“Marriage is the most sacred of all things. It is certainly not in the first place a contract, or business: when we look at Marriage from a higher view, it appears that marriage is the fulfillment of life”  Hazrat Inayat Khan.

The easy part of any creative work is feeling inspired and the hard part is putting our inspiration into practice, embodying it in earthly form. It is your marriage ceremony, so what do you envision it being like? Time to dream, and become inspired, gather your ideas and your truth.

Getting married means different things to different people. The Marriage ceremony is so important as it sets the scene for the celebrations afterwards and will be remembered for a very long time. So we have to nail it ! Whether it is for 15 minutes or 60 minutes, the content will not be boring because it is about the both of you. Your people will love it, they love you.

Living in Australia we are participants in this broad multi- cultural environment . I’m fortunate enough to have married couples from all over the globe who have helped me develop into a well rounded celebrant by educating me on their own cultural practices.

Each new couple is a new book to read. There are many chapters and there is always a theme behind the story. Yes it is about love, though sometimes there is so much more to the story, right? How you arrived at this marriage is what I’m interested in and how do you want to celebrate this commitment to the path of marriage in front of a possible 10 or 200 people!

Once we have discussed your vision and signed and witnessed the first document, The Notice Of Intended Marriage (click here to download) and discussed several legal components of the marriage we can then move on to the creative elements of the ceremony.Whilst discussing the ceremony I can devise many different ‘tones’ for the ceremony by listening to what your language , your values and your tastes are.At the beginning it’s hard to imagine how the ceremony comes together, but it does, through discussion and our imaginations… oh and emails!

After meeting with you and taking many notes and having a feel for your ceremony I will write a draft within a week and send it to you to see if we are on the right track. The language I use should reflect yours.If I have listened well enough I would have been able to capture the essence of your vision then it’s up to you both to edit, change or delete anything you don’t like. I prefer to have the couples totally involved in the writing process as the authenticity of the ceremony has more power with your voices coming through the text.

There is homework! There are vows to write and questions to answerbut do not worry as all of this happens in a natural progression and deepens your understanding of why you are getting married. Most couples have said doing the homework helped them define the true meaning of what they were about to do and gave them an opportunity to “speak from the heart unedited”.

“Our celebrant Caroline (who had come recommended), had met with us on numerous occasions and so understood our personalities and our attitude towards each other, the day and our guests. She really helped in setting the tone. We began piecing together our vows and the ceremony as a whole based on what we love and value about one another and everything flowed from there. We had one reading by my good friend Aimee, a passage from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, which referenced finding the one that you truly love and resolving to marry. It was short and sweet but summed up the way we felt about what we were there to do.  – Megan & Craig (Abbotsford Convent)

Read more at:

Daily Life Write Up –  Just Eloped

Marriage Ceremony Legal Components

Vows and Monitum Of The Marriage Act 1961

The vows are possibly the most important part of the wedding ritual. They are a public and private affirmation of the couple’s intent.

Spoken vows involve the couple facing each other and making those vows to each other directly without the aid of the celebrant. Repeated vows are when the celebrant reads the vows while the couple repeats them back.

Spoken vows are more personal as you both look into each other’s eyes and speak directly and intimately. Vows can be created by the couple themselves or with my resource material.

Monitum Of The Marriage Act 1961

The wording of The Monitum may only be slightly changed .

Creative Elements

As contemporary society is not necessarily bound to a religion, we can therefore  express our unique spirituality more freely using different creative elements in ceremonial practice. Symbols and Rites used in today’s ceremonies are recognition of the participants’ true philosophies and personal values.

To have a ritual or not have a ritual in the ceremony? If it feels right and a part of your vision and will support the meaning of the marriage ceremony, then by all means let us explore what rituals you relate to. Every moment in a ceremony is an act of ritual so it is not always necessary to add another. It is your choice.

Here are just a few of the rituals I like:

  • Silent Walking from Welcoming Tree to Ceremony Space.
  • Greek Stefana Crowns.
  • Jewish Breaking Glass and Chutzpah Symbolism.
  • Drawing a circle of stone and clearing the space white sage or eucalyptus.
  • Ring Warming and Hand Fasting Traditions.
  • Lighting of fire in an urn kept burning during the ceremony.
  • Love letter and Wine Box.
  • Planting a tree in remembrance of a family member.
  • Zen / Balinese wrist blessings.


A Creative and Complete Marriage Ceremony

I spend up to 20 hours on each ceremony that is including travelling to visit you, 3 meetings before the actual day, completing all legal documents, writing the ceremony, rehearsal at venue or home, performing the ceremony, the P.A, signing table and 2 chairs, table and linen cloth.All legal documents processed accordingly and on time.

My fee is $800.00 which includes a copy of the ceremony presented to you afterwards.

I ask for a $350.00 deposit to book that date for your wedding, which is non refundable. The balance of fee is payable at the rehearsal.

A Legals Only Ceremony

One meeting to do the Notice Of Intended Marriage with Birth Certificates/Passports and Identity Card.Another meeting to Perform Legal Requirements of Marriage with 2 witnesses present. Includes all legal documents processed accordingly and on time.

My fee is the same as the Registry with added travel expenses. $550.00 Deposit of $250.00 Balance before Legal Marriage Ceremony $300.00.

My Service as a Celebrant is to provide the following:

  • To support the vision you have and be open minded.
  • To be myself.
  • To be flexible with my time and energy to make this process easier.
  • To adhere to The Code Of Practice for Celebrants as set about by the Attorney Generals Department.
  • To create a sense of occasion and be in the moment with you both and your guests.
Caroline Higgins
Civil Celebrant
Office. Northcote, Victoria.