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Church Wedding or Civil Ceremony?

By admin on November 1st, 2006 3 comments

Wedding_1  Camilla’s article on the popularity of church weddings got me wondering what type of ceremony Bridalwave readers are choosing?

For us, there was never any question that we’d be having a civil ceremony: neither of us is even remotely religious, and we agreed right away that it would just feel "wrong" to get married in a religious ceremony. I don’t think I’d even feel "properly" married if I’d said my vows in front of a God I don’t believe in, and would we’d both have felt hypocritical joining in with all of the prayers and hymns church weddings generally tend to involve.

With all of that said, I wasn’t too surprised to hear that religious weddings are still very much in vogue. Strangely enough, our wedding will be the first civil ceremony I’ve ever attended, and even although none of our friends are religious either, so far they’ve all opted for the traditional church wedding. Yes, even the atheists.

This is something that surprises me, if I’m honest. The reason I’ve heard most often for non-believers getting married in church is that "the church is pretty", or "it’s traditional". I personally think civil ceremony venues can be just as atmospheric as a church (not to mention warmer!), and the "tradition" argument doesn’t hold much weight with us either.

What does everyone else think? Where are you getting married, and why?

  • Caroline

    Well church for me, but that is because I have sound religious reasons. Whilst I don’t go to church every week I have a strong religious background and it is really important for me to say my vows in such an environment, (ditto my fiance).
    I do get naffed off that people get married in churches for the sake of it – and then whinge about the various restrictions etc. But I do think that it is great that it gets people heading back to church, shame that many of them don’t then keep going.

  • Mirym K

    Civil ceremony, definitely. He’s Hindu, I’m agnostic, and the wedding’s going to have a bizarre theme anyway. Holding it in a church would be intrusive and awkward.

  • ella

    We’re of differing religions as well (he’s jewish, i am catholic) and neither one of us is religious. We’re going to get married at city hall and then have a committment ceremony a few weeks later with the whole reception deal. My future mother in law was a bit disturbed by the whole idea and was willing to pay for the appropriate religious figures at the committment ceremony, but my man helped her see the falseness in that kind of performance at our wedding. Thankfully!

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