Your Wedding Vows: Legal,
Personal, Private? What's the Difference?
Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant
| Vows | Wedding Ceremony | Wedding
Vows are important.
They are the centrepiece and a major high point in
your marriage ceremony. In Australia, they are also
the words that create your marriage - at least the
legal vows are. So there are rules that must be
followed in order to make sure your marriage is legal.
The legal vows
To be legally married in Australia each of you must
make it absolutely clear to everyone present that you
are are willingly entering into this marriage. Which
means making a statement out loud, using the words
dictated by the Marriage Act, and including your
names, to make sure there is no confusion about who is
Marriage Act says each of must say:
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 (or husband, or spouse)
- You may substitute I ask everyone here
for I call upon the persons here present
- You may say you instead of thee
- You may say partner-in-marriage
instead of wife, husband, or spouse
Personal promises add a great deal to the ceremony.
And I definitely encourage couples to make personal
promises.There is only one rule that applies - nothing
you say can put conditions on your commitment to
marriage or in any way qualify or contradict the legal
vows. Other than that you can promise anything you
like (though I would encourage you to focus on the big
things) and structure them any way you like. So you
- Add your personal promises after your legal vows
and say them individually
- Make your personal promises by speaking in
- Make your personal promises as a Question and
Answer session between you
- Format your personal promises as a question that
your celebrant asks, to which you answer "I do"
While everyone present must hear you say the legal
vows, there is no such requirement for personal
promises. So if you feel shy about pouring your heart
out in front of other people, or just maybe want to
include x-rated promises, you can keep them private if
you wish. There are many ways to do this
- Your celebrant can announce to the guests that
you are going to exchange vows for one another's
ears only, ask your wedding party to move away,
and turn off any microphones, allowing you to very
quietly say or read your promises to one another.
Your photographer will be able to capture all the
- You can share you personal promises, privately,
during your First Look photo session before the
- You can write your vows, seal them an envelope
and exchange them during the ceremony to be opened
and read privately after the ceremony while you
are having photographs taken.
- You could even text them to one another. Pro-tip:
If you're going to do this as part of the ceremony
create the text as a note and save so that all you
have to do is copy and paste it when ready to send
Thanks for reading!