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CIVIL WEDDING

A civil wedding is a ceremony presided over by a local civil authority, such as an elected or appointed judge, Justice of the peace or the mayor of a locality. Civil wedding ceremonies may use references to God or a deity (except in U.K law where readings and music are also restricted), but generally no references to a particular religion or denomination.

Civil weddings allow partners of different faiths to marry without one partner converting to the other partner's religion.

They can be either elaborate or simple. Many civil wedding ceremonies take place in local town or city halls or courthouses in judges' chambers.

The relevance of civil weddings varies greatly from country to country. Some countries do not provide any form of civil wedding at all (Israel and many Islamic countries), while in others it is the only legally recognized form of marriage (most countries in Latin America, Europe, and Asia). In this case civil weddings are typically either a mandatory prerequisite for any religious ceremony or religious weddings have no legal significance at all.