Wedding Celebrant Glossary

wedding couple

Church wedding: a wedding ceremony which is performed in a place of worship, by a religious minister.

Civil celebrant: a civil celebrant is a person, outside of the church, who is legally able to marry couples and facilitate wedding ceremonies. A civil celebrant can perform wedding ceremonies in almost any location.

Intent to Marry: a form which must be submitted to the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages, at least 30 days prior to the wedding.

Interfaith Ceremony: a wedding between a couple from different faith backgrounds, which may be difficult to facilitate in a church. A civil celebrant can flexibly work with the couple to incorporate aspects of both faiths into the ceremony.

Legal Wordings: the words which must be spoken by the celebrant, prior to the vows being spoken, to make the marriage legal. There are certain words which must also be spoken by the bride and groom as they exchange vows, to make the marriage legally binding.

Minister: a religious leader who is able to legally marry couples and facilitate wedding ceremonies. Ministers usually include religious wordings during the ceremony and may only perform ceremonies inside their church or place of worship.

Readings: vows which are customised to suit the personality and style of the bride and groom.

Rites: the formal vows, wordings and prayers usually set aside for Catholic wedding ceremonies.

Rituals: the formal parts of the ceremony which include the legal wordings.

Rehearsal: a practice run of the ceremony, usually done the night before the wedding. This is the time to iron out any wrinkles in the service and answer any questions that the wedding party might have. Rehearsals are also a good time to pay the remaining amount of the celebrant’s fee.

Ring exchange: the point in the ceremony, after the vows, where the bride and groom give each other their wedding rings.

Signing registry: the final paperwork which legally states that the bride and groom are married. This paperwork needs to be signed at the ceremony by the bride, groom, celebrant and two witnesses.

Vows: the speech which the bride and groom say to each other, stating their commitment to one another.

Witnesses: two adults who sign the wedding registry, confirming that they witnessed the couple get married in a legal wedding ceremony.