The White Dress – Civil Weddings

Before I begin, I wanna make it clear that this post is more relevant to Indian/Asian weddings. Despite the fact that we have many number of events through our weddings…

The importance of civil/registry wedding has grown so much in the last few years for the Asian community. (Like we need more events!)

I wanted to discuss it a little more…

I personally was never into wearing a white dress, it’s never been a dream of mine. Not interested at all. But more and more people are doing it. I think it’s fine if it’s something you want but if it’s not there should be no pressure. Don’t waste time and money on it.

My situation.

So my little white dress cost me £20 in the end, I wanted something I could wear again and I didn’t want to spend loads of money on it. My civil/registry wedding was attended by my parents, Kesh’s parents and his siblings (my sister was living in Valencia at the time). Just immediate family!  I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it, my sister wasn’t even there for god’s sake!

I got my hair done and did my own makeup, with a nice pair of heels and I was done. I was happy and have no regrets looking back. Looking at the photos it brings back nice memories but it doesn’t feel like my wedding day.

Even though we got legally married on the 3rd April in my heart, I didn’t get married until my Indian wedding on 17th June.


We didn’t want to have the civil wedding on the same day as the Indian wedding. For us, the only way it could have worked to have it all on the same day was if the civil was before the Indian wedding in the morning and that would have meant we would have seen each other and spoilt the big reveal. The picture below shows what I mean.

For us it just wasn’t practical! And if you’ve been to an Indian wedding you will know that having too many events in one day gets chaotic and everything becomes rushed. This is why civil wedding events in the Asian culture have become a bigger and becoming separate events.

If you aren’t bothered about the white dress like me, don’t waste your time and energy on it.

But if you do want it and it’s a big deal to you. This is what you should do!

Firstly don’t do it like mine (haha) and don’t do a half job of it either. If you are going to do it, do it properly! The full whack because it will look unorganised and tacky otherwise. Here’s my do’s and don’t below.

  • DON’T just invite immediate family like me
  • DO invite the people that mean the most to you


  • DO make it a full event – go all out!
  • DON’T just have it as an add-on event and rush it. For example, if you’re going to have a wardrobe change. It’s gotta be worth people’s time you know, if you are making people change their clothes, I would recommend having not having more than two events on one day.


  • If you’re going to have a photographer and videographer, get a nicer outfit and make sure your hair and makeup is done properly.
  • DON’T rush it amongst other events, it will stress you and your family out. Time will run out and for civil weddings. Running late is not an option for the registrar, so Indian timing just won’t work as an excuse here!
  • I wouldn’t recommend having a civil wedding on the same day as the Asian wedding and the reception as that’s actually 3 events in one day. Registrars do not wait around as I have said so YOU HAVE TO BE ON TIME! I have been so many weddings with this all in one day and my opinion it just doesn’t work out at all. The only time I have seen it be successful is when the civil wedding is done as a part of the Asian ceremony itself. Just do it on a different day! Don’t stress yourself and your guests out for no reason. They will end up bitching about it!

And if you aren’t bothered about it all, get two witnesses and sign the paper – job done! don’t worry about what other people think.


I wrote this because the Asian ceremony is what everyone talks about, but civil weddings are such an important event that often the details get overlooked.

There’s no right or wrong way of doing it, but I hope my logistical advise can help those who need that extra guidance!


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