What can you say other than life partner and husband and wife?

wondering if there are any other ways to describe each other in our ceremony other than life partner, or husband and wife?

Question Asked: 5/10/2023

Wedding Date: 9/08/2018

Most Helpful Response

Josh Withers

(42) · Australia's best freestyle celebrant, travelling from Southeast Qld worldwide

Posted: 7/11/2023

In Australia, marriage celebrants have a degree of flexibility in the language and terminology used throughout the marriage ceremony, as long as the legal requirements are met. When reciting the Monitum (the legal wording required under Section 46 of the Marriage Act 1961), and the vows (as per Section 45(2) of the Marriage Act 1961), it is essential to include the specific legal wording required. Outside of these legal components, the celebrant and the couple can be as creative as they wish in terms of the language used to reflect their relationship.

When referring to the couple, there are many alternatives to "life partner," "husband," and "wife." Some of the terms include:

  • Spouse
  • Partner
  • Significant other
  • Beloved
  • Better half
  • Companion
  • Consort
  • Soul mate
  • Other half
  • Life companion
  • Sweetheart

The selection of terminology can be based on the couple's preference, the nature of their relationship, and the type of ceremony they are looking to create. It is important to speak with the couple beforehand to understand the language that resonates with them and accurately reflects their union and shared values.

Always ensure that any terms used respect the inclusive and non-discriminatory spirit of the Marriage Act, which allows marriage between any two people, not just a man and a woman, following the amendments made in 2017 legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia.

Remember, the most important thing is that the language used in the ceremony is meaningful to the couple being married and that it meets the legally mandated requirements.

Answered by: 11 Experts

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Treasured Ceremonies

(17) · Byron Bay and North Coast NSW

Posted: 29/10/2023

You can say anithing you like such as 

Ally, associate, colleague, companion. Friend, participant, accomplice, assistant, buddy. Chum, cohort, collaborator, Comrade, confederate, consort, crony, date, helper, helpmate
mate, pal. playmate

As others have mentioned the celebrant must use the words perscribed in the Marriage Act but for the rest of it, it is up to you,

Megs The Marriage Celebrant

(2) · Sunshine Coast / Noosa

Posted: 26/10/2023

This is a such a personal reflection of how you see each other and so important that the language you use really feels right! If you have nicknames for each other - then use them - it's your ceremony after all! One ceremony I was part of, the couple fondly referred to each other as 'pal', so when the time came to officially announce them as married, they chose to be referred to 'pals for life'.

Hooked On Love

(5) · Sydney based ,but servicing New South Wales and beyond ...

Posted: 24/10/2023

Apart from your Mandatory Vows , you may use whatever names or terminology you are comfortable with- nicknames,etc. during your story. An idea for your introduction after signing documents is," Would now like to introduce you to our newly wedded couple Mr & Mrs....... , Simply their names , Mr & Mr .....,  Mrs & Mrs.....

      I wish you both every happiness

      Lynne Napflin

      Hooked on Love 

Fiona Winwood Marriage Celebrant

(39) · Adelaide metro, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Kuitpo, Barossa Valley

Posted: 24/10/2023

Some of the terms I've used are your forever partner in crime or Legal best friend. 

Debbie Moroney Celebrant

(2) · Wollongong / South Coast

Posted: 24/10/2023

Hello thank you for your question,  basically yes theses are the only words, although you can also just use partner. 

At other times in the ceremony you can use your names.

Kind Regards,


Celebrating With Connie

(30) · Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula and Surrounding regions.

Posted: 24/10/2023

You can use whatever words or descriptions when referring to your special other in the entire wedding ceremony 

excepting in the one sentence of the legal vows you both 

need to state partner, husband or wife, including the option of having both persons as a 

husband or wife. 



PH Celebrants

(5) · Melbourne and Statewide Victoria

Posted: 24/10/2023

Mr & Mrs ...or Mrs and Mrs .... or Mr and Mr ... or simply their names. It really depends on how the couple would like to be introduced. 

Cameron Houston - Celebrant

(1) · Melbourne , Yarra Valley, Dandenong Ranges, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Surrounds

Posted: 24/10/2023

For your legal vows, which are required by the Attorney General's department, you'll have to choose between "husband/wife" or "spouse". For the remainder of your ceremony you are free to call yourselves anything you like, although it's worth landing on something that clearly distinguishes you as a married couple and not just a couple. If you don't want to use Husband and Wife, you could use Life Partner, as you say, or "partner in life" or "partner in marriage " or even the technically correct but somewhat unromantic "spouse". The alternative is not to label yourself at all. Your personal vows might say something like "I take you forever" rather than "I take you as my husband/wife" and it's only a tradition, not a requirement to be pronounced as "husband and wife" (or anything) at the end of the ceremony.

Black Tie Celebrants - Alan Murrell

(2) · Statewide NSW

Posted: 24/10/2023

Throughout your ceremony you can use whatever terminology to describe your partner and your self - it can be as unique as you.

the only exception to this is when you are reading your legal vows at this time you can only use husband, wife or spouse.

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