With the number of mixed and second time marriages taking place, many couples are opting to have a civil ceremony instead of a religious ceremony. This allows them to include special readings, vows, symbols or wedding themes, whether religious or not. A civil ceremony contains no religious elements (except for what the couple may add) and can be performed at a venue of your choice.
It’s a good idea to set up appointments and meet with three or four different officiants, as some won’t be available on your wedding date and some you may not like. It is important that you feel comfortable with the officiant who is performing the ceremony and that you feel that he/she is interested in you as a couple.
As with any marriage ceremony, you will need to have two witnesses to sign the legal documents once the ceremony is performed.
All in all, a civil ceremony is much more flexible in today’s world. You both may incorporate aspects of each of your religions if you wish, write your own vows and have any type of wedding theme you want, whereas a typical religious ceremony tends to restrict much of this. Whatever type of ceremony you choose, the most important thing to remember is do what makes you happy as a couple. It’s your wedding after all.