That’s only natural.
After all, apart from television; and from what people can learn by observing their parents, friends and relatives, how exactly do you prepare for the new world you are about to enter?
One small part of the solution comes from a government-sourced leaflet, appropriately called “Happily Ever…Before & After“. This brief document cannot be considered a total instruction manual for lasting conjugal bliss. On the other hand, this tiny brochure is packed with vital information… Such as: What it means to be married; The laws which marrying couples should know; and; Where to go for marriage education, therapy and guidance.
Of course a wedding is a rich relationship between a husband and a wife concerning not only their physical self but also their souls and hearts. When two individuals get married, it’s the joining of two separate lives, into one committed life. The mere processes of a wedding ceremony and residing in the same home, and having a Marriage Certificate are not enough. These items alone do not ensure a successful marriage. A couple also needs firm dedication, to develop and nurture their partnership with each other.
With the rise in marital relationships ending in divorce; and people staying together feeling unhappy, there is cause for some concern. No couple wants their marital life to be subject to a termination date. Nor should it be up for re-negotiation after just a few years. Thankfully it is possible to make marriage wonderful, however, with just a bit of effort. Your marriage can be something that grows, lives, and develops from the very start through honesty, love and open communication, the understanding of individual differences and tolerance, along with the readiness to forgive and learn from every experience.
When I meet a new couple who want me to conduct their wedding ceremony, I begin by explaining the legal significance of getting married. Well, it’s my duty.
The Marriage Act 1961, Section 46, shows very clearly the responsibility and duty of a wedding celebrant to describe the nature of the marriage commitment – along with the words to be used:
Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Christopher Steele, and I am duly authorized by law to solemnize marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter.
Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
Those are the mandatory opening words of every legal wedding ceremony I perform.
(NB: This is the current legal definition and it may soon be replaced, hopefully, with something to the effect of: “…the union of two people…etc”)
As the ceremony proceeds, I also ask the couple:
Do you come now, to be united, formally and in the presence of these witnesses?
The couple must respond, “We do”, in unison.
During any ceremony, a couple will effectively state in public, their desire to live together as husband and wife, and to express their dedication to care for, to love, to consider, and to respect each other. The wedding ceremony is an open declaration by the Groom and the Bride of their commitment and understanding they’re about to enter into.
At the end of the day, making your marriage wonderful is not dependent on reading books or attending a class. It comes about naturally, when a husband and wife clear their busy schedules and take the time to open up with each other. On your wedding day, one Adelaide Celebrant in particular, encourages couples to always remember ‘May that love and admiration that you’re feeling now continue to develop stronger and deeper as you move through all of your tomorrows.’
I hope your own, loving relationship will come to be more meaningful and ever deeper each year, adding to the power you need, to live your lives together with confidence and happiness.