Written by Paula Jones Last updated: March 5, 2009
A civil ceremony still contains certain statutory words and vows, which must be said to make your marriage legal, but they are fairly brief and you can add your own vows, non‐religious readings and music to personalise the service. As long as you include the legal wording from the Marriage Act, the format of the ceremony and the wording of the service is pretty much up to you.
The registrar conducting your service, (called a ‘celebrant), can help you plan and write your vows and offer guidance on including poems, music or readings. For further inspiration, take a look at our guide to civil ceremony readings and wedding vows.
The bride and groom declare there is no lawful impediment to their marriage and sign the register before two witnesses.