Step One - The Legals

Below is a list of the elements required in a wedding ceremony to make it legally binding.

Click on each element to learn more.






At some point during the ceremony, the celebrant must:


1. Introduce themselves and state that they are the authorised celebrant for this union.

2. State that this is a marriage ceremony between both parties.

3.  State both parties names in full.


The easiest and simplest way of doing this is for me to incorporate it into your introduction, except for #3 which we incorporate into your vows.  The rest of the introduction will be developed by me with the assistance of your questionnaires.

I will email these questionnaires to you directly.  




The Monitum

The Monitum is a legal set of wording from the Marriage Act that is recited to inform the bridal couple of the legal expectations of marriage according to the law in Australia. This part of the ceremony can’t be changed or removed and I must recite the passage in order to make the marriage legally binding.

This is the exact wording:

"I must inform you both that I, Johanna Ferris, am duly authorized by law to solemnize marriages according to law. Before you both 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 about to enter. Marriage, according to the law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life."

This wording cannot be altered or removed.  In needs to be says as-is, by your authorised celebrant, in order to make you wedding legally binding.



Exchanging of Vows

A legal requirement of the wedding ceremony is that your celebrant must hear an ‘exchanging of vows’. A little bit more about what this means:


Under section 45(2) of the Marriage Act 1961 each party must say to the other, in the presence of the marriage celebrant and the witnesses, the words:


“I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take thee, C.D. (or A.B.), to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband, or spouse)”



Can you personalise the legal exchanging of vows?


The short answer is, not very much.  What we can do, though, is add onto them with your own personal vows.  We will discuss the vows a lot more in Step Two, or you can click here.


What names can we use during the legal exchanging of vows?


At least once throughout the ceremony, both of your names must be stated in full (first, middle, and last).  The easiest way to do this is during the legally required minimum vows. 

Throughout the rest of the ceremony, you can use first names only, shortened names, or nicknames.  This is explained a bit better on the vows page.