Planning a wedding is like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but instead of finding hidden treasure or battling dragons, you’re tying the knot with the love of your life. The beauty of getting hitched in Australia is that we’ve got a smorgasbord of ceremony styles to suit every couple. So, let’s dive in and explore your options, shall we? Enjoy “The Different Styles Of Australian Wedding Ceremonies” by me, Australian celebrant Josh Withers!

Image: House of Love

Legals Only: The Quickie

If you’re the kind of couple who thinks love doesn’t need all the bells and whistles, a ‘legals only’ ceremony might be your jam. It’s the espresso shot of weddings—quick, simple, and it gets the job done. You’ll say the legally required words, sign the paperwork, and voila! You’re married. It’s perfect for those who want to save the fanfare for another time or just can’t wait to be officially united.

Side note from an authorised celebrant, you can do this at the Births, Deaths, and Marriages, but your local marriage celebrant can do this, plus there are options popping up like Altar Electric in Melbourne and Wham Bam Thank You Sam in Brisbane, that provide a non-government-building vibe for this to happen in.

Religious Ceremonies: The Spiritual Journey

For those who find solace and meaning in religious traditions, a religious ceremony can add a layer of spiritual depth to your nuptials. Whether it’s a Catholic Mass, a Jewish Chuppah, or a Hindu Vedic ceremony, the rituals and readings usually come pre-packaged, but they’re steeped in centuries of faith and tradition.

Image: Luke Fletcher

Cultural Ceremonies: A Nod to Heritage

Australia is a melting pot of cultures, and what better way to honour your roots than by incorporating cultural elements into your ceremony? From Chinese tea ceremonies to Italian ribbon cuttings, these rituals can add a splash of colour and a dash of meaning to your big day.

The Civil Ceremony

The only things required are what the Marriage Act of 1961 requires, which is words to this effect. Your celebrant says “I am duly authorised by law to solemnise 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 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” then you both say words to the effect of “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take thee, C.D. (or A.B.), to be my lawful wedded wife (husband or spouse)”

Everything else that happens at your ceremony is up to you.

Image: Bulb Creative

Elopements: Just the Two of Us

Ah, elopements—the romantic getaway of weddings. If the idea of a big wedding makes you break out in hives, why not skip town and get married in a setting that’s as intimate as your love story? Whether it’s a secluded beach or a mountaintop, the focus is solely on you and your partner—no distractions.

Themed Ceremonies: The Creative Canvas

Ever dreamed of a Star Wars wedding where you exchange vows in fluent Wookiee? Or perhaps a Roaring Twenties affair complete with jazz and flappers? Themed ceremonies allow you to let your imagination run wild. Just remember, the key is to keep it authentic to you.

Image: Tessa Shannon

Adventure Weddings: The Adrenaline Rush

For the thrill-seekers among us, why not say “I do” while skydiving from 15,000 feet? Or perhaps underwater, surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef? Adventure weddings are not for the faint-hearted but talk about a memorable experience!

The Hybrid: A Bit of This, A Bit of That

Who says you have to stick to one style? Feel free to mix and match elements that resonate with you. Want a religious ceremony that also incorporates your love for hiking? Go for it. A cultural wedding with a sprinkle of adventure? Why not!

In the end, your ceremony should be a reflection of you—your love, your journey, and your shared dreams. So, whether you opt for a quick ‘legals only’ affair or a lavish cultural extravaganza, make sure it’s a chapter in your love story that’s worth reading again and again.

Images: Bulb Creative

About Josh WithersJosh Withers creates epic marriage ceremonies for adventurous couples. He is a fun-loving, cheeky, and creative wedding celebrant who loves to make weddings memorable and meaningful. Josh believes that weddings are not just about signing papers and saying vows, but about celebrating the unique story and personality of each couple. He crafts a ceremony that reflects your style, values, and sense of humour. Josh is based on the Gold Coast, Australia, but travels around the world every week to officiate awesome weddings.

He has performed weddings in New Zealand, Fiji, Bali, Canada, Iceland, Europe, and the USA. Josh is also a podcaster, blogger, speaker, and author on all things wedding-related. He is passionate about helping couples plan their dream weddings without stress or drama. If you are looking for a wedding celebrant who will make you laugh, cry, and smile all at the same time, look no further than Josh Withers.