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TRADITION – Is it just really peer pressure from dead people?

Post by The Marrying Kind member, Jacki from Married by Jacki

Did you know that for you to be legally married; only two things must happen during your ceremony?

1. Your celebrant has to say the Monitum (this is a legal paragraph that all celebrants have to say) and

2. The couple has to state their full name and that they lawfully take the other as their husband/wife/partner.

Yep. That's it!

You may have heard of a “legals only” ceremony and this is exactly that. Just the legal wording in an incredibly short ceremony (often under 5 minutes) and you are legit married.

For those who want the bells and whistles, the rest is totally up to you (with some guidance from your celebrant) as to what you want to include.

I once had a couple who went and saw Billy Joel in New York and it was such a significant moment for them and their relationship, they wanted to include a little sing-a-long with their friends and family during their ceremony. Abso-bloody-lutely you can do this! They all sang 'Piano Man' and it was so much fun and so uniquely personal.

I know my sisters at the The Marrying Kind all agree that they aren’t big on doing things just for the sake of tradition. We all realise that some things just don’t necessarily ring true in this more modern age. So, when I suggested writing a blog post that shed some light on traditions, they all gave a virtual thumbs up and told me to "go for it!" So, here we are!


Did you know that you don’t have to have an equal number of attendants in your wedding party? Nope. Just because your partner has four or five attendants, does not mean you have to have the same. The only advice that I can give you, is choose the people you want standing by you on your day to give you support, a tissue should you need one (and you will) and a firm but loving talking to if you start to lose your sh*t. Don't have someone just because you need to even up the numbers. It's not necessary.

Blimey, you actually don’t need to have any attendants. Now, there’s a thought! Have Aunt Rhonda hold the rings or your beloved pooch (dogs at ceremonies are literally The Marrying Kind's favourite thing). It can be just you and your partner at the helm. How beautifully romantic!


Traditionally, a Father “gave away” his daughter to her awaiting groom. “Who gives this woman to this man?” VOMIT! I’m not entirely a feminist, but this archaic statement really grates my gears! I don’t include it in my ceremonies as a standard. I might ask for a blessing if that’s what the bride(s) or groom(s) request.

However, I find that when a Father or Mother or Brother/Sister/Cousin/Best Mate walk you down the aisle and are nervous and/or emotional, they’ll actually be thankful not to have to talk in front of all your guests at that very moment. They can focus on being your support person to walk with you down the aisle. TBH, all girls need a little help walking when they are in heels. Am I right?!

When you both get to me and your eagerly awaiting partner, they can give you a kiss/shake of the hand and take a seat, hopefully feeling relaxed that they got you there in one piece and able to enjoy the start of the ceremony.

Image below by: Steve Doyle Photography

You can have whoever you wish to walk you down the aisle.


It has been a long standing tradition that you don’t see each other from the night before your wedding until you see each other at the ceremony. Why? Not sure really but I suspect it stems from the Elizabethan era where most weird wedding traditions stem from.

Some couples like the build up. I totally get that. It gives an element of anticipation and surprise. But for some couples, it’s all a bit much. You won’t be riddled with bad luck, branded with the plague or be destined for divorce if you choose to see each other before the wedding. In fact, some couples choose to have what is known as a “First Look”. This is when you and your partner (and your photographer who are there to capture this moment) meet in private prior to the ceremony where you see each other for the first time.

This moment can be so beautiful for the two of you and it takes the edge off feeling so incredibly nervous. Your wedding day is going to be pretty full on and having this special, intimate moment, just the two of you, may be the only time you are going to get until you get to bed.


Ever been to a wedding where the usher would ask "Groom or Bride?" and then you’d have to sit to the left or the right? What if your mutual friends don’t want to choose who they like best? Then they stand awkwardly at the back and no one takes a seat. Photographers hate this and they, and you, will dislike looking out at empty seats with your guests all clustered at the back. Not to mention, what if one person has a colossal family, and the other doesn’t - it makes for a very lopsided venue!

Please – no more choosing sides. Just take a seat leaving the front row free for the immediate families of the couples. It’s pretty simple.


This is not ceremony related but I thought I would chime in anyway. The tossing of the bridal bouquet or the garter to your single friends and making them fight for it, is so weird! When you think about it, it’s like you’re saying “Hey single friends – I’m married, you’re not. Maybe one day you’ll be as lucky as me! Here, catch this!” Quite frankly, this is a bit mean and this tradition should be turfed.

Ok, so there’s a little food for thought.

Just remember that there are only two things that have to happen during your ceremony to ensure you a legally hitched (however, don’t forget there’s some actions which need to happen prior to your ceremony, such as lodging your Notice of Intended Marriage). The rest of your ceremony is totally up to you guys and there are only a couple of rules that celebrants have to follow, but Myself, Roxy, Lisa, Rach, Jac and Liz will be able to guide you through the whole process. If you want something included or excluded, just ask us!

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