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Stuart Kemp CMC
Phone: +61 414 859 640

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Singer Celebrant Celebrations to Remember
Trading as Stuart Kemp, Civil Marriage Celebrant

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Marriage Ceremonies or Wedding Ceremonies, can basically be as long as you want, or indeed, as short as you want (within reason)!

I say “within reason” because there are several legal parts to any marriage ceremony, to be compliant with the Marriage Act:

  • Firstly, the celebrant needs to let everyone there know that he/she has been authorized by law to marry the two of you.
  • The Monitum is a statement, reminding the couple of the obligations into which they are about to enter.
  • The legal vows must be said – your personal vows can be added to this, too, or you can have them as a separate part of your ceremony.
  • Also, your full names must be said, somewhere in the ceremony. Where you put them is up to you and your celebrant, but I usually suggest to do it at the legal vows – it just seems a logical place to me!


All the above takes only about 3 minutes, then another couple to sign the Marriage Register – all up, you could be done and dusted in about 5 minutes.  Pretty short, eh!  This sort of ceremony, with possibly a reading/poem of some kind, would be suitable for those wanting to Elope, or if someone is ill in hospital and can’t cope with long visits – or just a couple wanting to get on with their life, without any pomp and circumstance!


However, for the rest us…most ceremonies are around the 25-40 minute mark.  This allows for a couple of readings, possibly putting in a sand or ring ceremony (different types of ceremonies I’ll cover in another post soon), music, be it a recording or a band, and/or a song.  This is a comfortable time, not only for you, but for your guests, too – and if it’s a garden wedding, I’m sure you don’t want to be hanging around in the hot sun for too long … I’m sure your guests wouldn’t’ either!


But while the longest ceremony I’ve done was about 45/50 minutes, there are those that I’ve heard of taking up to 1½ to 2 hours, for the ‘normal’ Australian type ceremony.  This of course, doesn’t take into account some of the Indian and Eastern style weddings, which last 2, 3 or 4 days!


Talking of Indian Weddings, that must have been one of my most enjoyable and special days being a Civil Marriage Celebrant! My couple were Australian and Indian. I performed an Australian style wedding for this couple and then they changed into traditional Indian wedding clothes and I had the distinct privilege of performing, what I’m sure, was a much shortened version of an Indian wedding ceremony – it was just magical…and we live streamed it (via my iPhone) to her father in India. But that ceremony did take a couple of hours.


So in short, as you see, the average ceremony is about 30 min – but it can go either way, quite dramatically!!!