Married by Andy

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Expert Advice

As a wedding professional, Married by Andy offers expert advice to help couples plan their perfect day. Ask a question or read their expert advice.

Should we have signs at our ceremony to leave the front row vacant for immediate family?

I was thinking maybe this is tacky, but then maybe it's necessary. (Or am I really just overthinking it?) Someone suggested that this is the role of the celebrant - to ensure that it's family in the first row. Is that generally true?

Married by Andy

Hi, you can do either. I've seen it many times that the front row had signs (make them small) so people won't sit there. It's pretty much common knowledge as well to leave the front row free for family so guests would normally not sit there either. Depending on how many chairs you have and family to sit in the front row you can decide as well. Speak to your celebrant if need be to manage this and let your family know as well where to sit. Hope it helps. Best, Andy

What does a marriage celebrant have to say?

What are the legal requirements?

Married by Andy

Hi bride to be :)

Congratulations on your decision to marry. 

For a legal marriage ceremony the celebrant must identify themselves as being an authorised marriage celebrant, their full legal name and why we are gathered here today.

This is normally part of the MONITUM, a legal requirement, explaining the following to the party being married, and at least two witnesses:

"My name is [Celebrants FULL NAME] and we are gathered today to witness the marriage of A & B. 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 two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life."

The following legal vows must be inclued as well establishing the full legal names of the parties to the marriage and the intent to get married.

Partner A must say to Partner B (and vice versa):

"I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [Full Legal Name], take you,  [Full Legal Name] to be my lawful wedded wife/husband/spouse." (or words to that effect)

To put this into context, find the Order of Ceremony below. This can be changed and personalised according to the couples wishes etc but must include the Monitum and Legal Vows/ full names. 

I walk couples throught the full process and we decide on the best order and may add poems, elements that make it even more YOUR ceremony.

  1. Pre-Welcome and organising guests
  2. Entry of bridal party/ brides or grooms
  3. Giving away
  4. Welcome by celebrant
  5. Introduction/ couples story
  6. Readings/ poems (if applicable) 
  7. Monitum/ Legal
  8. Declaration of intention to marry (legal vows including full names)
  9. Personal vows 
  10. Ring Exchange
  11. Signing of the register
  12. Announcement of marriage 
  13. Wedding kiss
  14. Couple walk back down the aisle

All live happily ever after  :-)

*Apart from the Monitum and Legal Vows everything else is optional.

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