Civil Wedding Ceremony: Everything You Need To Know Before Saying “I Do”

For the past three years, I have been getting more and more inquiries about Civil ceremonies and the different types of ceremonies available so I decided to look at civil ceremonies for my latest blog. Firstly, what is a Civil Ceremony and the types of ceremonies? Here at the Woodford Dolmen Hotel, we have numerous suites available for Civil Ceremonies depending on your Wedding size or your preference of suite design. We can also accommodate Civil Ceremonies on our veranda taking in sweeping views of Carlow’s countryside.


A civil registrar ceremony is a non-religious legal marriage ceremony performed by a government official or functionary.

Humanist weddings are perfect for couples who would like – a meaningful ceremony that isn’t religious may be to marry outdoors or at a location that isn’t licensed for civil weddings and the flexibility to create a personal ceremony that is unique to them.

A spiritual wedding ceremony is a non-denominational ceremony and it doesn’t conform to the religious aspects of the mainstream religious beliefs. Although spiritualism is a religion in its own right, it does not have any particular god similar to other religions. There are only 2 components of the service that legally have to be fulfilled and that is:

  • Is there any lawful impediment to the marriage
  • The “I Do” vows


Our Ring Warming ceremony is a way to incorporate all of your wedding guests to your ceremony. This ceremony focuses on the shared intentions held for you as your guests hold your wedding rings and pass them throughout the ceremony and this would normally commence at the beginning of the ceremony. It works beautifully if you have an intimate number of people attending.


The candle ceremony is notably what most couples are familiar with at a wedding ceremony. This ceremony allows the light of the individual couple to be recognised before and after the legal rite. It can also be a way to incorporate children who bring light into your life. This ceremony is particularly moving and an effective way to signify those dearest to you.


This ceremony is placed into the part of the ceremony when couples symbolically give their hand in marriage and exchange vows and or rings. In giving our hand in marriage we offer to each other our hands to help, love, support, guide, nurture and protect over the years of marriage. The Hand Holding recognises the undertaking of the promise to support guide and care for each other in the years ahead.


This is a particularly romantic ceremony focusing on the rose as the symbol of true love. This ceremony invites the couple to remember the promises on each anniversary through the giving and receiving of a rose. It is also a way to hallmark those whom you love dearly, for example, mother’s, father’s or grandparents whom can be gifted with a rose. This ceremony works beautifully when interspersed with music.


This ceremony is a beautiful visual ceremony and particularly inclusive of children on a wedding day. Each person involved has an individual vessel of sand which are poured together into a larger vessel to symbolise the unity of two families through marriage because marriage is really about family.

I do hope this information will be of help to you if you are considering a Civil Ceremony.

Happy Wedding Planning!

Author Bio: Katie McGarr is a resident writer for Woodford Dolmen Hotel Carlow, a charming hotel in Carlow set in the beautiful banks of River Barrow, renowned for their wedding-perfect location. When she’s not taking vibrant street photos, you can find her writing articles about travel, food, and lifestyle.

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