Marriage can be of different types and civil marriage is just one. In the United States, and in other countries, there exists civil and religious marriage. There are times when religious marriage is not considered as legal, and so the couple must first have a civil wedding. There are legal distinctions between the types of marriage, and so you must gather adequate knowledge about each type especially if you plan to get married.
In a civil wedding, the government issues the marriage license. When the license is given, the parties involved incur rights and obligations. In some countries, a civil marriage is enough to legally unite a man and a woman. It is the personal choice of the couple if they still want a religious marriage.
In the case of civil weddings, justices, judges, and other state authorities can officiate. A marriage is considered legal when a license is issued and endorsed by a civil authority. Oftentimes, the license is a requisite for having religious ceremonies.
You have to determine the requirements in order to have a civil wedding. You’ll have to check with the Registrar and obtain the MRF or Marriage Registration Form. The Registrar has a list of approved venues for civil marriage, and you can also have the ceremony at the Registrar of Civil Marriages office.
There are rules that you have to observe to have a civil marriage. The district where you live usually has an office where you can obtain relevant information on how to go about the marriage. In most districts, you don’t need to be a local resident to get married. A 3-month notice is also required prior to the civil ceremony.
The ceremony doesn’t have to be at the office of the Registrar. You can choose a venue but you have to check if the office approves of it. An inspection will be conducted and the Registrar will approve or disapprove the venue. You must be aware that private dwellings, open air, and marquees will not be approved by the Registrar. You can visit the official website to determine the guidelines in choosing a civil wedding venue. Oftentimes, an extra fee is charged if the couple decides on another venue.
With the issuance of the 3-month notice, the Registrar will give you the MRF if there are no impediments for the couple to get married. The form should be presented to the Registrar prior to the ceremony. The parties involved, the Registrar, and 2 witnesses will sign the form after the wedding, and must be registered as soon as possible.
The civil marriage is very simple. The parties involved simply have to declare that they don’t know of any impediments to the marriage, and that they accept one another. After the straightforward ceremony, you will be declared husband and wife. When one of the parties or the witnesses does not know the language, an interpreter must be hired. The couple must hire the interpreter, as it is a personal expense. The rates can vary among districts, so be informed well in advance.