Ceremony is important in many ways, providing a solemness to the day and provides formality to you and your guests to pay respect to the promises you are making. The time-honoured ceremonies help to guide our emotional experience through important milestones in our life.
Weddings are slightly different to other types of ceremonies in that they have serious legal implication. In Australia, only qualified and registered Celebrants can officiate Wedding Ceremonies. There are certain elements of the Ceremony that are non-negotiable.
The following is a basic outline of the elements you may (or may not) wish to consider for your Ceremony. There are a few non-negotiable items that the Australian Government declare must be included for your Marriage to be Solemnised in the eyes of the law.
Ceremony Options - Typical Wedding Ceremony Outline
Here is a standard outline for a typical marriage ceremony, which can be customised based on what you want for your wedding. Only the “Montium” and “Legal Vows” are essential for a legal marriage. The other parts are regularly added or modified as you feel suitable for your ceremony.
The Pre-ceremony /Prelude music
Prelude music is usually light and starts as early as 45 minutes before the wedding ceremony. Playing in the background sets the mood for the wedding while guests take their seats.
This is to set the scene and make all guests relaxed and extend a warm welcome to all of them. A good pre-ceremony opportunity to remind guests about mobile phones, any instructions in for photos and mobile phones and social media. Also, any other important announcements about the days schedule or venue amenities and emergency exits.
In a more traditional Wedding, this is where the bridesmaids and bride (or partner) enter the ceremony.
The music that accompanies the entrance of the bride, the wedding party and family attendants of the wedding is known as the processional.
This is where one or both parents or the bride (or partner) can release their ceremonial custody of their child over to their new life partner.
Introduction of the celebrated person(s)
The Celebrant will speak about your commitment to one another, what marriage means to you both. Also includes the story of the Couple getting married - How the couples met and little anecdotal accounts of their journey together so far.
List of Key people/pets to be acknowledged
Couples often use a reading or poem that is special to them. It is a lovely way to include a relative or friend who may not otherwise be in the wedding party.
For the marriage to be legal, your Celebrant MUST read the Government issued Monitum.
One of the most Traditional elements of a Wedding Ceremony… this is the “I Do” bit!
Legal Vows (required)
These are the words you MUST say in the presence of your witnesses to solemnise your marriage.
Often couples will choose to write their own vows that more concisely represent their relationship. They are usually spoken before or after the Legal Vows.
The Ring Exchange
The exchange of rings is a classic tradition in Western Culture.
This is the part where your Celebrant will say “I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss your bride!” This is an important moment of the ceremony- one which seems to delight both the couple and the guests, who are eager to see your first kiss as a married couple.
Signing of the Register (required)
The paperwork must be completed by the married couple, plus two of their chosen witnesses and their Celebrant to finalise their marriage. This is a great time to provide some music, as it often takes 5-10 minutes to finalise everything and get some special photos.
Some couples may choose to add certain rituals at the point in the ceremony. Here are a few of samples below:
Family Unity Ceremonies
Unity Candle Ceremony
The conclusion is just a set of short messages that will help bring everyone is focus back to the task at hand. Any household announcements or instructions about photos or post- ceremony activities would be announced here.
A final blessing for the couple as we all wish you the very best for the future.
Traditionally a couple would be announced before they leave the venue … “ It now gives me great pleasure to announce…Mr & Mrs…(or however you would like to be announced).
The recessional plays at the end of the ceremony. Bright and lively tunes and recessionals are usually made up of popular songs that are used to celebrate as the newly-weds exit the space, dance and stroll down past the excited guests.