Getting Married Guide

Guide to getting married
By Marriage Celebrant Meriki Comito

Getting married and have no idea where to start with the ceremony planning process?

My getting married guide will help you through most of your questions and offer some ideas to get you started.

The hardest thing you’ll have to do is make choices – but if you do your research and allow yourself plenty of time, it will be lots of fun and unbelievably rewarding!

Lets get started!


As your Celebrant

As your Celebrant, I will provide a warm, relaxed and professional service while at the same time incorporating your beliefs and lifestyle choices into a ceremony that is perfectly suited to you and your expectations.

My priority is to ensure that you are completely comfortable with the whole process.
With unlimited options regarding ceremony elements, formatting and wording selections; confidence that your ceremony will be a true reflection of your love; and peace of mind that all legal requirements are taken care of, your wedding ceremony will set the tone for the biggest celebration of your lives!


Planning Your Ceremony

To help you to plan your ideal wedding, I have listed below, the main elements currently included in a standard civil ceremony.
These, however, need only be used as a guide, and, apart from certain legal requirements, can be changed to suit your needs.


The point of entrance for the wedding party.
*See my Blog post “Ceremony Entrances – Know your options”


I will welcome your guests and touch on the meaning of marriage.
A traditional Welcome to Country can also be incorporated at this time, if desired.


I generally like to speak about the couple’s relationship, the journey they have shared together so far and what their goals and dreams are for the future.

Giving Away/ Parental Acknowledgement

This is the part where a parent, or parents are traditionally asked to give their child away to be married. However this part has evolved into a public acknowledgement of a couples parents, and an expression of thanks for their family’s love and support over the years. Many couples also like to ask their parents for their blessing, rather than their permission, and a vow of support for the future.


Couples may like to include a reading that will add meaning to their ceremony. This could be a passage from the bible, a favourite poem or piece of scripture, a Dr Seuss or AA Milne story, a movie quote or even lyrics from a favourite song!
*See my Readings Guide HERE.


This is the legal wording required by every registered marriage celebrant in Australia, before a marriage can be solemnised.

Declaration of intent to marry

This is the marrying couple’s legal requirement, where they formally, and publicly, declare their intent to marry one another  in the presence of witnesses.
“I Do’s”, though not compulsory, are also often included at this time. Some couples are even throwing in a few “I Don’t’s” just for fun!


The promises made between the couple.
*See my Vows Guide HERE

Exchange of wedding rings or gifts

An exchange of rings is not compulsory to solemnize a marriage, you may choose to exchange gifts instead, or omit this element altogether.

Declaration of Marriage

I declare the couple married, in whichever way they choose, and invite the them to share a kiss to celebrate.

Signing of the Register

The couple, together with their two official witnesses and myself, all sign the marriage register.

Presentation of the Bride & Groom

The couple are introduced to guests as a married couple for the first time.


Where the newlyweds exit the ceremony, usually to music.


Legal Requirements

It is my responsibility as your marriage celebrant to ensure all your legal obligations are completed, within the required timeframe and submitted to the relevant authorities, but I have compiled a list of obligations for your interest, so you can easily understand what is required to make your marriage a legal one!
But don;t worry, I’ll make this process  really easy for you!

Click here for all the Legal Requirements →


Relationship Education Services

Marriage guidance and relationship education is extremely valuable in strengthening and enhancing an existing relationship.
You are both in love and want to ensure that your commitment is life long.
Pre-marriage workshops are designed to simply build on and enhance your relationship skills.

If you are interested in attending one of these sessions, I have enclosed a brochures for your perusal, or if you prefer to contact a service in your area, the following website links may be able to assist.

Click here for available Relationship Education Services →


Wedding Traditions & Customs

Where wedding ceremonies are concerned, there are so many different traditions and customs from all over the world. No matter what your nationality, race or life choice, in almost all cultures, there is a tradition, custom, or symbol that you, as an individual can relate to.

Click the following link to view some of the great options available, or if you simply wish to understand the origins of some of the most traditional wedding customs.

Wedding Traditions + Customs →


Wedding Ceremony Checklist

One thing I always like to advise couples on, is to keep a checklist of all the important things they may need/want to remember on their wedding day.

Please feel free to use the list I have created below, and add your own personal items as required!

One Week to five days Prior to Wedding Day

1. Wedding Rehearsal OR Final Meeting with Celebrant.

2. Complete and Sign a Statutory Declaration with Celebrant.
This can also be completed on the day of the wedding prior to the ceremony commencement.

3. Create/ organise copies of any readings as required.
Celebrant can also provide these for you if requested.

4. Decide who will collect the Wedding Certificate at the conclusion of the Ceremony.
This could be a trusted family member of friend, or your venues’ wedding coordinator.

5. Confirm location, date, time with all suppliers

6. Organise and collate any supplies required for Unity Ceremonies/ Symbolic rituals, Cultural inclusions

7. Contact Bureau of Meteorology to check for weather conditions on day of wedding and advise guests of any Plan B ceremony locations, or requirements.

*See my Blog post “Rain on your wedding day – Do you have a Plan B?”


Wedding Day

1. Present Rings/ Gifts to be exchanged to Ring/Gift Bearers

2. Pack Spare Copies of any Readings, or ask Celebrant to provide them

3. Pack emergency kit (bandaids, lip balm, safety pins, tissues, sunscreen, insect repellant, hair pins etc)

4. Pack device you are using for any recorded ceremony music.
Ensure files are saved OFF LINE (No youtube links!) so you can play music whilst device is in do not disturb mode.

5. Contact VicRoads to check for traffic conditions/ delays and update guests on travel times/parking availability if required.

6. Pack any supplies for Unity Ceremonies/ Symbolic rituals, Cultural inclusions.
Alternatively, these items can be left with your venue manager in the days prior.

7. Check the Bureau of Meteorology for any changes in weather and advise all suppliers if a change to the ceremony location is required.

8. Enjoy every second of the getting ready process!
And remember that if you’re planning on enjoying a glass of bubbly or two, both you and your two official witnesses will be signing a legal document and MUST be under .05 at the time of doing so!


Wedding Vendor Checklist Suggestions

1. Ceremony Location (and Plan B location in the event of inclement weather)

2. Reception Venue

3. Celebrant

4. Photographer

5. Videographer

6. Bridal Gown(s)

7. Ceremony/Reception Styling

8. Flowers

9. Catering

10. Wedding Cake

11. Invitations/ Save the Dates/ Thank you cards

12. Grooms Attire

13. Bridesmaids Attire

14. Groomsmen Attire

14. Flowergirl/ Page Boy/ Ring Bearer Attire

15. Hair & Makeup

16. Reception + Ceremony Music

17. Master of Ceremonies (MC)

18. Cars/ Transport

19. Jewellery/ Shoes/ Bags

20. Bonbonniere/ Favours/ Gifts for guests

21. Photo Booth

22. Wedding Night Accommodation

23. Honeymoon

Recommended Wedding Supplier Directory →

Top 10 Questions I get asked as a Celebrant →