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Civil Marriage


Man placing flower in womans hair
Betsie Van der Meer/Stone/Getty Images
Definition: A civil marriage is one where the marriage ceremony has a government or civil official perform the ceremony.

A civil marriage is a wedding that takes place without any religious affiliation and meets the legal requirements of the locale.

Some countries require that a couple have their first marriage ceremony be a civil ceremony in a public location and that the ceremony is open to the public. The couples can then be married in a church and have a religious ceremony performed by a member of the clergy.

Also Known As: Civil ceremony
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