Last Saturday I met with one of our couples getting married in Prague this summer. When discussing different things, Kat said such a lovely & true thing – „It’s all about the vow“. Yes it is! And if you are coming all the way to Prague to exchange your vows at a civil wedding, you might have questions about the ceremony.
So let me try to answer the questions you might have. Everyone apart from the Bride and her attendance who will walk her down the isle is requested to arrive 30 minutes prior to the ceremony. Guests have time to mingle and take photos and passports of the Bride, Groom and two witnesses over 18 years old are checked – if they are not forgotten, which we tent to remind our couples a lot of times :-). Apart from the wedding planner/coordinator, there are also ladies from the registry office and a court translator who will explain you everything and answer your questions.
As not everyone appreciates the crowds of the happy tourists outside of the Old Town Hall, the most popular and wonderful place for civil weddings in Prague, we are always glad to be able to bring the wedding couple and guests inside to the waiting hall – a wonderful Gothic room which offers a piece of quiet before the important moment.
The actual ceremony takes approximately 15-20 minutes (without the receiving line/congratulations). It is in Czech according to the law but every paragraph is translated into your native language by the translator. If the language you use with your fiance is not your native language then you are asked to write and sign a simple sentence that you understand and speak the language of the ceremony. Also the witnesses have to understand and speak the language in which the ceremony is performed.
The Czech civil ceremony has all that „foreign“ weddings have and all the symbols of a wedding – speech of the celebrant, exchange of the rings, first kiss and signing the registry. However we are always very proud to hear what the couples and guests tell us often – that the Czech civil wedding is not just a „quick in and out, short speech and signatures“ as it can be in many countries (not decreasing the festivity and importance of those ceremonies)– it is somehow „longer“, the speech of the celebrant really pretty and meaningful.. it has a little „extra“.
The important part is stating your intentions – here in the Czech republic you do not specifically exchange vows but in the presence of the guests and witnesses answer to the important questions– „Do you take this man/woman to be your lawfully wedded husband/wife..“. However if you wish to exchange and write your own vows they can be incorporated into the ceremony.
The atmosphere is even more special as there are live organs in the ceremony hall and you can choose your wedding music.
Well, why not to say your "I do" here in Prague :-)? We will help you to make this moment unforgetable.
Last preparations - checking the documents before the ceremony
Necessary picture with the celebrant
Thanks to Lukas Konarik, Matouch Duchek and George Hlobil for providing these pictures.