Civil ceremonies can be just as spectacular as a church wedding

Wedding rings on a book

Standing up in front of your nearest and dearest is an important occasion in anyone’s life. Publically declaring your lifelong commitment to another person is a big deal, so it’s no surprise there are legions of companies, websites and TV programmes dedicated to the event.

A wedding can be whatever you want it to be. Whether you’re making it official through a civil ceremony or you’re standing up in front of a priest, the event will be one of the most important days of your life. Though it might not be in a church, a civil ceremony is just as official, so make sure yours is as memorable as possible.

What is a civil ceremony?

The knot puts it perfectly – “a civil ceremony doesn’t mean common law, a civil union or even a drive-through, Vegas-style affair. A civil ceremony is simply a nonreligious, legal marriage ceremony presided over by a legal official instead of a religious one”. At the end of the day, you’ll be just as married as you would be if you held your wedding in a church.


Though there’s no denying the beauty of a church wedding, couples getting married in their local chapel will have to adhere to certain rules governing the day. Civil ceremonies however are much more flexible, and can be just as beautiful, if you pick a wedding venue as spectacular as a church. Though you’ll still have to follow a few set guidelines, in general, civil ceremonies are easier to get creative with.

If you want to incorporate music, singing, readings or speeches into your ceremony, talk to your registrar in advance. Though there will be a time restriction, in general officials are happy to tailor the wedding to suit you.

Bride and groom holding hands

The venue

If you opt for a civil ceremony, you’ll have an incredible selection of venues to chose from. Though you’ll still need to find somewhere licensed for weddings, you’ll find you have a much wider choice of locations, structures, buildings and outdoor areas available.

This can help you to make your civil ceremony every bit as spectacular as a church wedding. Choose an elegant country house with landscaped gardens, and there’s a good chance your ceremony will be even more beautiful than you can imagine.


With fewer and fewer people attending church on a regular basis, it’s not uncommon for guests at religious weddings to feel a little uncomfortable. At a civil ceremony however, the atmosphere is often much more relaxed, making it easier for you to add spectacular elements to the day and incorporate yours and your fiancée’s distinctive personalities. Guests with different religions than your own need not be excluded, and all can take part in the fun of your big day!

If you’re looking for a breathtaking venue for a civil ceremony of your own, explore our fantastic choice of elegant country houses today.

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