with Tanya
Building Your Intimate Elopement Ceremony

Ceremony Outline

Full names of both parties must be used at some stage during the ceremony for the purpose of legal identification. The latest they can be said is in the vows.

Welcome and Introduction

This is to welcome guests, family and friends to the wedding. 

The introduction is about the union of marriage. Couples are able to select an introduction from the ones supplied or write their own that best reflects the meaning of marriage to them.

Presentation (Giving Away)

Traditionally this is the time in the ceremony when the celebrant asks, 

“Who gives this woman to be married to this man” and the bride’s father says “I do”.

In contemporary weddings, the celebrant can ask a number of questions to the person(s) chosen. 

Do they offer their love and blessings to the couple? 

or

Asking the parents of the couple as representatives of their family: will they take a couple into your family and into their hearts?

Celebrant Authority

Subsection 46(1) of the Marriage Act sets out certain words, sometimes referred to as the ‘momentum’ that must be used by Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants in solemnising a marriage. 

Now, I, Tanya McDonald, an authorised marriage celebrant, am duly authorised by the 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 to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

The Asking

The Asking is for the couple to verify they are getting married because they want to. The celebrant will ask them both a question after which they will answer: I will/I do

Vows

Subsection 45(2) of the Marriage Act sets out the minimum words (or vows) which must be used by the couple for a non-religious (civil) ceremony to be a marriage ceremony: Each of the parties to the marriage must say the vows to each other.

“I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take thee, C.D. (or A.B.), to be my lawful wedded (wife, husband or spouse). 

Couples wishing to personalise their vows further are able to lengthen their vows by adding their chosen wording after saying the minimum words (so long as any material added does not contradict the minimum vows).

Nicknames should not be used in the legal section of the vows. However, shortened names or nicknames may be used in the personal vow section.

Ring Ceremony

The exchange of wedding rings represents the vows the couple have exchanged.

Declaration of Marriage

This is when the couple are legally declared husband(s), wife(wives) or couple.

Sign the register

Under section 44 of the Marriage Act, a marriage may not be solemnised unless at least two persons are present at the ceremony over the age of 18 years. These are the persons who will sign the marriage certificates in their capacity as the witnesses to the marriage

Introduction 

This is when the couple is presented to the guests and signals the end of the wedding ceremony.