Today we’ve decided it’s about time we revisit a big topic that we’ve not discussed for a while and one that we’ve perhaps grown a little more perspective on over the last couple of years. This was the topic of Bride Vs Groom’s first ever debate back in February 2012 so let’s see if our thoughts still tally up! So the topic is Church Wedding Vs Civil Ceremony and, for the purposes of this debate we’re going to try to look at points of practicality rather than the obvious matter of individual religious beliefs, and just to keep things interesting we’re going to fight the opposite sides to those we fought originally…
So, in the Red Corner, fighting for the civil ceremony, it’s Dom “The Tog Bride”
In the Blue Corner, fighting for the classic church wedding it’s Matt “The Gormless Groom”
Church Wedding Vs Civil Ceremony
Dom: Church weddings can really limit your choices about your day - you need to have been regularly attending the church you intend to marry in for some time before the wedding rather than be able to choose any church you like which restricts not only your choice of ceremony venue but where you can realistically hold the reception as well as it needs to be nearby.
Matt: Church’s are a huge part of the traditional wedding day and there’s something lovely about getting married in the place where so many couples have been wed over hundreds of years.
Dom: Church’s can be a lovely setting but there are so many absolutely stunning locations that a civil ceremony gives you the freedom to have your ceremony at, including getting married outdoors! With a civil ceremony, or particularly a humanist ceremony, you can have the wedding of your dreams in whatever type of setting you can imagine.
Matt: Many church’s have personal significance, particularly if it’s local to where you grew up. It’s always a particularly special occasion when the couple are getting married in the same place where either of their parents were married or in the place where you were baptised.
Dom: Church’s tend to have far more rules and restrictions than civil ceremony venues, from reduced choice in what readings you can have to the choice of music and even the decoration. Civil ceremonies give you the freedom to have your day exactly the way you want it.
Matt: Church’s only tend to have one wedding in a day and are often able to be a little more lenient with the timings whereas venues may have another wedding coming in after yours or the registrars may have a tight schedule to keep meaning if anything runs late your ceremony may be rushed.
Dom: Church’s often are far more restrictive in terms of what they will allow your photographer and videographer to do, up to and including not allowing photos or videos at all, something I have never experienced in a civil ceremony.
Matt: Church ceremonies have so many traditions and ceremonial sections to them that they often last much longer and allow you to really get the most out of your ceremony. Civil ceremonies tend to be much simpler and can sometimes feel rather too short.
Dom: With a civil ceremony you have much more influence over the way the ceremony is conducted, including being able to devise your own vows as long as certain legal guidelines are followed. At a church you have very little control over the way the ceremony itself is run and it may not reflect your personalities quite so well as a civil ceremony.
Matt: At a church wedding you tend to have much more of a chance to get to know the vicar who will be officiating over your ceremony and build a relationship with them which can make it all the more special that they are the one officiating over your day. With civil ceremonies you often don’t even meet the registrar before the ceremony itself.
So those are our thoughts but where do you stand? Leave your comments to join the debate or simply place your vote in our poll below!
Photos by York Place Studios