weddings
This is your big moment! I am here to assist in whatever way you need and to make sure your ceremony flows and flourishes just the way you dream it to be. Below gives you an indication of how my ceremonies are conducted.
 

What is in a wedding ceremony?
 
 
 
 
THE ENTRANCE
 
Back in the day the father of the bride would walk his daughter down the aisle. These days anyone can walk the bride down the aisle. The bride can also make a solo entrance if she likes, or enter with both of her parents, or the bride and groom can enter together. It’s up to you! Some music is usually played here too, whether it be live musinc or an Ipod. 
 
THE INTRO
 
To begin with; I welcome your guests and introduce myself. I like to say a few a words about your beliefs on love and marriage (nothing too soppy), or we can go straight into your personal history.
 
PERSONAL HISTORY
 
I will give you a questionnaire to fill in so we can compile a story of your life together so far. From this we can write a personal history of how you met, how you feel about each other,
and/ or how your engagement occurred.
 
READING
 
This is usually the part where you have a close friend or relative who may want to pay a tribute to you or read something that has meaning you to. It is usually is a poem, a quote or even a song performed live. It’s up to you what you would like to do here. This part is optional; by no means do you need to include this. In saying this you might want two readings here or just one reading here and another one before or after the ring ceremony?
 
THE MONITUM FROM THE MARRIAGE ACT OF 1961
 
This is legal aspect of the ceremony and has to be said word for word to make your marriage legal.
 
I Susan Ellis am duly authorised by the law to solemnise marriages according to the laws of Australia.
Before you XXXX, and you XXXX, are joined together in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses,
I am bound to remind you publicly of the solemn, and the binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter.
Marriage, according to the law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others and is voluntarily entered into for life.    
 
THE GIVING AWAY
 
The giving away is optional. It is a nice way to acknowledge and include your parents in the ceremony. I basically ask them the following;

‘Who presents this woman to be married to this man?’ and vice versa. Your parents can reply with; ‘we do’

This can be done at the beginning of the ceremony or here just before you say your vows. I think it fits in well just before you say your vows! 
 
 
THE ASKING
 
Again this is optional, if you don’t have long vows and might have a short reading, it’s nice to include this. I have a variety of 'askings' you can choose from.
 
See examples below of what I could ask you:
examples:

Groom,  do you come here of your own free will?

Groom: I do

(Vice versa)

Or something a bit more wordy;
 
Bride,  Do you come here freely and without reservation to enter a relationship as companions living together as husband and wife, enjoying equality?

Do you promise to love, respect, assist and look after each other for the rest of your lives?
 
Bride: I do

(Vice versa)
 
VOWS
 
The vows are the basic legal structure of the marriage ceremony, by law your vows have to begin with;
  
I, XXXX, call upon these people here, to witness that I take you, XXXX, to be my wedded husband.
    
(Vice versa)

Following this you can add your own personal vows that you may have taken time to write or even mix them up from a selection of vows I have for your perusal. I find most of my couples select vows from the list I have and add a few of their own personal vows. (This usually gets a laugh too!) Some examples;

Example Wedding Vow Wording:

When writing your wedding vows, consider whether you want them to be classic and traditional, such as these:

I,______ , call on the people here to witness that I take you, _______, to be my wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward. For better for worse, for richer for poorer. In sickness and in health for the rest of my life.

I take you ________ to be my lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health for as long as we both shall live.'

Or if you want to personalize your wedding vows to reflect your relationship. These are good examples, although you could certainly get more personal:
 
I, ________ affirm my love to you, ________ as I invite you to share my life.

You are the most beautiful, smart and generous person I have ever known, and I promise always to respect you. With kindness, unselfishness and trust, I will work by your side to create a wonderful life together.
 
________, I love you. You are my best friend. Today I give myself to you in marriage. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in highest regard. These things I give to you today, and all the days of our life.'

Also remember that you can both say the same vows, or you can say completely different ones. 
 
THE RING CEREMONY
 
Traditionally the bestman holds the rings, but these days you can nominate someone else to hold them for you. It could even be the bridesmaid, father of the bride or a special someone in your life that might have missed out on a role in the ceremony! I have a selection of ring vows for your perusal too.
 
The ring vows can be a short and sweet as this;
 
________, This ring means that I give myself to you, a seal of my unending love.'

Vice versa or;
 
________, I want to publicly acknowledge you today because it is your love and commitment, sense of play and adventure, and warm heart that have brought us to this point. When you came into my life you showed me how to be a genuine and loving partner. You brought out my caring and my openness and showed me that it was OK to love from the bottom of my soul. I am so happy to be at this moment with you today, I give you my heart.
Oh yes, and um don’t forget the rings!
 
READING
 
Another reading, poem or song, etc could go here too. This optional.
 
THE DECLARATION
 
The declaration is myself pronouncing you as husband and wife. You kiss and seal the commitment you have just made to each other.

After the declaration I will ask your guests to feel free to speak amongst themselves or to get a glass of champagne ready, while we sign the legal paperwork. Once the paperwork is completed by you and your witnesses, I can introduce you as Mr. and Mrs. Groom (or words to that effect). Your guests (and us) can raise a glass, salute you and then they can come and congratulate you.
 
THE SIGNING

During the signing you will sign 3 legal documents, this includes your wedding certifcate. It only takes between 5-10 minutes so you might want to choose 1-3 songs to be played during this time.

That’s the end of the ceremony; you will be married and ready to celebrate with you soul mate, family and friends!
 
Please note; I have a variety of poems, readings, ring vows, askings and personal vows for your consideration. And please don’t forget you can also add what we call a ‘sub ritual.’ This is totally optional, but your ceremony could include a ritual like; the warming of the rings, a pagan ceremony, a candle ceremony, a sand ceremony, a rose ceremony, or even some cultural aspects from your family’s background, just to name a few.
 
 
Susan Ellis
Civil Celebrant