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The Wedding Ceremony - Where Do You Start

Once the excitement of your engagement dies down, the fun of planning your wedding day begins. There are so many decisions to make – the venue, the flowers, the photographer and, of course, the dress.  But when it comes to the ceremony itself, it can be difficult to know where to begin.

Once you have chosen a date for your wedding day, it is a good idea to start looking for your wedding celebrant. It is important that you and your fiancé are both comfortable with the person you choose, so arrange a meeting before booking to see if you “click”.

Your next visit with your chosen celebrant will involve completing some legal paperwork. Australian law requires couples to register their intent to marry no less than one month and no more than eighteen months prior to their wedding, and your celebrant will fill in the official forms. You will need to provide the following items:

  • An original birth certificate (no copies).
  • If you can't get your original birth certificate, a current Passport is acceptable. If you have lost your passport, a statutory declaration will be required.
  • A Divorce Certificate or Decree Absolute, if you are divorced from a previous marriage.
  • A death certificate, if you are previously widowed.
  • A change of name certificate, if your name is different to your original birth certificate.
  • If you are under 18, your parent’s consent and an order from a magistrate.

If you are unsure about any of the requirements, your celebrant will be able to assist you.

After completing the official paperwork, it is time to start creating your ceremony.

Your celebrant should take some time to ascertain what style of ceremony you are after – traditional, modern, formal or casual – so it helps to think about what you want before your meeting.

 Things to consider include:

  • Are you planning on arriving together or separately?
  • Do you have two witnesses aged over 18 to sign the register?
  • Do you wish to write your own vows?
  • If so, do you want to keep your vows secret from one another?
  • Will you be exchanging rings?
  • Do you wish to include any readings by family or friends?
  • For outdoor weddings, do you have an alternative venue or a plan for inclement weather?
  • Does your wedding venue provide a signing table and chairs?
  • Will you require a rehearsal and does your wedding venue provide for this?
  • Think about other weddings you have been to. What did you like or dislike about those weddings and why?

You don’t need to have the answers to all these questions at your initial meeting with your celebrant. But the more specific you can be about what you want, the more personal your ceremony will be. 

Remember: Your wedding is about you and your partner, and your ceremony should reflect your relationship. So listen to your heart, and you can’t go wrong!


Please feel free to contact me to answer any questions you may have (or check availability and book your ceremony directly). We can arrange an appointment for you to meet me and see if I am the right Adelaide based Wedding celebrant for you.

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