Traditional Civil Wedding Ceremony Format
Civil wedding ceremonies like church ceremonies do have a traditional format. Below is a basic outline of how a civil ceremony unfolds. Point 8,10 and 15 are legally required the other points are optional.
1 Groom, Best man & groomsmen arrive - Groom, Best man and Groomsmen take their places next to the Celebrant & await the Bride.
2 Seating of parents and guests - Ushers directs parents and guests to their seats (usually a friend or family member).
3 Celebrant Announces… - “Ladies and gentlemen please be upstanding for the bride.”
4 Processional - Entrance of bridal party to music.
5 Entrance of the Bride - Traditionally the bride enters accompanied by a family member; occasionally she enters alone or with the groom, traditionally to music.
6 Welcome/Introduction - The Celebrant welcomes everyone to the wedding.
7 1st Poem/Reading/Ritual - Opportunity for family/friends involvement – can include a poem/reading, ritual, prayer, music or dance.
8 Monitum -
Legal wording spoken by the Celebrant from the Marriage Act.
9 The Asking - The Celebrant asks the bride and groom if they will take the other to be their husband/wife, (‘I do’).
10 The Vows -
The bride and groom say their legal vows
to each other and then can include vows they have written to each other. They can be read from a card, repeated after the Celebrant or recited from memory.
11 Exchange of rings - One ring or two rings are exchanged by the bride and groom.
12 2nd Poem/Reading/Ritual - Opportunity for family/friends involvement – can include a poem/reading, ritual, prayer, music or dance.
13 Conclusion and Declaration of Marriage - Couple are pronounced husband and wife!
14 The Kiss - Optional.
15 Signing of the Marriage Register - Bride, Groom, Celebrant and 2 witnesses sign 3 Marriage documents. Music is usually played here.
16 Mr and Mrs… and Presentation of the Marriage Certificate - The married couple are introduced for the 1st time as … and presented with their marriage certificate.
17 Recessional - Exit of the Bride and Groom followed by the bridal party exit the ceremony site. Music is traditionally played here.