What is great about having your wedding with a civil celebrant, is the freedom to create a wedding any way you want to. There are just three sections that according to Australian law, have to be said.
Below is a traditional run sheet of a ceremony. A ceremony generally runs for approximately 20-30 minutes.
When we work together, we will then mould this traditional run sheet into a ceremony just for you.
Think about what music you want. Whether it is the whole song or just a section. This is important when it comes to timing walking down the isle.
This is when I welcome family and friends, and legally introduce myself.
This can take many different formats.
This introduction will be written by me. There will be some investigative questions I will ask you to help me with the preparation. It is a balancing act when writing this section. I try to get that balance between humour with a few anecdotes, and the sweet adjectives and promises that the couple will say about each other.
I will give you some suggestions and places where you can find some different readings. I use Pinterest quite a bit to help me with ideas.
This is a legal section:
“Person A and Person B before you are joined in marriage in my presence, and in the presence of these witnesses, your family and friends, I must remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship that you are 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.”
I feel the last bit of this wording is a little harsh. I like to include a short statement after that, however it is the decision of the Bride and Groom.
“As we celebrate marriage today, Person A and Person B would like to recognise those of us who cannot, by law, take this step. Person A and Person B believe that everyone deserves the right to marry and legally have their own magical day.”
We would start the vows legally with this line.
“I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, Person A , take thee, Person B,
to be my lawful wedded husband” and vice versa.
After that, I can help you to come up with some lovely words or you can write your own words.
Vows can be a repeat after me section, or you can say them your self.
If you want a second reading, this is a good time for that.
SIGNING OF THE MARRIAGE REGISTER
The signing I often suggest we put here in the ceremony. This means when I declare you to be husband and wife you, are free to go on your merry way and enjoy a party.
Witnesses have to be over 18 and read and write English.
I have a few different introductions I use in this section, which is dependent on what type of ceremony the Bride and Groom are after.
This is followed by a repeat after me section. Once again, I will help you with options for this section or you can personalise this with your own lovely words.
THE DECLARATION OF MARRIAGE
We are now coming to the end of the event.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Person A and Person B have declared before me and before all of you, their family and friends, that they will live together in marriage, they have symbolized it by joining hands, taking vows and by exchanging rings.
I therefore, declare Person A and Person B to be Husband and Wife.
“Person A you may now kiss your bride”
This is where we end and walk away from the ceremony. It could be like Richard Gere and Debora Winger from ‘An officer and a gentleman’, with Joe Cocker belting out a tune. Something a little less dramatic and more traditional is to have the guests throw flowers or confetti or rice, with some music to finish the ceremony on.