Monthly Archives: April 2015

Your ceremony, the legal words required



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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Thank-you to the team at Love Journal Photography for the use of their stunning images on the blog this week. Check out their website and follow them on facebook to see all their latest work.


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Filed under Ceremony ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

Standing when the Bride walks down the aisle


What do you think? Should everyone stand when the Bride walks down the aisle?

It is quite traditional for people to stand when the Bride walks down the aisle. When I speak to brides about this, it is something that they either feel very strongly about or sometimes it hasn’t even crossed their mind.

I am hearing more about people who want their guests to remain seated when the bride enters. However, there are other people that I have been speaking with that really want that moment when they walk down the aisle for everyone to stand.

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People have stood for the bride for years and even if you don’t want the guests to stand, they will because that is what people believe that you do when the bride walks in. Some people will wait for the Mother of the Bride to stand. This is their cue that they are then to stand. Then when the Bride and her father reach the Groom, traditionally people wait for the Mother of the Bride to be seated also. You can make this simpler by having the celebrant ask the guests to stand and be seated.

I have read some forums where they are talking about having the celebrant, or whomever is conducting their wedding, to ask people to remain seated. Some people are saying that it is because they don’t want all of the attention, or they think that it is unfair that no one is standing for the groom.  There was talk about people not all being able to see the bride.

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It’s totally up to you and if you don’t want people to stand that is fine. There may be a reason for it, like one of your relatives is in a wheelchair and you don’t want them to miss out on seeing you walk down the aisle. Make sure that people know, ask your celebrant to mention it or if you are having printed programs you could request it in there.

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If people like the idea, but don’t want the Groom to miss out, he could always have his parents walk him down the aisle or the Bride and Groom could walk down the aisle as a couple too.  Remember there are no rules.  Do what you want.

What do you think? Does it matter to you, should people sit or stand?


Thank-you to Corey and Alastair from Vision House Photography for the photos on this blog, you can check out their website here, and keep up to date with all their latest weddings by following them on facebook.


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Filed under Ceremony ideas, wedding ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

Tips for writing your own vows


Writing your own vows can be really lovely and make for a really individual wedding ceremony. All the weddings that I have conducted where the couples have written their own vows have been really beautiful. To start though, there are a few things that you need to decide before you write you own vows.

Firstly are you going to show each other the vows before your ceremony or are the vows going to be a surprise? Both options are great, but do remember that sometimes hearing these vows for the first time can be quite emotional. Sometimes even for me! There have been times that I am glad for having the couples share their vows with me first before they are exchanged. Not a good look if the celebrant sheds a little tear. Sometimes they are just so beautiful and heartfelt, and truly perfect for the couple.


If you are not going to share them with each other, consider sharing them with someone that you trust. You don’t want to have vows that are only one sentence long and then have you partners vows go for a good 5 minutes. Again there is nothing wrong with this if it is what you really want, but it is nice if they are a similar length. They don’t need to be the same, but there are ways that you can make sure that they tie in together. You can use the same line at the end, or just use a similar format.


Find some inspiration online. There are some lovely vows out there. This can be also be overwhelming as there is just so much information and some of them are so cheesy and a little gag worthy. If you can be bothered trawling through what is there there can be sections that you can use in your vows and sometimes just having something on your page or screen can be enough to get you starting to say what you want to say to your partner. Keep the vows true to who you are. Make sure that if you are writing your own and you are looking for inspiration on the internet, that you make sure you use words that you would normally use so that they don’t sound forced or out of place.

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I find that a lot of people use the questions that I ask them and the answers that they give to these questions can be a great way to work out what you want to say to each other. Some things that you can think about are, What were your first impression of them? When did you know that you were in love? What would you like your partner to promise you in their vows to you? All these things can help you to think about what you want to say.


Did you or will you write your own vows? Do you have any tips on how to write wonderful personal vows?

A big thank you to Kirralee for her wonderful images on the blog this week. Head over to her blog here and read about some amazing weddings.

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Filed under wedding ideas, Wedding Planning, wedding tips

Candle Ceremony


The Candle Ceremony is sometimes called the Unity Candle Ceremony. These are becoming more popular in weddings than in the past years. All of the candle ceremonies that I have been a part of the ceremonies were all held in chapels. Thank goodness as I think that they would be very difficult to conduct if the couples were having their wedding outdoors.

The candle ceremony usually consists of one centre candle, the unity candle, that is lit by the Bride and Groom using two separate candles that have been lit to represent their families. The unity candle represents that they are now creating their own family. It is a wonderful way to include family members into the wedding ceremony. A lot of the time the mothers of the Bride and Groom light the candles that represent the individual families. The couple will then take those candles and light the candle that represents the new family that they are creating. This can be done while music is played however I tend to think that it is important to explain the symbolism behind it.

It can be a symbol for the two families and their love for the Bride and Groom and uniting to one new family. It can also represent the union of two individuals, becoming one in commitment. In most cases, the two smaller candles or the candles that are representing the families are left burning and replaced in their holders where they originally were lit. This signifies the love that the family have for the Bride and Groom and how this will always continue.

When the ceremony is performed to symbolise the joining together of the couple, sometimes the individual candles may be blown out to suggest that their two lives have been permanently merged. I, however, think it is nice for them to be left burning beside the central candle symbolising that the Bride and Groom, although they have become one in commitment, do not need to have lost their individuality.

What do you think about the candle ceremony in a wedding? Do you think it is a lovely way to include family, or think it is a little cheesy?


Thank you to Untamed Images for the stunning photos on the blog this week. Have a look at their website by clicking here, or see their latest work as it happens by checking out their facebook page.


Filed under wedding ideas, Wedding Planning