The pronouncement is one of those iconic moments of a ceremony that even Hollywood leaves in their highly-truncated weddings, but we’re still adapting the tradition of pronouncements in same sex weddings.
Once the requirements for a legal marriage are complete, there comes a moment where it just feels right for the celebrant to announce that you are now, in every sense of the word, married. This is called the Pronouncement or the Declaration. In a conventional hetero wedding, the usual way to phrase this is, “I now pronounce you husband and wife”.
It is one of the more readily adaptable traditions for same sex marriages, so let’s explore the options!
First, there is no legal requirement here. You may be as creative as you like: have a musician do it in a song, or go full Shakespeare on everyone’s donkeys (see what I did there?)! But the point is, the words to announce your new status can be set out in any way that suits you.
How do you like to make pronouncements?
My habit is to couch this moment in terms of the reasons it is true, and at my most loquacious I might go so far as to say something like,
Paul and Andrew, before me and these witnesses here today you have declared your love and your commitment to each other. You have exchanged rings and you have signed your marriage certificate. Therefore, it is now my great honour, by the authority granted to me by the Commonwealth of Australia, to pronounce you husband and husband.
After which I will be quite relieved that the attention will all be on you as I deal with the lump in my throat, because, yes, it gets me every time!
You need not have the full spiel, but the element you will want to make a joint decision on are those last few words. Here are just a few of my favourite ways to word the status…
“I now pronounce you:
- partners for life
- wife and wife
- spouse and spouse
- husband and husband
- thoroughly espoused
- husbands for life
- wives for life
- spouses for life
- married at last
- off the market
- officially banned from The Peel
- finally bloody well married
But I hope my wee list will inspire, rather than limit you. Find the tone you want to set, and your celebrant can make your day.
The Pronouncement is usually followed by a kiss: click here for my post on wedding kisses!