Lindy Cooke Celebrant wedding flowers, exchanging rings, ceremonies

Vows ~ should we stick with tradition or write our own?

Let’s have a look at what’s involved …

Legal Wording

Certain words must be stated during your ceremony for your marriage to be considered legal. As your celebrant:

 I can refer to you by a shortened name or nickname during your ceremony but your full name must be stated at least once.

 I must state what is known as “The Monitum” which reads as follows:  “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.”

 The following or similar words must be used when you say your vows:  “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I (Bride/Groom) take thee (Groom/Bride) to be my lawful wedded (husband/wife).”

According to the Marriage Act 1961:

 “call upon” may be changed to “ask”;

 “persons here present” may be changed to “people here present” or “everyone here” or “everybody here”;

 “thee” may be changed to “you”;

 “husband” or “wife” may be changed to “spouse”; and

 the couple may leave out “lawful” or “wedded”, but not both.

If you were married in the Anglican Church, for instance, the vows you would likely make to each other (from the Australian Prayer Book) are as follows:

(Groom), in the presence of God, take you (Bride) to be my wife; to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live. This is my solemn vow and promise.

(Bride), in the presence of God, take you (Groom) to be my husband; to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live. This is my solemn vow and promise.

You are welcome to use these vows in your ceremony if you wish or you may choose to replace the word “God” with “these witnesses”.

Sample Vows

If you’d like your vows to be more personal, I also have a selection of sample vows that form part of my resource folder. You are welcome to use one or more of these, a combination of these, or you may choose to use these to provide inspiration before writing your own. You and your partner can choose to say the same vows to each other or they can be quite different.

Writing Your Own Vows

If you plan to write your own vows, I will ask you if you would like to send them to me separately so that they are kept secret from your partner until your wedding day. If this is the case, I will leave them out of the draft copy of your ceremony which I send to you for final approval. In this way, they are like a gift to each other on your wedding day. Should you choose to do this and you’re not sure if everything flows smoothly, it’s a good idea to ask a close family member or friend to review your vows or I am more than happy to review them for you. If you’d like to write your own vows but feel it’s too stressful or too hard, I’d suggest you look for a quiet place to sit where you can be on your own and then think about the person you love and your future lives together. The promises you’d like to make to them should then come from your heart and what you write down will be perfect.

 

Whatever you choose to do is absolutely the right decision for you. I will listen to you and respect your wishes so that your ceremony reflects you and your partner on your special day.

004 – 01/05/2014

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