The traditional wedding ceremonies are slowly being phased out. Many are opting for the easier and flexible civil wedding route to register their marriages. While this was always preferred by those who were not of very religious bent of mind, this system is finding favor even with those who are religious as it offers the flexibility of the inclusion of certain religious rituals if required by the couple. Otherwise, it is bereft of any religious trappings and is registered just like any other document.
Given below is a guide to how civil weddings function and why they are becoming so popular along with information on the necessary documentation that you would have to produce when going in for a civil wedding.
Civil weddings have the advantage of being conducted anywhere, if you can find an official with the authority to register the event. It can even be done in the judge's chamber and people normally follow this registration with a formal reception where they call the people for a get together.
It is important for you to recognize the legalities involved much in advance to the date you propose to register your marriage, so that there are no complications and you can do this by visiting the City Hall. Here you can also get access to the names of the designated officers.
The documents required
Make sure you have the following documents ready before going in for a civil wedding:
a) Identity proof with your photo. This can be your birth certificate or passport. Some States may insist on two different forms of identity proofs
b) If you have not yet crossed 18, you would require presenting the permission you're your parents and again here, some States may allow marriage of individuals below 18.
c) Any document that can provide residency proof such as one of the utility bills.
d) If you have been married before, you need to present those certificates as well as the divorce certificates in order to prove to the officials that you are unmarried currently.
e) In case you have changed your name, then that particular document also needs to be presented to prove that you are the same person with a different name.
Certain States may still require you to get a blood test done, though many of them have dispensed with this requirement. You need to know about this requirement in advance so as to be well prepared with the reports that you can submit at the time of applying for your marriage license. Also be prepared to pay required fees to the officials - the actual officiator, the one preparing the license and for the facility provided to complete the formalities.
The great advantage as mentioned with such civil ceremonies is the customization benefit they offer couples and you are free to say the vows, you feel are right. There is no specific order to the process and no speeches from the clergy. Ultimately, it is up to the couple to decide what is more convenient for them - the religious ceremony or the civil ceremony and go ahead with the same.