In New Zealand, the things you need to do to legally marry are pretty simple…
1. You need a Marriage licence. You do this through Births, Deaths and Marriages. http://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Births-Deaths-and-Marriages-How-to-Get-a-Marriage-Licence?OpenDocument
And it costs $122.60
2. You need to be married by a Registered Marriage Celebrant – thats me folks!
3. During the ceremony, at some point you need to say “I AB take you CD” to be my husband/wife – or words to that effect.
4. You need two witnesses (and they can be anyone!)
5. The two of you, your two witnesses and I must all sign the marriage licence
And that’s it!
The rest of the wedding is completely about you. But don’t panic! That’s the bit I can help with, and together we can create a personal, vibrant and meaningful ceremony that you will remember forever.
When it comes to your vows, there are lots of lovely words already out there, but nothing beats words that come straight from your own heart. Writing your own vows may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. They can be as long or as short, humorous or serious, whatever you want and however you feel.
Some of the questions that can help you get started are…
What do you love about your partner and why? In what ways have they enhanced your life?
When did you know that this was the person you knew you wanted to spend the rest of your life with?
What does marriage mean to you?
What are you dreams and aspirations as a couple?
What is your favourite memory of your partner?
What do you promise to your partner? (Loyalty, support, respect etc, or even to be the one to walk the dog and put the rubbish out!)
It’s really lovely if you can keep your vows a secret, so your partner hears your vows for the first time on your wedding day!
There is no right or wrong way of writing your vows, all you really have to do is keep it real!
I love poetry! But not everyone does, and that’s OK.
Poetry in a ceremony doesn’t have to be high-brow, over-romantic or hard to understand. There are such wonderful poems and readings that can add warmth and humour to your wedding. It’s also a lovely way to involve someone special in your ceremony by asking them to read for you.
Here is one of my favourites…
“All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,”
by Robert Fulgham
All of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do, and how to be, I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom is not always found at the high end of a university education, but there in the sandpit at kindy.
These are the things I learned…
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Give them to someone who feels sad.
Live a balanced life.
Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day.
Take a nap every afternoon.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the plastic cup? The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.