Not everyone opts for a religious ceremony when planning their dream wedding. This may be because the couple isn’t religious, they may have a mixed religious background or they could be non-believers. It isn’t necessary to have a member of a religious organization officiate a wedding and civil weddings in San Antonio are growing in popularity.
What Is a Civil Wedding?
Civil weddings or civil ceremonies are simply weddings in which a legal, rather than a religious, official presides over the event. It is still a legal marriage, it just isn’t conducted by a member of the clergy. Marriages that take place in a courthouse presided over by a judge are an example of a civil ceremony.
Aside from the aforementioned reasons, some couples opt for civil weddings because the official at their church may not wish to perform an outdoor wedding or at a ceremony that isn’t within the doors of the church. In this case, the couple could schedule a judge or a justice of the peace to perform their ceremony and the wedding would still be legal.
When you have a religious ceremony, you still need to have it made legally binding by applying for a marriage license. Unless you have a marriage license, no matter where you are married or by whom, your marriage will not be legal.
Planning the Wedding
Since a civil ceremony is a legal marriage, you can plan it just as you would any wedding. It will follow the same protocols if you go a traditional route. You do have a bit more freedom with a civil ceremony as you don’t have to include religious aspects to your wedding unless you just want to have them.
You can select a non-traditional venue, write your own vows and create your own ceremony. This freedom is one reason civil weddings are becoming more popular with people, especially if they don’t hold to any particular religion or if they are getting remarried after a divorce.
If you do have a faith community, you may want to check with them to see if your marriage will be recognized by your church if you have a civil ceremony. Some churches will not recognize marriages that were performed by someone not of their faith. However, you probably won’t need to go through another wedding, just speak with church officials to find out how to get them to recognize your civil wedding.
You have a lot of freedom with a civil ceremony that you may not have with a religious one, depending on your faith traditions. You can be as creative as you wish and put your own touches on the day you will always remember.