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DaltonToBe Posts: 130
Hi all I'm a noob here, Myself and my Fiance are getting married on the 31st August next year, We have our hotel booked and are having a civil ceremony. We opted for this as we were thrown off by the church wedding because of the high costs compared to a civil wedding. (especially as we're on a pretty tight budget) I'm a little worried though, that it won't feel as special as it would in the church. Therefore I was wondering if anyone else that had a civil ceremony could share their experience with me and give us any advice? :) Thanks Vicky
Steph2 Posts: 1044
Hey DaltonToBe :wv We're also having a Civil Ceremony, in June 2012. The church was a non runner for us. Have you booked a venue for the ceremony yet? My advice first of all would be to have an offsite civil ceremony, so that instead of it being in a registry office, you could have the ceremony at an alternative location. That would enable you to potentially pick somewhere very romantic or somewhere with a lot of character for your ceremony. The layout of a civil ceremony allows you be a little more open as regards how you can flesh the ceremony out. You can choose some nice readings/poems etc, and you can still have music just as you might do with a church ceremony. We are having a string quartet and two singers as the music is very important for us. We are also having a candle lighting ceremony and we cleared this with the registrar who we met with when serving our notice of intention to marry. Ultimately, your civil ceremony can be just as warm and inviting as a church ceremony, just without the religion part. I would definitely suggest that the venue will play a big part in how you set the tone - a lot of the conference rooms in hotels etc, can be quite cold I think. If you can find somewhere that has a bit of charm then you're onto a winner!!
DaltonToBe Posts: 130
Thanks Steph, That helps lots. We're getting married in the castle arch and they do the civil ceremonies there also, We were shown around and the room actually looked nice, She said they lay out red carpet as the aisle and have flowers set up and things like that, She also mentioned the candles, we're allowed candles as long as there is not holy pictures on them. We have been told that if we want to bring in the songs we want on a cd they'll play that too. The music means a lot to us also but I find people charge so much for those few minutes. How much have you been charged for the music? (if you don't mind me asking) :)
D2es Posts: 143
We're having a civil ceremony also and like Steph said the church option did not feel right for us, I wanted something that I could enjoy & relate to. We've picked 2 piece of literature and we have a string quartet who will play 4 pieces as part of the ceremony. It was great being able to organise the ceremony the way we wanted & hopefully we will create the atmosphere we are trying to achieve. Now there have been a few extra questions as to whats involved however I think this is curiosity, but my nana wont be coming "because its not a church wedding", in fairness she's 95 and would have to stay over so thats fine with me but her reason made me laugh... There are some gorgeous civil ceremony rooms around the country, we picked our hotel due to the beautiful room, have a look & dont be afraid to choose what YOU want
Steph2 Posts: 1044
Sorry - I just saw in your original post that you already mentioned you had your venue booked! :-8 Our quartet cost around €600.00 and that covers a couple hours, so they'll play during the ceremony and then follow outside to the drinks reception. You could defo shop around and see what you can find - we booked our quartet in 2010 so I imagine prices may have come down slightly - you could also consider having a soloist musician, i.e. someone playing classical guitar, or a harpist - that might work out cheaper as you're only paying one person. Worth enquiring anyway if it's something that you think you would prefer on your big day.
frankenbride Posts: 419
I just had a civil ceremony. Like yourself we had it in the hotel. We opted just to have the basic ceremony with no extra readings. I liked the fact that you were not limited to just "holy" songs like you are in a church so we had music we liked played on entrance and exit. It was funny cos when we got to the reception everyone said how much they loved it as it wasn't as formal as a church and was over within ten minutes. We had a lovely registrar and had a great warm feeling in the room as everybody was relaxed and the atmosphere was great - I actually had a great laugh :) Go with whatever makes yourself and your hubby to be happy. As regards to the wedding if you are on a tight budget I would go with just making a cd of all your favourite songs, our registrar actually took charge of playing the songs we wanted when we wanted them or you could just ask a family member to press play. Again this gives you the freedom to pick the songs you love from all different genre's rather than having one band playing one type IYKWIM. :) :)
Mrs Fahrenheit Posts: 1582
Hey Dalton, We are also having a civil ceremony (kind of)! We are actually having a civil ceremony layout given by the Spiritualist union of Ireland. We have found them very flexible - much more flexible than civil registrars. We will have no mention of any religion or anything but if we wanted to we could include a religious reading - this might pacify family members who do not 100% approve of your choice. Also, it means we can get married on a Saturday and have no restrictions on times. If you want to know more PM me but this was definitely the most flexible option for us. I am really looking forward to our ceremony. We have practically written it ourselves and it is extremely personal to us. HTH MF Grrr Steph2, you got an amazing price on your string quartet! I'm raging with myself now.
sylvie guillem Posts: 51
We had a civil ceremony in a hotel and it was my favourite part of the whole day. We were a bit concerned initially, only because OH's parents are regular mass goers and thought that they'd be disappointed with the civil ceremony so we made a concerted effort to put work into the civil ceremony and not just have it over in 5 mins. I just loved it - the room was small and really beautiful. On the day it was full to capacity and it felt charged with energy. The Registrar was so lovely. We had 3 readings, 3 pieces of music and candles and even with that, it went really fast. Probably only 20 mins. I think with a civil ceremony, it's about the work you both put into it. If you put a lot of effort into the content, you'll get a lot out of it and so will your guests. So many people commented on how lovely it was (at least I hope they enjoyed it!!).
Anne Cordelia Shirley Posts: 4731
We had a humanist service. It was great (similar to civil ceremony, we had no religion as we're not religious anyway). We spent a long time choosing two readings on marriage and had our siblings read them and had quite traditional vows and a ring exchange. We also could have done a candle lighting or sand ceremony but that wasn't for us. Our celebrant really brought the whole thing together and spoke about marriage and family which was very moving. We got a lot of comments afterwards and in our guest book about how moving and personal the ceremony was and a few of our friends have now decided to go the civil rather than religious route. You do need to put the work into it though, have a long search for readings that appeal to both of you.
Steph2 Posts: 1044
[quote="Miss Fahrenheit":1oitwgb2]Hey Dalton, We are also having a civil ceremony (kind of)! We are actually having a civil ceremony layout given by the Spiritualist union of Ireland. We have found them very flexible - much more flexible than civil registrars. We will have no mention of any religion or anything but if we wanted to we could include a religious reading - this might pacify family members who do not 100% approve of your choice. Also, it means we can get married on a Saturday and have no restrictions on times. If you want to know more PM me but this was definitely the most flexible option for us. I am really looking forward to our ceremony. We have practically written it ourselves and it is extremely personal to us. HTH MF Grrr Steph2, you got an amazing price on your string quartet! I'm raging with myself now.[/quote:1oitwgb2] Aw no way - sorry :-8 They're a brill quartet too so totally fell on my feet with them!! Although I keep having nightmares that they don't show up on the day :eek I'm so bad for wedding nightmares - a different one every night at this stage :o0 Just looking at your ticker there - not long to go now!! Hope you get to have a nice rest over Christmas, before the madness begins!! xxx