Thank you for considering me to be the Celebrant (CIVIL MARRIAGE CELEBRANT – CMC) at your wedding. In that role, I am the legally authorized person who can solemnise your marriage, and that authority comes under the Marriage Act 1961 and Marriage Regulations 1963. As a celebrant I have to carry out all the legal and ‘paper work’ requirements, respect the importance of the marriage ceremony and not discriminate in anyway. I understand and respect the importance of marriage for both of you. I also have to observe the laws of the Commonwealth and the State or Territory where you marriage ceremony is to be solemnized.
SOLEMNISATION OF MARRIAGES IN AUSTRALIA
‘The Act sets out a uniform scheme for the solemnisation of marriages by authorised Celebrants. This scheme deals with the actual marriage ceremony itself as well as matters that arise prior to and after the marriage ceremony.’ The Marriage Act sets out the legal requirements of marriage, in Australia between a man and a woman which is exclusive and voluntary. All marriages in Australia must be carried out in accordance with the Act including the responsibilities and requirements of a Marriage celebrant.
I want to be able to help and guide you, and offer the information you need to enable you to have the special ceremony that you want, which meets your needs and expectations, that respects your privacy and confidentiality , that is legal, and without any’ hiccoughs’ on the happiest day of your lives and one that you will never forget!
The Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department provides information on the institution of marriage and the legal requirements involved. It is important to understand what steps to take in the lead up to getting married. Marriage is regulated by the Marriage Act 1961.
The Department also administers the Marriage Celebrants Program through the Marriage Law and Celebrants Section of the Access to Justice Division. Marriage Celebrants are also regulated by the Marriage Act 1961.
‘A marriage celebrant must prevent and avoid unlawful discrimination in the provision of Marriage celebrancy services.’
In keeping with the Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants, I aim to uphold this to the best of my ability.
Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants Regulation 37L Marriage Regulations 1963; Para 39 (1) (b) Marriage Act 1961
The Ceremony : Legal Requirements
Under Australian law the marriage ceremony has to include certain parts including certain formal words. These are the Monitum and the vows, and the signing and witnessing of the certificates.
I, as the CMC, and no other person in the ceremony, am obligated to say these certain words which are as follows:
MONITUM said before the Vows:
“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 now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”.
VOWS said by yourselves:
Section 45(2) sets out the minimum words which must be used by the parties for a non-religious ceremony to be a marriage ceremony. Each party must say to the other,in the presence of the celebrant and the witnesses the words:
“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)”
The ceremony is worked around these minimum requirements according to your wishes and my suggestions.