You set the scene with your introduction and establish a tone for your ceremony. Usually the introduction is conducted by me as celebrant but do remember anybody can introduce the proceedings and you may prefer to have someone who knows you well – or even do it yourselves. Then you can introduce me later for the official part.
Most couples choose a reading to follow the introduction – in my materials I have collated readings and cross-referenced them to parts of the ceremony which they reflect. So this first reading would be about what love/marriage/commitment/ your relationship means to you. It can be something you choose from what I give you that resonates with you and follows on from the sentiments expressed in your introduction.
As with the introduction, readings don’t have to be delivered by me. If you want to involve friends and family the readings are an opportunity to honour them as they support you – so ask around; it is a touching mutual gift.
After the introduction comes a crucial part of the ceremony – the recitation from the Marriage Act, stating the contract that you are about to enter into together. This is one of the mandatory parts of the civil marriage ceremony and must be delivered by me. If I haven’t been part of the ceremony yet this is where you would introduce me.
These are the words I am obliged to say before we continue. No omissions, no additions – this is what I must say by law:
“My name is Susan Artup, a Civil Celebrant 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 about to enter.
Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”