A wedding ceremony is a celebration and declaration of the love you and you partner share, therefore it is of great importance that everything you say and do in your ceremony has real meaning about how you feel about each other.
More and more couples these days are choosing a civil ceremony in place of a religious ceremony in order to create a ceremony which more closely reflects their values and ideals.
One of the most important parts of your wedding is the actual vows that you exchange with your partner. While some people use traditional vows, others prefer to write their own, and some choose a combination of traditional, contemporary and original wording. Whichever type of vows you choose to include, I can help you construct something truly meaningful and memorable.
Your ceremony can performed in practically any setting, and can be held anywhere including your backyard, your favourite beach or park – even an air balloon! Your wedding can vary in size from being a small intimate affair to an elaborate and detailed major event. Whatever your preference, it can easily be accommodated.
The wedding ceremony may take many forms, and combining any number of different options within your ceremony can give you almost limitless choice. You may include your choice of marriage vows, poetry, prose or personal messages of celebration, symbolic rituals, music of your choice and you may also like to incorporate family and friends. I can provide a broad selection of ceremonies, readings, wedding vows, ring presentations, poetry and numerous resources to help you tailor a unique and meaningful ceremony.
Although my ceremonies are uniquely personalised for each couple, the running of a Wedding Ceremony typically has most of the following components:
- Entry of Bridal party
- Welcoming by celebrant
- Giving away
- Introduction by the Celebrant
- Declaration of intention to marry
- Ring Ceremony
- Announcement of marriage
- The wedding kiss
- Signing of the register
Your ceremony can include any number of additional components, and is limited only by imagination. Some examples are listed below:
- Handfasting ceremony
- Candle ceremony
- Anointing of the rings
- Blessing of the rings
- Sand ceremony
- Rose ceremony
- Sharing of wine
- Wine box and pledges
- Cake & Ale, Bread, cheese & salt, and related ceremonies
- Butterfly release
- Dove release
- Time capsule
- Cultural rituals
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can get married?
Anyone may marry in Australia providing you are both over the age of 18 and not legally married. If one or both of you is between 16 and 18, additional requirements must be met.
What documents do I need?
You need your birth certificate and an official English translation if it is in a foreign language; or an overseas passport, if you were not born in Australia, AND evidence that any pervious marriage has ended eg: Decree Absolute or Death Certificate if applicable.
How long does the Ceremony Take?
Usually between 20-30mins.
Do I need two witnesses?
Yes you do and they must be over the age of 18 years.
How far ahead should I book the Celebrant?
As soon as the date is finalised for the ceremony. This can be up to 18months in advance.
How much notice must be given to get married?
You have to give 1 month and 1 day's notice to the celebrant. There are exceptions to this rule but each individual case has to be assessed by the Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages.
Can I include other people in my ceremony other than the celebrant?
Yes, the majority of the ceremony must be performed by the celebrant but other people can do smaller sections such as poetry readings.
Do I have to be given away by my father?
No the giving away is optional and can be performed by any person if you wish for it to be included.
Can I change my driver's licence with the Marriage Certificate the celebrant gives me on my wedding day?
No, you will need to obtain your full Marriage certificate from the Registry Office. This can take several weeks depending on work load.
Can I fill my Notice of Intention to Marry before my divorce is processed?
Yes, you can but you cannot be married until the celebrant has your final divorce papers.
Do you need to be an Australian Citizen to marry in Australia?
No. Anyone may marry in Australia providing you are both over the age of 18 and not legally married. If one or both of you is between 16 and 18, additional requirements must be met.
If we are coming from overseas do we need to be in Australia a certain time before we can marry?
No. You can marry the day that you arrive from overseas if you wish. However, by law I must receive the Notice of Intended Marriage form from you at least 1 month and 1 day before the wedding. To be on the safe side, send it early.
If I don’t reside in Australia will the marriage be recognised in my own country?
Yes. You should confirm this with your own government agency which records marriages in your country.
Can I marry anywhere in Australia?
Yes. An Authorised Civil Marriage Celebrant is permitted to perform a wedding ceremony anywhere in Australia.
Can we re-marry in Australia after being married in another country?
No. The only type of ceremony you would be able to have would be either a Renewal Ceremony or a Commitment Ceremony.
Can two people of the same sex marry?
No. Same sex marriages are not performed in Australia. However, I can perform a Commitment Ceremony for you to express your feelings for one another.
How many witnesses do we need and can they be related to us?
You need two witnesses present at your Marriage Ceremony who are over the age of 18. Any person can act as a witness, even your parents. The Celebrant, however, cannot act as a witness.
Can I use photo copies and certified copies of my legal documents?
No. All documents must be originals.
Can we use legal paperwork that is in another language?
No. Before you can submit it, your paperwork will need to be translated into the English language by a recognised/registered translator.
How much time do we need between the ceremony and the reception?
Your ceremony can go for as little as 5 minutes to up to 45 minutes or so, depending on how much you want to include in your ceremony. You should also take into consideration time for your photographer to take the photos you’re after and a few minutes to relax before you go into your reception. On the other hand you’ve got to consider what your guests will be doing during this time. The usual buffer is around two and a half hours.
What is the bare minimum legal requirement wording to get married with no further rituals or customisation?
The minimum legal requirements for the ceremony are the part where I introduce myself as being authorised and remind you of the solemn nature of the ceremony about to be undertaken and then each of you ask the witnesses present to witness the ‘taking’ and receiving’ of each other as husband and wife. This is the monitum/legal part of the ceremony which is prescribed by the Marriage Act. Those two things will take only about 1 or 2 minutes to get through.
What is a Notice of Intended Marriage form?
A Notice of Intended Marriage has to be signed at least 30 days prior to a marriage (except in special circumstances). It contains all your personal details, date of birth, parent details and is designed to identify you and ensure you are both aware of and willingly agree to participate in the ceremony.
What happens if it’s raining and our ceremony is outdoors?
Risk management is a very important consideration and you should ensure you have a wet weather alternative for your ceremony. A gazebo or hall is usually a good place if your ceremony is in a park or garden or sometimes there may be a possibility of a ceremony at your place of reception.
Do we need to have a rehearsal?
A rehearsal of the ceremony always helps smooth events on the actual day, but it is not compulsory.
When do we have to pay our deposit?
Without a deposit, I’ll hold the day for you for two weeks. The deposit should be paid by cheque, cash or direct debit within two weeks.
What happens to our deposit if our wedding is cancelled?
Should the ceremony be cancelled by you within 7 days of initial booking, the booking fee is fully refundable. At anytime after this you will forfeit your booking fee.
When do we have to pay the balance of the fee?
As set out in the fees schedule, the outstanding balance is payable within either four weeks of the first draft of the ceremony being issued or four weeks before the ceremony, whichever is the later of the two.
What happens to the balance of our payment if the wedding is cancelled?
If a ceremony that has been paid in full is cancelled within two weeks of the scheduled ceremony date, a refund of $150 will be paid. Otherwise the balance (less the deposit) is refundable.