A civil wedding differs from a religious one, among other things, in that they are usually shorter and there is much more room to personalise them and make them to the taste of the bride and groom. It is important that you organise the times well and have a kind of script in mind. Although later there is always part that is left to improvisation.
The civil ceremony usually lasts about fifteen minutes and despite being short you can add readings, songs or whatever you can think of. Everything to achieve a very personal special wedding. For example, symbolic rites such as the candle ceremony can be added.
The ceremony of light or candles can be performed in both a civil and religious wedding. It is a ritual that symbolises the union in marriage and love. This act doesn’t have a religious meaning and can be done by reading a text, a poem or with music.
Three candles are needed: a larger one that symbolises life together and two smaller ones that represent the bride and groom. They first light their candles and then with them they light the main candle at the same time, as a symbol of their union. The time to do it is up to you. It is normal to do this after mutual consent or after the exchange of rings.
Once the main candle is lit there are two options:
- The bride and groom can blow out their individual candles to represent that they are the same person.
- Leave the three on to represent the marriage and the two members as different people who maintain their personality and independence.
Civil weddings that take place in a court or in a town hall don’t allow much freedom when it comes to personalising them. Their duration cannot be extended because ceremonies are held every half hour. Precisely for this reason, many couples decide to sign papers in court and then celebrate it at an estate or a hotel that has a suitable space for it. There are some sites that have a way of holding a legal ceremony. In that case, you will avoid going through this step before, but most do not offer that possibility.
So now you know, if you want a special wedding, the most important thing is that you personalise it by choosing special songs for yourselves, reading texts or poems that represent how you feel about each other. And as an important point: the candlelight ceremony.