One of the trickiest things for couples planning a personal, unique and very THEM wedding ceremony, is knowing what ‘wedding bits’ you have to have in your ceremony to get legally, officially, for reals, married; what bits you can ditch; and exactly how rogue you can go when creating a ceremony that is totally your style.
Today’s blog outlines the things that must be said during your ceremony to make a legal marriage so that we can get on to the fun bits – like creating a wedding ceremony full of stuff the two of you really like and talking about our dogs. The great news is, as long as you have the three must-haves in your ceremony, the rest is TOTALLY UP TO YOU… you can strap on a pair of tap shoes and retell the first 6 seasons of Game Of Thrones using interpretive dance if that’s your vibe.
(Just a note before we get started. There are some other legal requirements for you to get married in terms of paperwork, documentation and witnesses, but we’ll talk about them in a later post (cause there ain’t no party like a paperwork party, right?!))
So here it is…the ‘must haves’ for your marriage ceremony:
1) Full names: You’re each going to have to say your full name at least once. No ‘babes’, footy team nicknames or instagram handles allowed in this part and sorry, but even if you hate your middle name and have kept it hidden it from your friends your whole life, it’s got to be said.
2) The Monitum: I’m legally required to say something called “The Monitum” (which is Latin for “Warning”) from the Marriage Act. It goes like this: “My name is Shannon O’Heir and I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and 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.”
The law requires that I say the Monitum verbatim. Depending on your own personal views on marriage equality, you may like to include a statement that acknowledges how your beliefs differ from the Australian Governments position – that’s great and I’d love to help you express that sentiment, but we can’t ditch the Monitum completely. There’s just no getting around it I’m afraid.
3) Legal Vows: You each have to exchange these succinct, official and rather serious, vows (again, the wording of the legal vows must be said verbatim)
‘I call upon the people here present to witness that I, (A), take you, (B) to be my lawful wedded wife/husband.’
This is a good spot to include your full names as above at (1). You can choose to repeat the vows after me, read from a script, memorise them or sing them to your partner. You can add your own hilarious, romantic, quirky, silly, deep, personal vows before or after the legal vows, exchange rings, or swap favourite quotes from Bob Burgers…but the wording above is the MUST HAVE.
That’s it. That’s the whole box and dice.
Do you HAVE to write your own vows? Nope, but it’s the BEST so do consider it! We’ll talk more about vows later.
Do you HAVE to say “I Do”? You can if you want, but otherwise – nup. Not required.
Do you HAVE to give each other rings? Only if you want to. You can also give each other burgers, or gin, or nothing
Do you HAVE to walk down an aisle and be “given away”? Not even a little bit.
CAN you have a dance break mid-ceremony? ABSOLUTELY, I’LL DJ!
Remember – your ceremony is yours, my job is to help make sure it looks, feels and sounds like you (and of course, is legal). Other than the MUST HAVES, it’s all yours to do with what you will, and I’ll be here every step of the way to help you design a ceremony that you think is the bloody best.
If you have any questions about the legal requirements for getting married, or want to start crafting a ceremony that is all about you two, then i’d loooooove to hear from you. You can get in touch with me HERE.