Below is a simple example of a ceremony script structure. Parts in italics are required by law. Everything else can be changed removed or added to!
Robert & George’s Marriage Ceremony
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. We will be starting in 10 minutes. Robert & George request that you are really present today so please take the opportunity to switch your phones to silent. We have a professional photographer here today capturing the excitement of the wedding, and we ask that you not take photos during the ceremony.
Robert walking in on dad’s arm?
Family and friends, On behalf of Robert and George may I welcome you today for this special occasion. My name is Dave Segal, I am a civil celebrant, and I am here today to share with you the ceremony that Robert and George have composed for their wedding day.
Acknowledgement of Country
Today we are gathered on the lands of the Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians of the area now known as Canberra. Like their indigenous counterparts across the breadth of this vast continent, the Ngunnawal people have a connection to the land that stretches back millennia. As we celebrate this special occasion today, we acknowledge the area’s indigenous elders past and present.
Robert and George met when they entered federal parliament …
They knew that…
It was the shared interest in…
These and other shared values pulled them closer together and now…. Here we are!
During a ceremony this is common though a more modern method is to have your friends give a commitment instead.
Who brings Robert to be married to George today.
Brides parent: – I Do
Robert & George have invited you all here today because of the special role you play in their lives. Today they ask you to participate in this ceremony by responding appropriately to this question. Do you promise to support, love and respect Robert & George today and every day for the rest of their lives? Do you promise to visit them regardless of their geographical location in Canberra and beyond. Do you promise to remain in their lives for as long as you all shall live?
(yes or we do).
Reading 1 –
I would now like to invite xxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxx to give a reading. A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton
The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice.
Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.
Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts.
I like this Dinosaur thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny.
He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.
I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur.
She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice.
She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.
But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
He is also overly fond of things.
Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?
But her mind skips from here to there so quickly thought the Dinosaur.
She is also uncommonly keen on shopping.
Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?
I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.
I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping, thought the Dinosaur.
For she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides,
I am not unkeen on shopping either.
Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old.
Look at them.
Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.
And that, my friends, is how it is with love.
Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together.
For the sun is warm.
And the world is a beautiful place.
(A legal requirement)
Robert and George before celebrating your marriage I am to say to you in the presence of your family and friends that 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 about to enter. Marriage according to law in Australia is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
Readings can add meaning to the ceremony.
I would now like to invite xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to give a reading. “All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” by Robert Fulgham
All of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.
These are the things I learned…
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad.
Live a balanced life.
Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.
Take a nap every afternoon.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
What is marriage?
This marriage is a life-long commitment to each other. Sharing experiences together as husband and wife. And it’s a celebration to make their life together official!
For Robert & George, marriage is sharing the joy of new discoveries and perspectives on life together. It is supporting each other in their endeavours, both shared and individual. It is standing side by side as they go through all that life brings. It is being a family and knowing that they are there for each other. It is being life partners.
Many people have proferred ideas on what leads to a successful marriage. Among them is Wilfred Arlan Peterson, an American man of letters from last century, who penned The Art of a Good Marriage.
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humour.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner
Expression of Intent
Robert, please repeat after me:
“I call upon everyone here today to witness that I, Robert Satter, take you, George, to be my lawful wedded wife/husband/spouse;
Robert, do you promise to love George unconditionally, to honour and respect him/her/them, to support him/her/them in his/her/their goals, to care for and protect him/her/them, to love and cherish him/her/them through whatever life may bring?
Robert: I do
George, please repeat after me:
“I call upon everyone here today to witness that I, George Simstensen, take you, Robert, to be my lawful wedded wife/husband/spouse;
George, do you promise to love Robert unconditionally, to honour and respect him/her/them, to support him/her/them in his/her/their goals, to care for and protect him/her/them, to love and cherish him/her/them through whatever life may bring?
George: I do
Dave: To the page boy/best man or maid of honour or both:
“Do you have the rings?”
(They do and they each pass them to Robert and George.)
Robert and George’s rings are an external and visible sign of the internal and spiritual bond of love which unites their two hearts.
Dave: Robert please place the ring on George’s finger. George please place the ring on Robert’s finger.
Pronouncement and Kiss
(Not necessary but gives closure to the story. You could say anything here and of course you don’t have to kiss. Or hold hands. Or anything)
You have each received the encouragement, love and support of your friends and family.
You have vowed to love each other.
You have offered and accepted rings to wear as a symbol of those vows.
Robert & George by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you married!
You should kiss!
Signing the paperwork
This is the legal stuff – 2 documents to be signed by the bride, groom, and two witnesses over the age of 18. Mostly this is done at a signing table located nearby. We and the two witnesses walk over to this and do the signing.
3 minutes to do this.
Introduction of the new couple and end of ceremony
And it’s a wrap. Who are you now? New names?
Robert and George may your lives be filled with laughter, friendship, resilience and happiness.
May your family always have good health, prosperity and happiness.
Ladies and gentlemen newlyweds, Robert & George Satter.
(Instructions for the guests so they do what they are meant to in your master plan)
Click here to fill out your paperwork