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The Wedding

Most couples want to have some input into how their wedding will look.  This is a wonderful idea.  Your dream is to make this day unforgettable not only for you both but also for your families and guests.

What follows are some guidelines of what is often included in a wedding.  But let me again emphasise they are only guides. Together, we will make your ceremony exactly what you both want.  You might also want to check out some of the many web sites devoted to weddings.

What kind of wedding ceremony do we want?

The answer to this question is:  whatever kind you decide on.  Don’t let anyone talk you into having a ceremony that you aren’t happy with.  This is your day!  As a celebrant, my task is to help you make your day as special as it can be.  My role, according to the Celebrants’ Code of Practice is fairly clearly spelt out.  It is to:

"...give the parties information and guidance to enable them to choose or compose a marriage ceremony that will meet their needs and expectations..."

I am required to incorporate four elements in your wedding:

  • To include the full names of the couple being married
  • Some specific words from the Marriage Act
  • Vows and,
  • The signing of the Register.

So, with that in mind, the ceremony can go something like this….


  • Welcome to guests
  • Statement about the day, the couple, how you first met, why you are choosing to get married, how you feel about each other, anything else significant to you both
  • You may want me to read out here something you may have written about how you have come to this day (in addition to what you will be saying in your vows to each other.)

A Reading

You may wish to choose a reading which expresses your feelings and thoughts about this day.  From Shakespeare to Eminem, you will want to choose something meaningful to you both.  I can offer you a selection of readings, poems etc. from which you may find something.  You may, however, choose your own selection.  You may decide to get a friend or relative to read this.

Wording from the Marriage Act

This is mandatory and can only be varied slightly.  Something like the following words need to be said during the ceremony:

Now I, Bill Jackson, a marriage celebrant, am duly authorised by the law, to solemnize this, your marriage, according to the laws of Australia.

Before you, (Bride and Groom), are joined together in marriage in my presence, and in the presence of these, your friends, I am bound, as you know, to remind you publicly of the solemn, the serious and the binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter.

Marriage, as most of us understand it is the voluntary and full commitment of a man to a woman, and a woman to a man.
It is made in the deepest sense to the exclusion of all others, and is entered into with the desire, the hope and the firm intention that it will last for life.


Presentation of the bride

This is still a popular part of many wedding ceremonies.  Sometimes the bride’s father does the honours, while at other times; both Mum and Dad together say “we do.” (Sometimes both sets of parents may say something here.)

Who presents this woman to be married to this man?
“I do”

The vows of intent and marriage vows

This is one of the sections which must be included.  Section 45 of the Marriage Act states that "where a marriage is solemnized by, or in the presence of an authorised celebrant, not being a minister of religion, it is sufficient if each of the parties says, to the other, in the presence of the authorised celebrant and the witnesses, the words:

"I call upon persons present here present to witness that I A.B., take you C.D. to be my lawful wedded husband (or wife)"; or words to that effect.*

* The words "or words to that effect" allows me as a celebrant to alter the language to an extent. So we can say, for example:

"I ask everyone here today to witness that I (first and last name) take you (first and last name) as my lawful wedded husband/wife. "

This can be placed at the beginning or at the end of your particular vows.

Many couples these days decide to write their own vows to express their love and commitment.  I can provide you with a list of different vows that couples have found suitable or you can create something totally original.

Exchange of Rings

The significance and symbolism of the rings can be mentioned or we can simply say something like:

"Christine, take and wear this ring always. Let it remind you of the promises we have made here today."

Another Reading

As above.


This is where the celebrant tells everyone that the couple have exchanged vows and rings and understand the commitment they are making to each other.  They are then pronounced as husband and wife. (Kiss to follow!)

Signing of Certificates

Some couples like to have music played or a song sung at this time. They may also wish to include some symbolic act.

Introduction of the newly married couple

“I have much pleasure in presenting Mr. and Mrs……. (or words to that effect.)

Remember, this is a guide only.  Let’s make yours special and memorable.


Bill Jackson

Bill Jackson

Authorised Marriage

0417 102 084

Everton Hills
Brisbane 4053