Tag Archives: rehearsal

Who Will Be Your Witnesses?

Why do you need witnesses at your marriage ceremony?

A legal requirement for a marriage ceremony is that two people over the age of 18 shall be present at the ceremony and be witnesses to the marriage.  They are also required, along with the bride, the groom and the celebrant, to sign each of the marriage certificates immediately after the marriage is solemnised.

The purpose of having witnesses is to be able to establish the identity of the bride and groom, and for this reason it is preferred that the witnesses know the bride and/or groom.  If necessary, the witnesses are also able to confirm details about how and when the ceremony was performed.

So who can be your witnesses?

If you have a bridal party, the witnesses are often the chief bridesmaid and the best man.  However, this is not mandatory, and not all marrying couples have attendants or a bridal party.

The witnesses do not have to be gender specific – you might choose to have the traditional one female and one male, or you may choose to have two females or two males as your witnesses.

You might like to have the mothers or fathers of the bride and groom as witnesses, or other family members or close friends that you would like to include in the ceremony.

Children of the marrying couple are able to be legal witnesses to the marriage, but only if they are 18 years of age or older.

Witnesses would ideally be able to attend your wedding rehearsal, so they know in advance when they will be called upon during the ceremony and what documents they will be signing.

So as part of your wedding planning, you do have another decision to make – who will be your two witnesses?

Should you have a Rehearsal for your Ceremony?

Should you have a Rehearsal for your Ceremony?

There are so many things to plan and organise for your special day – how do you make sure that everything will be just right on the day?

For the ceremony itself, there are many benefits of having a rehearsal:

Knowing how long it will take to ‘walk down the aisle’.

Are your music selections appropriate in relation to the time it takes for the entrance, signing of paperwork, the exit, and any other places in the ceremony that you will have music.

Anyone doing a reading will have an opportunity to practise, will know how they are being introduced and where to do their reading from.

The attendants know where to stand and when they need to do any extras, like holding a bouquet or handing over rings.

When it comes to signing any paperwork that is part of the ceremony, you’ll know the order of signing and who should stand where.

Ideally, a rehearsal should be held a day or two before the ceremony.  It is best to have the rehearsal at the same venue and at the same time of day that your ceremony will be held, but this is sometimes not practical.  If you are unable to hold your rehearsal in the same venue, any park or area with space is a good alternative.

Anyone involved in the ceremony should come along to the rehearsal so there are no surprises on the day.

Your photographer may want to be there to identify any key moments of the ceremony that they should capture.  They may even be able to suggest improved placement to get the most of the lighting.

Having had a rehearsal, you’ll be more relaxed and able to enjoy the moment fully.


  • Our written ceremony was perfect – it was clear that Rosemary understood what we wanted and delivered. On the day, the ceremony was above and beyond what we expected. We would definitely recommend Rosemary’s services to other couples planning their wedding.

    K and B

  • Rosemary was a friendly, helpful, thoughtful and professional celebrant who helped us create a ceremony that was perfectly suited to us. She was helpful throughout the whole process of planning and went over and above at the rehearsal and ceremony to make sure everything went smoothly.


  • Rosemary is a very calm, personable and professional celebrant. She helped us continuously in the lead-up to our outdoor wedding, ensuring our ceremony was wonderfully smooth. Of the many highlights of our wedding day, the ceremony was definitely one of them!

    Jaime and Nigel

  • For us, the ceremony was the most important aspect of our day and Rosemary helped us to find the right words to express our love and commitment to each other. Many people commented on how moving they found the ceremony and how well it reflected us as both individuals and as a couple. We would highly recommend Rosemary to anyone seeking a celebrant sensitive to and able to respond to the clients requirements.

    Karen and Grant

  • We’ve had great feedback about how lovely our ceremony was. Thank you for making this memorable not only for us but for our families and friends as well.

    Ruby and Mike

  • We really appreciated the work that you put into making the service just right for us – a great way to start our life together as husband and wife.

    Mark and Anna

  • Thanks for making our day so special for us. The ceremony was absolutely what we wanted and meant so much to us.

    Sandra and Terry

  • Rosemary was always very friendly and most helpful in providing suggestions. We were very happy and everyone commented on how wonderful the ceremony was.

    Laura and Tim