Considering the volume of ceremonies we perform – over 3000 civil ceremonies every year – it’s not all that often that we get feedback. That’s absolutely fine! We appreciate that couples are usually busy enjoying their honeymoon and relaxing after the flurry of planning and partying. However, we did recently get a lovely email from Ruth and her new husband David that really meant a lot. It’s also a fantastic chance to address some misconceptions about civil vs church ceremonies.
“I just wanted to drop you a quick message to say thank you so much for our wedding day service on Friday!!! The gentleman that performed our service was absolutely amazing, and made it a very special and touching moment for ourselves and all our guests. I have to admit, I was slightly wary of marrying in the registry office, thinking it would be a little formal and impersonal, but the service was very personal and touching and exceeded all our expectations!! The room was perfect, the organisation was faultless (unlike the remembering of my vows!) and everyone was made to feel special and involved. Please pass our heartfelt thanks to the gentleman and lady that conducted our ceremony, many of our younger guests have been converted to registry office weddings as opposed to a church!!! Once again thank you to you all for an amazing experience.”
Ruth and David Stoyel
We got in touch with Ruth to find out more about her experience. She explained that as it was a second marriage, they hadn’t been able to have the church ceremony they ideally wanted. She’d originally felt a little embarrassed about having to settle for a civil ceremony. This often arises when couples haven’t attended a Register Office wedding themselves. As it turns out, Ruth and David’s worries were happily put to rest on the day. Our gorgeous 16th century offices in Taunton set the scene for a beautiful wedding. Their marriage ceremony was, in their opinion, more personal and individual than a church service, and they say they wouldn’t have done it any other way. In fact, they went as far as to say they felt it was far superior – and who are we to argue! Congratulations to them both, and we wish them every happiness.
Your Ceremony, Your Choice
When you decide to take the plunge and commit to a life together, how and where you choose to do it is entirely up to you. Church or civil service, it’s the life you spend together afterward that is the important part. We would just love to dispel any myths that, as Ruth and David had feared, a Register Office wedding is a poor substitute for a traditional church service. Churches often make gorgeous venues, and your religious beliefs might make it your first choice. However, for those who would prefer a secular ceremony or who cannot choose a church service, we can reassure you that a civil ceremony really is a worthy equal, not a second best. Many register offices are housed in stunning buildings, such as our very own Old Municipal Buildings, and really add to the romance of the occasion.
Intimate, Individual, Personal – Your Somerset Ceremony
Here in Somerset we have a fabulous team of ceremony officers who will give you a personal service and make your day feel truly special. Even our simplest of ceremonies has a choice of vows, and we aim to make them feel intimate and individual. You can really personalise your ceremony at one of our larger venues with your own music, readings and ring vows and up to 100 guests. Our registrars will tailor your ceremony to suit you, whether you prefer it to be formal or fun. You can relax, knowing our team are experienced and professional, and are proud to be a part of your big moment.
Many people don’t realise that it’s the same team of fantastic registrars who travel to the country houses, castles, barns, hotels and other amazing licensed venues. While it’s a cheaper option to have your ceremony at our offices, you get the same personal service that you’d receive at our grandest venues.
Find a list of the Registration Offices where you can have a ceremony here, and an up to date list of our prices here. Our Marriages & Partnerships page deals with a lot of FAQs about what you can expect. If there’s anything that isn’t covered, just get in touch with our team who are always happy to help.