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Typical Wedding Ceremony

The following pages are provided to help give you an idea of the structure and content of a typical wedding ceremony. Apart from a few mandatory sentences the style and content of your ceremony can be designed by you.

PREAMBLE

This provides the opportunity for the Celebrant to gain the attention of the guests, ask them to turn off their mobile phones and to take their places for the ceremony.

It is also appropriate, at this point, to make mention of any instructions regarding photographs, arrival at reception venues or prohibitions on the use of confetti.

MARRIAGE ACT

I am required to make certain statements regarding the marriage act. These should not be altered and are included in my workbooks in bold print.

INTRODUCTION

The introduction provides the opportunity for couples to express what marriage means to them and the following is just one example.

(G) and (B), this is your day, your time, your celebration. Today you publicly declare the love and commitment you have expressed to each other many times before. Today, each of you declares for the whole world to see, that this other person has that special primary place in you life, that place that can only be given to one other.

This reading and a selection of many others are included in my workbooks. Some examples provided are long and couples may cut, mix or match examples to suit themselves or they may write their own.

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PERSONAL INTRODUCTION

This provides the couple with the chance to relate some interesting aspects of their relationship to their guests. It creates a personal touch where the couple can let their guest know a bit of personal information about their background. A half page of notes written by the couple is suitable for this segment.

PRESENTATION OF BRIDE

This is a traditional part of any marriage ceremony and provides the ideal opportunity to involve the parents, children or other family members of both the Bride and the Groom.

One of the most understated of human relationships is that between parents and children and one of the rare occasions this is recognized is at a wedding. The "giving" of any child to another in marriage is surely an outward sign of deep love for the child being given and deep trust of the recipient partner.

Being mindful of these values and of the love between parent and child I ask,

"Who presents this woman to be married to this man"

Bride’s Father (or Father and Mother / Brother / Family / Friend etc ) replies "I do"

ASKING

The "asking" creates a build-up to the vows in that it asks the Couple to state, in front of their Family and Friends, their intentions toward each other.

Will you (G) give yourself to (B) as her devoted partner and companion.

Will you promise to care for her and to stand beside her in all of life’s joys and trials?

Will you support her in all her endeavors and never speak badly of her favourite football team.

Will you nurture your relationship so that you will both grow in harmony and unison with each other.

This asking is just one of the examples from which couples can choose. They may mix and match different lines or may write their own if they wish.

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VOWS

A selection of draft vows are included in the workbook. Couples may choose from these vows or write their own. All vows must include the words:

I call upon all persons here present to witness that I, (GG), take you, (BB), to be my (lawful) wedded wife / husband / partner in marriage

Couples should remember, when writing their own vows, that a "vow" is a solemn promise. A typical vow could start "I promise to love you until the cows come home."

Statements of love and devotion to each other are better placed elsewhere in the ceremony.

RING CEREMONY

Typical of the examples provided in the workbooks is:

I offer you this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.

It will always be a symbol of the vows which have made us husband and wife here today.

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READINGS AND POEMS

A selection of 60 readings, including the following are included in the workbook or couples may insert or write their own readings. Normally two readings can be comfortably inserted into a ceremony.

Love is patient, love is kind. Love knows no jealousy. Love makes no parade, gives itself no airs, is never rude, never selfish, never irritated, never resentful.

Love is never glad when others go wrong. Love is gladdened by goodness, always slow to expose, always eager to believe the best, always hopeful, always patient.

Love never disappears.

SINGERS

Couples may invite a friend or a professional person to sing selected songs, before, during or after the ceremony. Such persons may use my Public Address system for amplification.

MUSIC

Couples can choose the music that is played during their wedding and this can be played on my PA system via the built-in CD Player.

Music should only be played before the ceremony, as the Bride enters, during the signing of documents and immediately after the ceremony.

SYMBOLIC ACTS

Two symbolic acts can normally be accommodated in a wedding ceremony and a selection of symbolic acts are included in my workbooks.

SIGNING OF DOCUMENTS

The Bridal couple and witnesses will now retire to sign the certificates. As we have not yet concluded the ceremony, I ask that you reserve your congratulations until after the presentation.

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DECLARATION

(G) and (B), by the giving and receiving of vows and the exchange of rings, you have today pledged yourselves to each other in marriage for the remainder of your lives.

It now gives me great pleasure to pronounce you Husband and Wife.

You may now seal your vows with a kiss.

PRESENTATION OF COUPLE

(G) and (B), we wish you all the blessings life can offer - joy and gladness, love and companionship, health and prosperity, for all the days of your lives.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I now present to you…

Mr. and Mrs. …………

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