Marriage Ceremony Legal Wording Requirements - Sandie Bizys Celebrant
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Marriage Ceremony Legal Wording Requirements


It is required by law that a celebrant must state the full names of each party at least once in the ceremony.


The Monitum

All authorised celebrants (other than ministers of religion belonging to a recognised denomination) are required to include a statement (the monitum) explaining the nature of the marriage relationship in all marriage ceremonies they perform (section 46 of the Marriage Act). From 9 December 2017, the monitum will change to reflect the new definition of marriage.


A celebrant MUST say all wording highlighted below:

I am duly authorised by 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 in to for life.


The Asking

This is not a legal requirement however most couples want to say ‘I do’ or ‘I will’.


The Vows

From 9 December 2017, the vows will change to reflect the new definition of marriage:

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).


This change allows marrying couples to make a personal choice about the terms to be used in their marriage vows that best reflect their relationship. The term ‘husband’ can refer to a male marriage partner, and ‘wife’ to a female marriage partner, regardless of the sex or gender of the person saying the vows. The term ‘spouse’ can refer to a male, female, intersex, non-binary gender or transgender person.


Signing of the Marriage Register

This is certainly a legal requirement.


There are three documents to be signed at this juncture.

Certificate of Marriage – which is used to register the marriage. Form 16 also has For 14 attached which is a Declaration of no Impediment to the Marriage which must be signed prior to the ceremony. Often signed several days prior to the marriage.

Marriage Certificate – which is presented to the parties (this certificate is a legal document, so please do enlist someone to care for this as you begin your celebrations)

Marriage Register – issued by the Attorney General’s Department



Updated as at 9 December 2017