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Article: Civil ceremony

Civil ceremony

Civil Registrar Ceremonies in the United Kingdom

  • Non-religious legal marriage ceremony performed by a government official or functionary
  • Performed by a registrar in the UK
  • Cannot include hymns, religious readings, or prayers
  • Must take place at a registered or licensed venue

Civil Registrar Ceremonies in the United States

  • Non-religious legal marriage ceremony performed by town, city, or county clerks, judges, or justices of the peace
  • Subject to the same requirements as religious ceremonies
  • Venue reservation fees and marriage license fees may apply
  • Age restrictions may be in place
  • Can take place in courthouses, parks, gardens, banquet halls, hotels, and other approved venues
  • Formality and style depend on the couple's preferences

History of Civil Registration in Scotland

  • Civil registration of births, deaths, and marriages became compulsory in Scotland in 1855
  • Scottish traditional practice of legal weddings performed by communities was stopped
  • Marriage ceremony could be performed by anyone, including a blacksmith
  • Church of Scotland opposed the new civil weddings
  • Civil marriage ceremonies have not been legal in Scotland since 1855, except if performed by a government employee

Requirements for Marriage in the UK

  • Minimum age is 16, with parental permission required for those under 18
  • Must be free to marry (single, divorced, or widowed)
  • Not closely related to each other
  • Same-sex couples can form civil partnerships in Scotland
  • Same-sex and opposite-sex couples can form civil partnerships in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland

Legalization of Civil Ceremonies in Australia

  • Civil ceremonies were legalized in Australia in 1973
  • Requirements for legal marriage include not being married to someone else and being at least 18 years old
  • Specific words must be used during the ceremony
  • Written notice of intention to marry must be given to an authorized celebrant
  • Certain family relationships are prohibited for marriage

Civil ceremony Data Sources

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