Everything You Need To Know About Civil Weddings In The Philippines

A civil wedding, also known as a civil ceremony or a civil marriage, is a legally recognized marriage ceremony performed by a government official. Couples who choose to have a civil wedding over a traditional wedding often do so because civil weddings are simpler, shorter, and there are no religious rituals or prayers involved.

Civil Wedding Costs and Requirements

This section provides a comprehensive guide on the requirements, costs, and benefits of a civil wedding in the Philippines. A civil wedding, performed and recognized by a government official, is a simpler and more affordable alternative to a traditional wedding. It is ideal for non-believers or couples of different faiths.

The basic requirements for a civil wedding include at least two valid I.D.s, a PSA Birth Certificate, a Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR), a Marriage License Application Form, a Community Tax Certificate (Cedula), a Barangay Certificate, and a 1×1 picture. Additional requirements may apply depending on the couple’s age, marital status, and nationality.

The cost of a civil wedding can vary greatly. Non-negotiable costs include fees for the required documents and the judge’s service fee, which can range from free to PHP 8,000, depending on the location and day of the wedding. Negotiable costs include pre-wedding preparations, venue, catering, wedding attire, photography/videography, and honeymoon.

How To Prepare For A Civil Wedding Philippines

Prepare All The Necessary Documents

Having all the necessary documents ready is essential to having a civil wedding ceremony. As a civil wedding is a legal affair, the process can be quite strict. This article explains what documents you need and why!

Set A Budget 

Setting a budget and most importantly, sticking to it, is a must for any wedding, whether civil or traditional. Civil weddings are often cheaper than traditional weddings. If you’re careful with your expenses, you can have a civil wedding for as low as PHP 10,000! Read this to see exactly how much a civil wedding in the Philippines costs.

Find Your Officiant 

A civil wedding ceremony is officiated by a solemnizing officer, who is usually a judge within his court’s jurisdiction, a mayor within his territorial jurisdiction, or a priest or minister who is authorized by his church or sect and registered with the local civil registrar. In some rare cases, one of the Supreme Court justices may act as the officiant. 

List of Possible Officiants

  1. The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court
  2. The Presiding Justice and the Justices of the Court of Appeals
  3. Judges of the Courts of First Instance
  4. Mayors of cities and municipalities
  5. Municipal judges and justices of the peace
  6. Priests, rabbis, ministers of the gospel of any denomination, church, religion, or sect who are duly registered
  7. Ship captains, airplane chiefs, military commanders, and consuls and vice-consuls in special cases (only for marriages on the verge of death and marriages between Filipino citizens abroad)

Plan The Ceremony 

Make important decisions like when your ceremony will be and where. Aside from this, you can also pick and choose what elements of a traditional wedding you want to incorporate into your big day! Here’s a handy checklist to help you in your planning.

Send Your Invitations

After you have everything in order, send your invitations out! This is a no-stress step. Civil wedding invitations are much more casual and straightforward than traditional wedding invitations. It’s as easy as jotting down ​​essential details such as your names and the date, time, and location of your civil wedding ceremony. Here are some templates you can choose from!

What To Wear To A Civil Wedding

Because of the relaxed atmosphere of civil weddings, the dress code is often informal. However, just because an outfit is casual, it doesn’t mean it isn’t fashionable! Listed below are some ideas for everyone!

For Women 

Dress: Instead of a full-on gown, don a simple civil wedding dress in a lightweight fabric like cotton or linen. While you can wear a white dress for your civil wedding, you can wear other colors too!

Skirt and Top: For an even more relaxed casual wedding attire, another option is to pair a skirt with a stylish top. 

Jumpsuit: Not only are jumpsuits casual, but they are also cool! Designs with interesting details or patterns can add to a jumpsuit’s cool factor.

For Men

Shirt: You can’t go wrong with a well-fitted dress shirt! Solid colors are best, but to liven up your look, you can also opt for a subtle pattern. To keep the look light and informal, consider lighter shades like pastels or soft blues. You can also roll up your sleeves for a casual vibe.

Trousers: Complete the civil wedding outfit for the groom with tailored trousers or chinos. Instead of a harsh black, experiment with neutral colors such as beige, khaki, or navy. 

For Everyone

An outfit isn’t complete without a dazzling smile! Look perfect from head to toe by making sure your teeth are clean and white. There are many wedding teeth whitening options to choose from, but it is best to go to trusted professionals like The Smile Bar

The Smile Bar offers different services, depending on how many direct whitening sessions you want to avail of. One session is priced at PHP 3,999, two sessions are priced at PHP 5,999 (you save PHP 1999), and three sessions are priced at PHP 7,499 (you save PHP 4,498). 

For PHP 28,499 you can avail of 12 direct whitening sessions for two. This is the perfect teeth whitening package for weddings. Both bride and groom can get their teeth whitened, plus you save PHP 19,489 of your wedding budget!

The Smile Bar – Ayala Malls, Vertis North

Address: 4/f, Cinema level, Ayala Mall, Vertis North 173, Quezon City

Opening hours: 11 AM – 8 PM

Telephone: 0917 590 0792

Instagram: @ thesmilebarph

The Smile Bar – Uptown Parade BGC

Address: 2/f Uptown Parade, 9th Avenue, corner 36th St, Taguig

Opening hours: 10 AM – 10 PM

Telephone: 02 8541 2853

Instagram: @ thesmilebarph

Do You Need Wedding Rings For A Civil Ceremony

Legally, rings are not a requirement for civil weddings, so it is up to you and your partner if you want to exchange rings during your ceremony. 

If you do choose to have wedding rings, pick wisely! A wedding ring isn’t just a piece of jewelry. They are symbols of your marriage and are physical reminders of your love, faithfulness, and commitment to your partner. You’ll be wearing these rings for the rest of your life! 

No pressure, we’re here to help! Here are six tips for finding the perfect wedding ring.