It's True - Your Marriage Ceremony can be Unstructured!

 
by Jennifer Cram (19/01/2020)  |  Categories: | Wedding Ceremony | Wedding Legals |
Couple holding hands with cups of coffeeIt is almost guaranteed that every wedding you've ever been to, and everything you've ever read about planning and designing a marriage ceremony, will convince you that all wedding ceremonies are highly structured, with a tightly controlled script, a pretty rigid pattern of traditional elements delivered in a predictable sequence, with perhaps an occasional substitution of an slightly different symbolic ritual. In fact, it is a rite of passage that is very largely done to, the couple, who stand up the front with their celebrant, answer a formal question or two (the I do/I will questions), stand there some more while someone else does a reading, maybe participate in a ritual like a candle-lighting or sand ceremony, and then face one another to say the required words that marry them, followed by their own personal promises, either read, or repeated after the celebrant.

So it might surprise you to learn that there is nothing in the Marriage Act that requires that your marriage ceremony has to be this way - a stand-up, structured, formal affair that doesn't deviate from a prepared and pre-approved script. As long as you meet the very minimal legal requirements, everything else is optional!

Your ceremony can be free-flowing and largely unstructured

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For those who would prefer a much more relaxed and informal ceremony, I offer an unstructured ceremony conducted round a table at home, a picnic table in a park, or in your favourite cafè, restaurant, pub, or bar, over coffee, high tea, a meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) or a glass of your favourite tipple, or just in a very relaxed manner sitting doing nothing in particular. NB I don't expect to join in the meal - my focus is on you!.

The Marriage Act also does not lay down any rules about the type of form of ceremony, so you can be confident that this type of wedding is legal. It will include the minimal words the two of you must say in order to create your marriage (I ask everyone here to witness that I, [your name], take you, [your best beloved's name], to be my lawful wedded wife/husband (or spouse, or partner-in-marriage) and the passage from the Marriage Act that I, as your celebrant, must recite. The rest is whatever you decide - anything from a free-flowing conversation, spontaneous promises and 'let's see how it goes on the day', to formal promises you write yourselves (with my help) combined with conversation, or, indeed, whatever you feel is the best way to express your love and commitment. And at the end of the day you'll be just as married as you would be after a traditional big white wedding, but with far less stress.
Jenny xxx Let's talk soon about how you can
                    have the best ceremony ever