The law in Australia states that the legal vows exchanged in a marriage ceremony must be audible.  However, for some people the thought of saying anything in front of more than a few of their closest friends or their immediate family is enough to bring on a panic attack.

In this case, it’s best to make sure that the ceremony is finalised well in advance of the actual wedding date to give the nervous person the opportunity to practise, practise, and practise some more.  It’s also a good idea not to ask them to say too much, so in addition to the legal vows that must be spoken, keep any personal promises short and sweet.

If all the preparation in the world still doesn’t take away an anxious person’s dread, consider having only the legal wording and suggest that they invite a minimum number of people.  You can be legally married with just you, your celebrant and two witnesses.

If it’s the groom who is worried about speaking in front of a “cast of thousands” but the bride still wants her moment of glory, you could be married quietly wherever you want and then ask your celebrant to accompany you to the reception venue.  Once all the guests are there, the bride can be escorted in by her father or other significant person, preceeded or followed by flower girls, page boys, bridesmaids; whatever she wants.  As soon as the bride, groom and anyone else in wedding party are gathered in front of the guests, instead of launching into a marriage ceremony, the celebrant could then announce that they have much pleasure in presenting Bride and Groom with their marriage certificate and introducing them to everyone for the first time as Mr and Mrs Newly Married Couple.

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