A Church Wedding or Court Wedding: Which Is Better?

Really, none by itself is better than the other. Whether you should have a church wedding or a court wedding depends on what you want for your wedding (and what you can afford). That’s a choice many young people who are preparing for a wedding may have to make. church-wedding-ghana And in making that choice, it helps very much when they have adequate information on the options available to them.

So, in this blog post, Labone Express brings up the features one can find with each option, to help couples who are planning their weddings decide what they want to have.

A contemporary wedding ceremony is the final stage of a process of marriage by ordinance. In Ghana, the ceremony may be held in a church or a court or other marriage registry so authorised. The wedding ceremony comes after the couple have met the requirements for marriage by ordinance and have obtained a registrar’s certificate for marriage.

Church Wedding

  1. A church wedding, just as the name implies, is held in a church or a chapel.
  2. It is a religious as well as a legal procedure
  3. A priest, pastor or reverend minister officiates or performs the marriage ceremony.
  4. The service or ceremony may last a few hours
  5. It may be a simple wedding or a very elaborate one, depending on how the couple want it to be and also on how much they can afford to spend.
  6. The couple may decorate the chapel as beautifully and lavishly as they can, according to their taste for that special occasion
  7. A church wedding normally has enough space to accommodate a large number of wedding guests, the families, friends of the bride and groom.
  8. The father of the bride may walk her down the aisle as the wedding march is played
  9. Bride and groom march to wedding recession to cheers from family and friends
  10. There will be a bridal party, including a best-man or men and bridesmaid(s)
  11. The couple may choose the day when they desire to have their wedding.

A church wedding decoration

Court Wedding

  1. A court wedding is held at the marriage registry at the law court, the registrar general’s department or the district/municipal assembly office
  2. It is a civil, legal procedure
  3. A public officer may officiate at the ceremony
  4. It is very short, and may last for some minutes only—about 10 minutes; the couple may be one among many other couples waiting their turn to be married on the same day at the registry
  5. The office is small, so the bride and groom and their four witnesses are just all the people needed for the procedure
  6. No special decoration of venue is required
  7. No wedding march; there’s no music most of the time
  8. No special dress or attire is required as in church wedding
  9. There are pre-determined days for officiating weddings
  10. It is really simple and inexpensive

Both options issue the same marriage certificate in the end. If one couple had a church wedding and another had a court wedding, both couples would have the same kind of marriage certificate.

We hope this information is helpful to you. If you do let us know; and if you don’t, let us know as well. Should you have any observations of a church or a court wedding which you think are helpful but are not enumerated above, you may suggest that by writing in the comment box below. We’ll be glad to hear from you.

30 thoughts on “A Church Wedding or Court Wedding: Which Is Better?

  1. Thanks for the help and tips. I think so far so good and it’s just what I needed to know about the ordinance marriage. But I’m still not clear on the link between the customary and the ordinance. Which one is performed before the other?

    1. Marriage under ordinance is complete marriage and does not require customary marriage before or after.
      Brides parents often insist that customary marriage is performed before anything else.
      People who choose to have ordinance marriage do so because of its advantage of monogamy over other forms of marriage.

      1. Please can a person that did church wedding with his first wife married another one in court, which one is original

  2. Do I have the right to choose which type of marriage I want with my partner? We want to have a court marriage but my parents are insisting we have a customary one. Pls advice

    1. Yes, you have the right to decide the type of marriage you want with your partner. You and your partner should agree what you want to do.

      Your parents are not wrong though. In the Ghanaian culture, a man asks a lady’s hand in marriage from her parents. It brings respect to all parties involved.
      Thereafter you can choose to go for a court wedding.

  3. Thanks for your immediate response.But in the case where the partner has already sought for the lady’s hand in marriage and they both have decided to have the court marriage before the customary one. Can it be allowed? Thank you.

  4. I like that you mentioned that a church wedding can accommodate a very large number of guests. My fiance and I haven’t decided on a venue for our wedding yet, but I’d really like to get married in a chapel. Thanks for the information–I’ll be sure to share it with her.

  5. Hello…. I wanna find out if I can go for the registrar’s certificate and sign it at my customary marriage in the presence of a Reverend minister?

  6. hi,am glad i chanced on your writing.it has been very helpful.can you please explain
    the court marriage where the marriage officials come to the couples house to do the signing.is it also valid?

  7. Hi, your article is very good. My dear father died in UK early this year 2019, I tried bringing his remains home but his family refused and have disowned my younger sister and I. Since I have no father to accept my bride price, court marriage is the very best for me. Thank you very much.

  8. why it that, most people that wedded in court has more asses than those that wedded in d church.. ..?
    When in terms of traditional marriage.. Those wedded in court has more power than them??

    1. A court wedding and a church wedding require that a notice of marriage is filed at a public marriage registry. After that a couple may sign the certificate of marriage in Court, a registry or in church.

  9. Is it compulsory to present marriage registrar’s certificate before church marriage? Because i do not want court marriage

  10. My finance refused to do court marriage and I want it,how do I convince him? Please help me

  11. After church wedding, is there any duration assign to send a copy of the marriage certificate to the Assembly?

  12. Thank you so much sir I am preparing from my wedding but wasn’t getting my financial standard for the church wedding so I am deciding with my lady we should go for a court wedding and she accepted me , hope its not a bad idea .

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