The Perfect Words


Fiona Roberts has been a Civil Marriage Celebrant on the Sunshine Coast since 2009, and in that time has officiated a whopping 80 Sunshine Coast weddings. Now she is so popular, she is being booked at a rate of 100 weddings per year, and up to two years in advance. She certainly knows her stuff. One thing she often finds when first meeting an engaged couple is they don't really have a firm idea of the proceedings of a ceremony. 

Well lucky for us, Fiona was kind enough to share a rundown of the usual course of events to give you a good idea of what to expect. However, she does also suggest to keep an open mind and think outside the box when planning your ceremony. The beauty of having a civil ceremony is that there is no right or wrong, it's all about YOU. There are of course some legalities that must be included, but she encourages discussing with your celebrant the ways you can tweak your ceremony to suit your personalities and identity as a couple. 
Here is Fiona's ceremony proceedings explained: 
This sets the tone for the rest of the ceremony. It might be a greeting on behalf of the couple, and the reason for their choice of marriage at this time and at this place.
There are thousands of beautiful poems and verses that capture the essence of your relationship. You may choose a poem about love and marriage or an inspirational reading about life and friendship. Together, we’ll select one that makes your heart and face light up when you hear it.
This is simply a legal requirement of the ceremony that states powers of authority as a celebrant.
This is the traditional ‘Giving Away the Bride’. While in the past it was always a father, or a significant male relative, in contemporary wedding ceremonies a mother of the bride, or the bride's adult children
might also involve themselves in this part of the wedding ceremony, and is seen a vow of
support from those close to you.
Including children in the wedding ceremony lets them know that they are a very important part of the marriage.
This is a traditional part of the ceremony, where you can influence the tone of your ceremony by choosing from the many variations of language – traditional, modern or folksy. At this point, the Bride gives her witness or bridesmaid her flowers to hold.
Although you are encouraged to create wedding vows that are meaningful to you, legally they must include as a minimum, the following words: “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, Groom/Bride take you Bride/Groom, to be my lawful wedded wife/husband/spouse.”
The ring is a symbol of one’s undying love as it is circular and has no beginning and no end. It is popular for both partners to exchange them nowadays.
It is here that you may choose to include rituals such as a sand ceremony, or candle lighting ceremony, a handfasting or celtic ceremony, dove or butterfly releases to mention just a few.
Here is another opportunity to share something special with your guests.  
This is the moment you have been leading up to!
Make sure you practice your kiss beforehand, so you both know what kind of kiss you're expecting! 
This is an essential part of the ceremony, a legality that must be performed. Two witnesses are required for this part of the ceremony. 
The newly married couple! Now it's time to celebrate! 
As long as your ceremony reflects the two of you as a couple, and your vows are promises that you are happy to base your marriage on, you should not be bound by what others expect. Think outside the square, and talk to your Celebrant about how they will help you to personalise your ceremony so that you will look back on the words you chose in years to come and still feel that they were perfect for you!
What are you planning for your ceremony? Any special words, readings or musical acts? Show us some comment love and share below. 

Hi, I’m Sally, Founder and Editor of The Bride’s Tree. Over the past 13 years I’ve written thousands of articles about all things wedding from tips and trends to etiquette and ideas. On this blog I bring you the best of Sunshine Coast and Brisbane weddings.