Tag Archives: monitum

Simon and Zara

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I had the honour of attending the wedding of Simon and Zara, I must admit I was a little excited to go to a wedding, just as a guest. Don’t get me wrong for a second, there is nothing better than what I do, making people married is a huge honour that I take seriously and I do realise how lucky I am to help people do this, but this wedding was the first in about 4 and a half years that I haven’t conducted. This is the first wedding in 4 or more years that I haven’t known what is going to go on, I haven’t known what is going to be said about the couple and the first wedding in a long time that I haven’t been so involved in that I’m a little nervous because I just want it to be so perfect. It was really lovely to sit back and remember what it is like to attend a wedding.

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Simon and Zara were married in the North Fizroy Church of Christ, a really lovely, spacious church. Zara had  4 attendants who were all wearing a lovely latte/gold kind of colour, in 4 separate styles.  Zara looked radiant. Simon had his 3 brothers as his groomsmen, and it was just a really lovely service. I was quite surprised as the minister used the monitum in the service, (the legal words that a celebrant has to use for a wedding to be legal,  you can read a blog about it here) I wasn’t aware that they also had to use the monitum when marring someone  in a church for some reason.

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Simon and Zara had their ceremony and then they had an afternoon tea, before they headed off to their reception.  This is the perfect way I think to have people attend the ceremony part of the wedding and not have all of your guests attend the reception.  I’ve previously blogged about inviting guests to the ceremony only, and how I didn’t really understand how this could work, but Simon and Zara have this worked out perfectly. I didn’t go to the reception, I just went to the ceremony and the afternoon tea, it was a great compromise, as the guests who weren’t going to the reception still got a chance to mingle with the bride and groom and still had a cup of tea and some scones to celebrate.  I felt really thankful to have been able to witness them exchange their vows with one another and to be able to see them become husband and wife, and glad that they did just invite some people to the ceremony and afternoon tea as otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to be a part of this.

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There were a few wonderful stand out moments about Simon and Zara’s beautiful ceremony. I loved seeing close up Zara and her Dad entering the church, Zara and her Dad both holding back their tears, and watching Simon do the same. (Usually I get to see the Grooms emotion close up).

I really loved the moment when Simon and Zara were walking through the church, being congratulated by all of their family and friends, at the end of the ceremony, they got to the end of the aisle and saw their friend on a computer screen that had been watching the wedding on skype. They look some time to go and speak to their friend who had watched the whole wedding from the other side of the world.

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I think though other than them exchanging their vows and seeing the love they have for each other, the next most beautiful thing was watching a beautiful exchange with Simon and Zara’s Dad when they had completed the signing of the register, I have no idea what they said to one another, but the embrace they exchanged and the look that they gave one another spoke volumes, about the love that they both share for Zara.

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A big thank you to Sophie Timothy for the use of her images on the blog. Check out her website here, and you can click here to go to her facebook page.

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Your ceremony, the legal words required

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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.

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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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Legal wording and Marriage Equality

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As I celebrant at every wedding I have to say the monitum. It is part of the marriage act and apart from the vows, it is the only thing that MUST be said. Full stop, end of story. The monitum along with the vows are the legal requirements of the marriage and the monitum must be said before the 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.

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It is a requirement by law and is clearly stated in the marriage act and if it is not said the wedding isn’t valid. Regardless of what you think or I think, it is the law. (Until they change the marriage act, whenever that day may be.)  Ministers of religion do not have to say the monitum. Ministers of religion of recognised denominations and Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants solemnising religious marriages may use any form of ceremony recognised as sufficient for the purpose by the religious body or organisation of which he or she is a minister. This means that the content of the ceremony and its form must have the formal approval and recognition of the religious body or organisation.

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I have read quite a few forums recently that speak about the way that some couples feel about the monitum and they are not always happy with it. They feel the need to say something that represents what they think along with the monitum. Some couples want to say that this is the law and they soon hope that everyone should be allowed to marry whomever they wish.  Some of the comments that I have read on these forums talk about how they are worried how some of their gay guests may feel about the wording, and some of them were saying that they feel that they need to clarify that this is the law, but not their view on marriage. There was quite a lot of debate on the forum and there were clearly two sides on this issue. There was the side of couples of the belief that their friends and family that were gay have been attending weddings for their whole lives and are more than aware of what the law is in this country and feel that drawing attention to the issue in the wedding ceremony might seem a bit odd and make some people feel more uncomfortable than anything. Then there was the other side of the argument that suggested that couples need to make a stand and have their celebrant make a statement about the way that they feel and some of the forums even suggested wording so that the couples could make it known that they do not agree with the statement of the monitum.

What do you think? Are you having a wedding and are you worried about how your gay guests may feel? Have you attended a wedding where a statement was made to speak about the couples belief or statement about the desire of the couple for marriage equality?

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Thank-you again to the wonderful Vision House Photography for the use of the photos on this weeks blog. Check out their website and like them on facebook to see more of their stunning and award winning photos.

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