The wonderful thing about getting married by a celebrant is that you can have your day your way, (see another blog about that here). You should have your wedding reflect you. When I meet with people I spend a bit of time talking with them about the legalities that are involved with the ceremony. As far as your ceremony wording goes there are not too many things that you legally have to have. As far as the law is concerned you have to have the monitum and you have to have vows. Thats it. Your wedding could be over and finished in a matter of minutes, but why would you want that. (but if you did, it is ok too)
You have to include the monitum. It is said by the celebrant and must be said for your marriage to be valid. It explains the marriage under Australian Law. It must be said before the legal vows.
The monitum is:
I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law.
Before you 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.
You then have to share vows. In these vows you must use your full name, as it appears on your birth certificate, or passport (If you have been married once before, you use the name that you have been using), you cannot use nicknames or an abbreviation of your name. The rest of the ceremony you can be referred to as whatever you are known as for example your name is Debra and you use Deb, you must say Debra in your vows, and the rest of the ceremony you may be referred to as Deb.
The vows that you have to include are:
I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take thee, C.D. (or A.B.), to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)
You can also choose to have personal vows as long as they do not contradict the legal vows. You can write your own, (see previous blog about it here). You can promise each other whatever you like, read song lyrics or copy vows from your favourite movie.
This is all that you legally have to have, no rings, no ‘do you take this man’, no ‘who gives this woman to be married to this man’. These are the only things that you MUST have. Rings are lovely, and there are lots of beautiful words that can be included when you are asking ‘do you take this man to be your husband/wife’. You can have lots of beautiful words that you can have your parents say to show their support for your marriage. Just remember though, all of that is up to you, how you want it and can all be tailored to you and your partner.
In saying that is all you have to have, most people want to have more than that and that is the beauty of it. Have things in it that are about you and your partner. Have readings, have warming of rings, have a candle ceremony, whatever you like. Make your day you. I say it often, but the best indication for me that a wedding is successful, (other than the Bride and Groom are happy) is when family and friends mention to me how much the ceremony suited the couple.
Have you been to a wedding that just suited the couple to a tee, or have you been to a wedding that was almost all legal wording? I’d love to hear about all the good and bad weddings you have experienced.