Creating your wedding ceremony
A meaningful ceremony will capture the nature of your relationship. That means that what goes into the ceremony is up to you.
Your celebrant will work with you to make sure that you are comfortable with the shape and content of the ceremony. Below are five components that usually form the core of any marriage ceremony.
Couples can personalise their wedding with music, inviting people to speak or share readings, and incorporating rituals/traditions into the ceremony. If you are looking for inspiration for readings or traditions, click here.
It is the couple’s choice whether they would like to be present at the start of the ceremony, or if they would like to enter as part of it eg. being brought in by family or attendants, bride walking down the aisle, entering together.
However the ceremony starts, when everyone is present the celebrant will welcome everyone to the wedding. The welcome sets the atmosphere for the ceremony and any celebrations that are to follow.
In this section, the celebrant will often share with everyone the couple’s love story and what their wedding day and commitment means to them.
If there are specific things you would like mentioned, or people you would like acknowledged, talk to your celebrant about including them here.
2) Exchange of Vows
Vows are the most powerful part of a wedding ceremony. Not only is there a legal requirement in New Zealand to formally take your partner to be your husband/wife, it is also your opportunity to put in your own words the promises and commitments that you are making.
Your celebrant can work with you to help you write vows that are meaningful to you and reflect your unique relationship.
3) Exchange of Rings
Although this is not a legal requirement, many couples choose to exchange rings as a symbol of their love. This can be done as part of the saying of vows, or as a separate part of the ceremony.
4) Signing of the marriage licence
This is a legal requirement of any marriage ceremony in New Zealand. You will need two witnesses to sign that they have witnessed you saying your vows.
5) Pronouncement of husband and wife
This is the first time you and your partner will be recognised as husband and wife (or wife-wife/husband-husband). It’s your official introduction to your family and friends as legally married people. People often like to seal it with a kiss <3