Creating your Ceremony

The following words are required for your marriage to be considered legal.  Your Ceremony must include these words and then you are free to create a beautiful, unique ceremony reflecting your relationship.

I must state the words from the Marriage Act 1961-Section 46 referred to as The Monitum:

“I am duly authorized by law to solemnize marriages according to law. Before you bride & groom are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

Your full names must be used as least once during the ceremony and the following words from the Marriage Act 1961- section 45 are required to be stated by each of you as a part of your vows:

“I call upon the persons here present to witness that I (Bride or Groom) take you (Bride or Groom) to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband).”

It is essential that both your witnesses (over the age of 18) and I are in close proximity to be able to hear you as you exchange your vows as it is at this time that the exchanging of the vows is what constitutes your marriage.  You may wish to include your own personal vows to this legal wording.

    A ceremony will normally flow with a structure similar to this example:

  • Entrance of bridal party – music selected
  • The introduction by celebrant
  • A reading/poetry may be read
  • The Monitum as stated above
  • Giving away of the bride/groom
  • The asking
  • The vows including the legal component and the personal written vow.
  • The ring ceremony
  • A symbolic ritual if requested-
  • Another reading or poem if wanted.
  • The declaration of marriage
  • The husband and wife’s first kiss
  • Signing the register by the couple, witnesses and celebrant
  • Presentation of the signed Wedding certificate (It is important to understand that this certificate given to you on your wedding day, although legal evidence of your marriage is not an identity document and a large number of institutions will not recognise it when you request to change your name.  You will need to apply to obtain a registry-issued marriage certificate which is available from Births Deaths and Marriages; I can supply you with this documentation to be completed to obtain this certificate, you are responsible for the cost incurred).
  • Congratulating and presentation of the bride and groom to the guests
  • Music played as Bride and Groom exit.

The details and location for the ceremony will be discussed, the importance for a backup plan if the ceremony is to be held outside, samples of ceremonies, readings and poems are available for you to view to assist you to create your ideal ceremony.  I will then provide a draft of the ceremony for your review, make changes and when you are completely happy with the ceremony format, I will request you to approve the documentation at least two weeks prior to the ceremony.