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How to get married

Most British weddings are civil ceremonies, devoid of religious significance and tradition. Huge spending on the big day has filled the void. But if meaningful alternatives are to be found, the state must play its part

By Shiv Malik   August 2010

“Do you Shiv Malik, take Miriam Kate Robinson to be your wedded wife?” was a question I had no trouble answering. Miriam was a US citizen, I’m British and we had fallen in love. Her work permit had expired and if we wanted to stay together in London, we had to get married. The question that caught me out had come earlier, before the ceremony at Camden register office began. “Did you bring any music?” asked the registrar. We hadn’t. We didn’t even have any rings. She went to fetch a CD. What followed has been seared into our aural…

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