There is very little a marriage celebrant has to say or do in a wedding ceremony for it to be legal, so you have a lot of freedom to celebrate your wedding however you truly wish. I want it to be as special and meaningful for you as possible.
Part of the significance of ceremony is that we incorporate traditional rites, or create new ones, which give the moment symbolic potency. A wedding is both a personal declaration of commitment, and a public announcement before witnesses, and often before the extended family and community. It creates a lifelong memory.
Making it work on symbolic as well as practical levels is essential: this is part of my role to help you in planning your ceremony.
Most couples look at samples of ceremonies that I can send you, along with my own suggestions, for you to consider basing your own wedding on.
A Civil Marriage Celebrant is obliged by law to say only these words:
“I am duly authorized by law to solemnize 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.“
and the marrying couple must each say (with full names inserted):
“I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, ….. , take thee , ….. , to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)”; or words to that effect.
And the celebrant, the marrying couple and two witnesses over 18 also sign a marriage certificate.
Beyond this you can design your own wedding as you choose. You can write your own vows, and the bride and groom need not say the same vows to each other. You can add any speeches, poems, songs, words or actions you like. It can all be over in 15 minutes, or last for hours.
Part of the fun of getting married is making your wedding the way you want it to be. Some people have Harry Potter weddings, or 1960’s Gangster weddings, or Medieval themes ….. it is your choice. Or you can be very traditional. I am happy to officiate in whatever style is yours.
I am happy to help plan and prepare with you, and just as happy to get out of the way and let you do it all! You tell me what you want. (I got married in a tree):
I have participated in Celtic pagan rituals in Britain, festivities with head-hunting hill tribes in the Philippines, Catholic Saint’s day fiestas, gypsy fairs in Spain, Rastafarian church ceremonies in West Africa, Buddhist blessings in Sri Lankan caves, Indian Hindu pilgrimages, and familiar Christian baptisms and funerals.
I can suggest the best aspects of these and other rituals to help you find yours.