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Article written by Margaret River based Wedding Celebrant Joanne Armstrong

ceremonyprogram
Photo courtesy of Joanne Armstrong

First things first you need to establish whether or not you want a simple or more personalised ceremony.

Whether it is five minutes or 30, it helps to also have a basic skeletal structure.

Here are three to get you started!

Note that there is no right or wrong way as long as you legally comply and have a great time!

I personally NEVER EVER provide SAMPLE ceremonies as I believe that each couple is completely different and therefore their ceremony is bespoke and unique each and every time.

BARE BONES MINIMUM

• Intro
• To the marriage celebrant
• To the couple

• Then to legalise you need to say the below

• The Monetum: 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 two people (recently amended 9th December 2017) to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life. (Or words to that effect).

• Legal Vows: The groom must say to the bride: I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [Groom with last name], take thee, [Bride with last name], to be my lawful wedded wife. (Or words to that effect).
• The bride must say to the groom: I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [Bride with last name], take thee, [Groom with last name], to be my lawful wedded husband. (Or words to that effect).

• The Declaration

• Signing of the legal paperwork
• All registry documents signed along with two witnesses over the age of 18, then by the celebrant

• Presentation
• You are presented as married! Mr and Mrs!

SIMPLE CEREMONY SCRIPT

• Intro
• To the marriage celebrant, to the couple and acknowledgements to family and friends

• Your story (this can be segmented into different chunks and rearranged)
• Who you are
• How you met
• How you fell in love
• The reasons you know you are ready for this

• Then to legalise you need to say the below

• The Monetum: 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 two people (recently amended 9th December 2017) to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life. (Or words to that effect).

• Legal Vows: The groom must say to the bride: I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [Groom with last name], take thee, [Bride with last name], to be my lawful wedded wife. (Or words to that effect).
• The bride must say to the groom: I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [Bride with last name], take thee, [Groom with last name], to be my lawful wedded husband. (Or words to that effect).

• Your Personal Vows:
• These are your own words that you say to each other (written by yourself or guided by your celebrant)

• The Declaration

• Kiss!

• Signing of the legal paperwork
• All registry documents signed along with two witnesses over the age of 18, then by the celebrant

• Presentation
• You are presented as married! Mr and Mrs!

PERSONALISED CEREMONY SCRIPT

• Intro
• To the marriage celebrant, to the couple and acknowledgements to family and friends
• Each part of the welcome and scattered throughout, there are personalised pieces of information that are informative and engaging.

• Your story (this can be segmented into different chunks and rearranged)
• Who you are
• How you met
• How you fell in love
• The reasons you know you are ready for this
• Your compatibility
• Idiosyncrasies, similarities, differences
• Your families, values, norms, faith

• Then to legalise you need to say the below

• The Monetum: 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 two people (recently amended 9th December 2017) to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life. (Or words to that effect).

• Legal Vows: The groom must say to the bride: I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [Groom with last name], take thee, [Bride with last name], to be my lawful wedded wife. (Or words to that effect).
• The bride must say to the groom: I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [Bride with last name], take thee, [Groom with last name], to be my lawful wedded husband. (Or words to that effect).

• Your Personal Vows:
• These are your own words that you say to each other (written by yourself or guided by your celebrant)

• The Declaration

Kiss!

• Signing of the legal paperwork
• All registry documents signed along with two witnesses over the age of 18, then by the celebrant

• Presentation
• You are presented as married! Mr and Mrs!

• THE FULL MONTY CEREMONY SCRIPT

No stone is left unturned! Every detail is carefully considered.

Your story is fleshed out and care taken to capture exactly what you want to say as well as engage with your audience. The best way to accomplish this is to hunt a bit harder for a celebrant who does not just get the job done but listens intently to what you are after, shows passion in sharing your love story and takes the time to get to know you and the facts very thoroughly.

Beefing up the ceremony is possible in so many ways
• Organic music
• Traditional elements
• Rituals
• Readings

Basically, there are a kazillion ways in which to craft ceremonies to include these.

This is where careful of the best celebrant for you really comes into play!

RECOMMENDED CONSIDERATIONS (no matter what the format)
• Timing is everything – work backwards from when you want your photos / canapés for example
• Reordering sequences of events is absolutely possible!
• Finish on a bang! Be it with your kiss or then a few words to introduce you to all your guests it should be uplifting and end on a high
• Get housekeeping tips out of the way at the start as this makes everyone feel more comfortable In modern ceremonies, you can keep signing for the end of the middle.
• Clear instructions on what your wishes are help i.e. guests refraining from taking pics or saving congrats to the end
• Checks of council bylaws and other legislative considerations is super important
• Peace of mind by way of a plan B in case of inclement weather
• Great planning and execution of elements such as music equals professionalism
• Flexibility and a good sense of humour are paramount to wedding success!

Public open space beach, park or garden

If you're marrying on a beach or public park you will need to contact the local shire for booking the space plus understand the terms and conditions of using that area. Please note although you may have booked that venue for your wedding ceremony in a public open space, that it does not in title you to exclusive use of the area, the public can utilise that area too. If you've chosen to hold your ceremony in a public place such as a park, you may have to put up with onlookers, so if you want to keep it private, try to reserve a secluded spot out of the way of general public space beforehand to prevent the likelihood of unwanted guests or distractions. Alternatively, designate a couple of your guests (preferably male) to politely ask any nosey onlookers (if they are becoming obtrusive) to respect your privacy kindly. For more information about planning a public open space wedding at a beach, park or garden READ MORE

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