I’ve talked about the elements that make up a conventional civil marriage ceremony (where convention is made to be manipulated) – but I want to tell you about some real variations on this design. I’ll get back to those…

Welcome to Country

To acknowledge traditional owners should not be a variation, in fact – it is surprising really that so few people in my experience have elected to start their ceremony with an Acknowledgment of Country. Often wedding ceremonies are held in stunning outdoor natural surroundings which beg acknowledgement of the earth beneath our feet, and its history.

So if you want to acknowledge the land, its owners and traditions, this is what is usually said. I promise it won’t sound like the opening of Parliament!

“ We acknowledge the … People, the traditional custodians of this land. We pay our respects to Aboriginal Elders past, present and future who hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and hopes of Indigenous Australia.”

Or you can just shorten this to a single sentence depending on your circumstances.