Are you struggling to decide on a venue for your wedding? Do you and your fiance find yourselves going back and forth on the ceremony setting? If so, then you need to decide between having a civil ceremony or a church wedding ceremony.
The answer depends entirely on your situation. For example, if you were raised in a religious home, then a church wedding ceremony is the right choice. But if you and your spouse weren’t raised in a religious family, a civil wedding might be better.
See below for an in-depth guide on how to compare a church wedding ceremony versus a civil ceremony and find which one is right for you.
What Does a Church Wedding Entail?
For those of you unfamiliar with many wedding aspects, you might be wondering what the difference is between a church wedding and a civil wedding.
As the name would imply, a church wedding is a wedding in which the ceremony is hosted in a church auditorium. This is usually held in a church of importance to either the bride or groom, such as being the church that the bride was born and raised in.
The ceremony itself is officiated by the priest or pastor of the church, and can also feature hymns, bible scriptures, and readings from friends and relatives. You might also be able to use live streaming for churches for those that can’t physically attend the ceremony.
Even if you and your spouse aren’t necessarily churchgoers every Sunday, you may still enjoy having a church for wedding ceremony. If you believe marriage to be tied to religion in any way, then a church-held ceremony can bring a finer meeting to your matrimony.
How Do You Prepare a Church Wedding?
Unlike some of the places that you might consider for a civil ceremony, church venues host weddings all the time. Their experience will pay off in a big way, as they often have the right props and equipment for the wedding, negating your need to rent it.
Generally, you start off your church wedding by meeting with the pastor or priest of your church.
They will ask you several questions about your relationship, your ideal wedding, and your plans together as a married couple. Don’t worry though, the questions won’t get too specific or intimate. The pastor basically just wants to make sure you two are a good fit.
From there, you three (bride, groom, and pastor) can brainstorm different ideas for the ceremony. The pastor can guide you through with things they’ve done in the past, as well as how they typically like to shape a ceremony.
You can add in any special requests that you have, such as what song the bride wants to be played while she walks down the aisle, who will walk her down the aisle, scriptures you want the pastor to include, and so on.
Be sure to reserve the church as far in advance as possible. Many churches are willing to book a date over a year in advance, so be sure to ask as soon as possible to land your ideal date.
What Does a Civil Ceremony Entail?
As you might imagine, a civil ceremony is any type of wedding that has religion removed from the ceremony. This might be the course of action if the bride and groom come from two different religions or neither considers them to be a follower of the faith.
A civil ceremony is still just as legal as a church ceremony because it still involves the marriage certificate and all other qualifications, just without a religious take on it.
There are many different places that you can hold a civil ceremony. You could perform one in a park, country club, on a beach, or another place of major importance. There are many places that make beautiful venues and feature a staff that’s willing to accommodate you.
In fact, in many cases, you can find a place to hold the wedding ceremony and the reception shortly after. Talk it through with your spouse to see what the best option would be.
How Do You Prepare for a Civil Wedding?
First, you and your future spouse will want to brainstorm which places you might want to host your wedding ceremony at. Start by thinking through some sentimental spots and calling those venues to see if they do weddings.
Try to schedule as far in advance as possible so that you can land your ideal wedding date.
Next, you’ll want to decide who you want to officiate your wedding. This can often be a close friend to you both, a relative, or even the second job for your best man. Whatever you and your spouse want most!
Take the time to think through ideas for the ceremony. You have virtually all the freedom in the world to organize your ceremony as you so choose.
Think about things such as songs you want to be played, quotes you want to be spoken, flower girls, ring bearers, and so on.
Find the Perfect Civil or Church Wedding Ceremony Venue for Your Big Day
Now that you’ve seen several details about both a civil and church wedding ceremony, it’s important to choose the one that best fits your relationship.
Be sure to think through the pros and cons of both. For some of you, the answer might not be clear right away. Give yourself some time to think about it.
Also, make sure to browse our website for more articles on wedding ceremonies, as well as many other helpful topics.