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Updated: Apr 23

A legals-only, or 'non-wedding' ceremony, requires specific legal wording to be spoken by an Authorised Marriage Celebrant and the couple, in front ot two witnesses who are 18 years of age or older. It is the type of ceremony that is usually conducted at the Registry Office or Court House.

Why do couples opt for a legals-only ceremony with a celebrant?

  • The expense and the stress of planning a big white wedding just isn't for them.

  • A need to get married for legal reasons and just want the paperwork lodged with Births Deaths & Marriages by a celebrant.

  • To have their marriage registered in Australia, and not an overseas country when they are having a destination wedding celebration.

  • Not locked into getting married on a weekday between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm and with a Registry Officeofficiant who they only get to meet on the day.

  • Want to slip away quietly and elope.

What wording must the celebrant and couple say in a legals-only marriage ceremony?

There's only about 140 words that need to be spoken, and they are:

My name is Anne Miller, and I am a celebrant duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages in Australia. 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.

Person 1, please repeat after me.

I ask everyone here to witness that I, (Person 1 full name), take you (Person 2 full name), to be my lawful wedded wife/husband/spouse.

Person 2, please repeat after me.

I ask everyone here to witness that I, (Person 2 full name), take you (Person 1 full name), to be my lawful wedded wife/husband/spouse.

That's it! CONGRATULATIONS! You’re married! You have legally, and lovingly, joined yourselves in marriage. The last thing to do before you head off to celebrate, is to sign the Official Marriage Certificate and Commemorative Marriage Certificate (the pretty one that you keep on the day) along with your two witnesses and celebrant.

This type of ceremony may sound like a 'quick no fuss no frills' option, but after marrying many couples this way, I can honestly say that it actually makes the marriage ceremony so much more meaningful to couples. The day becomes a celebration of their friendship and the love that they hold for each other. No distractions, just all about them!

Photos: Alex Serem Photography

Location: My Mount Lawley home

Happy couple: Viola & Jamie

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