a traditional wedding, so you may need to be more selective with your guest list and invite only those who are closest to you.

Celebrate Making It Official

After the ceremony, you can celebrate with your loved ones to make it more official.  There are some factors to look at on how to create a memorable wedding.

  1. Choose a meaningful location: One of the most important aspects of a memorable civil wedding is choosing a location that is meaningful to you and your partner. Look for a venue that reflects your personalities and your unique love story
  2. Personalize your ceremony: Civil weddings offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to personalizing your ceremony. You can write your own vows, include special readings or poems, or incorporate cultural or religious traditions that are meaningful to you. 
  3. Hire a professional officiant: The officiant plays a key role in your wedding ceremony, so it's important to choose someone who is experienced, professional, and able to work with you to create a ceremony that reflects your values and beliefs. 
  4. Include your loved ones: Your wedding day is a celebration of your love and commitment, and it's important to share that with the people who matter most to you. Consider including your family and friends in your ceremony by asking them to give readings, perform music, or participate in other meaningful ways. 
  5. Add special touches: Finally, don't be afraid to add special touches that will make your ceremony truly unforgettable. This could mean adding a unique element to your decor, creating personalized wedding favors for your guests, or planning a surprise performance or activity that will leave everyone with lasting memories. 

Consider an Online Civil Ceremony

An online wedding ceremony, also called a virtual wedding, allows guests to participate from afar. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing rules, virtual weddings have become increasingly popular as a creative and unique way for couples to tie the knot during and beyond these trying times. While they provide the convenience of allowing guests to join remotely, they require careful planning and coordination to ensure a successful celebration of love and commitment. When executed with proper technology and preparation, virtual weddings can be a special and unforgettable experience. In fact, certain online wedding services like Courtly even offer expedited processing for a speedy 10-minute ceremony with all paperwork handled for the couple, and a digital marriage certificate delivered within 24-48 hours.

When planning a virtual wedding, it's important to consider several key factors. The quality of the technology used to stream the wedding is crucial, so couples should ensure they have a reliable internet connection, webcam or smartphone camera, and a platform such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype to host the ceremony. A test run prior to the wedding can help ensure everything runs smoothly.

Virtual weddings can accommodate a large number of guests, but it's still important for couples to carefully consider their guest list and ensure everyone has the necessary technology and feels comfortable participating online.

The virtual wedding ceremony can be customized to the couple's preferences, including the vows, readings, and other symbolic actions facilitated by the officiant. The ceremony can be recorded for future viewing.

Couples and their guests should dress appropriately for the occasion, whether formal or informal. Decorating the venue and suggesting guests decorate their homes with flowers or balloons can add to the festive atmosphere. Following the ceremony, couples may choose to hold a virtual reception for guests to mingle and celebrate. Entertainment such as music, games, or other activities can also be provided.

Final Thoughts

Today, there are many ways couples can get hitched without opting for a traditional wedding. Civil ceremonies have always been an option for couples to use but due to the restrictions of COVID-19, there was a need for services like Courtly to help facilitate weddings for couples all around the world without even being in the same country. Civil weddings are typically more low-key than traditional options but they don't have to be boring either. By choosing online wedding services, you are still able to include your family and friends from all around the world to witness you and your loved on tie the knot. You can personalize your ceremony through decorations and themes along with customized vows or if have it as simple as a 10-minute ceremony. Courtly takes care of all the paperwork for you so you never have to step foot into a courthouse and have more time enjoying you and your future spouse's company rather than planning your big day.  

Let us handle the paperwork.

Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.

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