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Ceremony structure

The Civil Marriage Ceremony

The great advantage of having your marriage ceremony performed by a celebrant is that you can mix words, feelings and poetry to match your own feelings and the feelings you have for each other.

My example ceremonies can be rearranged however you like, with the only proviso being that the legal components by law will be added in by me and that suitable vows are required to be said.


Your ceremony should combine celebration and formality. It should be dignified yet simple and should be neither too short nor too long. If it is too short your guests may wonder what happened. It if is too long they may become restless.

It is acceptable to include religious elements where personal or family philosophy is involved,



for example, a Bible reading may be read by the Groom’s or Bride’s family member or friends or myself.


Structure of a Civil Ceremony

  1. Introduction (explaining your hopes for the future and perhaps how you met).
  2. A Reading (poem or prose - optional)
  3. Marriage declaration
  4. Giving Away (optional)
  5. The Askings
  6. Vows/Exchange of Rings (these are the promises that join you together emotionally and publicly declare your intentions to love, trust and honour each other forever).
  7. Poem or Reading (optional)
  8. Declaration of Marriage
  9. Signing of register and certificates
  10. Introduction of newly weds and presentation of certificate.