Questions & Answers
1.Who pays for the wedding?
2.Where do I start with my guest list?
3.Who do we invite if we're getting married abroad?
4.Who sends the invitations and when?
5.Should I set a dress code?
6. What time should the bride & groom get to the ceremony?
7.Do my bridesmaids enter before or after me?
8. What duties do the best man and ushers have?
9.Can my pet dog be part of my wedding?
10.Do we have to have favours?
11.Do we need a receiving line?
12.Should we offer a choice of food?
13.When are the speeches and in what order?
14.When should we register our gift list?
15.Can we ask for cash instead of presents?
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CEREMONY BEFORE A REGISTRAR A register (not a registry) office ceremony is ...
CEREMONY BEFORE A REGISTRAR A register (not a registry) office ceremony is shorter than a church service-but no less legally binding. So far as the state is concerned secular vows are as solemnly undertaken as promises inspired by religious sentiments. Indeed for religious ceremonies outside the established church (i.e. in England and Wales the Church of England) the presence of a registrar who will record the ceremony in his register may be essential to the ultimate legality of the proceedings.
This is not a problem, however, which would normally worry the couple about to marry. The majority of ministers of any denomination of the Christian faith, or priests of non-Christian faiths in charge of temples or other places of worship, which are solemnized for marriages and in which weddings regularly take place, will already be what the law describes as 'authorised persons', i.e. have control of a marriage register in which they are personally allowed to record the marriages they perform.
It is only when a church is used very irregularly for marriages that this privilege will have been allowed to lapse, or perhaps have never been granted, so that the presence of a registrar will additionally be necessary. Even in such cases the officiating minister will normally be au fait with all the details of any arrangements necessary and will himself set these up without having to worry the bridal pair further.
Marriages in register offices are steadily increasing. The general secularization of society, the number of couples who live apart from the community that reared and raised them and the number of couples who seek re-marriages are contributory factors. Civil law demands only a declaration by each of the contracting parties as follows: `I do solemnly declare that I do not know of any impediment why I, Phillip Bell, may not be joined in matrimony to Alice Moore,' followed by the statement: `I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, Phillip Bell, do take thee Alice Moore to be my lawful wedded wife / partner .' A similar declaration is made by the bride but reversing the order of the names and substituting the word 'husband' for the word 'wife / partner '. A civil wedding is -a legal and proper wedding in every sense.
Those who are married by a registrar should not be confused with those who are sometimes described in the press as 'common-law husband' or `common-law wife / partner '. This term is merely a polite euphemism for those who have been co-habiting so long that all their friends and acquaintances assume them to have been married even though no actual ceremony has ever been performed. Witnesses-two in number-are required for a civil ceremony.