Friend-led Wedding Ceremonies

by | Mar 1, 2024 | News


In recent years, Australia has seen a heartwarming trend in the realm of nuptials: the rise of friend-led wedding ceremonies. This personalised approach to weddings, where a close friend of the couple officiates the ceremony, adds an intimate and unique touch. If you’re engaged and considering the specifics of this personal touch, read on! We’ve also included a customisable Order of Service template so that you are well on your way to a meaningful ceremony.

The Essence of Friend-Led Ceremonies

At the core of friend-led wedding ceremonies is personalisation. Unlike a traditional officiant who may have limited knowledge of the couple’s personal journey, a friend brings a deep understanding and personal connection to their role. This intimate knowledge allows the ceremony to reflect the couple’s true essence, incorporating stories, anecdotes, and shared experiences that resonate with everyone involved.

Legal Considerations

It’s essential to note that in Australia, for a marriage to be legally recognised, it must be officiated by an authorised marriage celebrant and adhere to specific legal requirements. This includes the inclusion of certain words during the ceremony and the signing of official documents. As such, couples opting for a friend to marry them often complete the legal formalities in a separate, private setting, either before or after their personalised ceremony.

Olivia Holt Photography

Planning a Friend-Led Ceremony

Choosing the Right Friend: The decision of who will lead the ceremony is paramount. The chosen friend should be someone articulate, poised, and comfortable speaking in public. They should also deeply understand the couple’s relationship and be able to convey its essence during the ceremony.

Preparation is Key: Even the most confident friend may find officiating a wedding daunting. Preparation is crucial, from drafting the ceremony script to rehearsing the delivery. The couple should work closely with their chosen friend to outline the ceremony’s structure, ensuring it aligns with their vision and values.

Incorporating Personal Touches: The beauty of a friend-led ceremony lies in its ability to be tailored. Couples can incorporate readings, songs, or rituals that hold special meaning to them, making the ceremony truly their own. This could include anything from a favourite poem to a custom ritual that symbolises their union.

Navigating the Emotional Landscape: A friend-led ceremony can be an emotional affair for all involved. It’s not uncommon for the officiating friend, the couple, or the guests to become teary-eyed. Embracing these emotions, rather than stifling them, adds to the ceremony’s warmth and authenticity.

Don’t forget to bring your celebrant friend to your wedding rehearsal! It’s important they are familiar with the ceremony space at Factory51, along with the location of exits, bathrooms, and where the bridal party will enter from.

The Benefits

Unmatched Personalisation: A ceremony led by a friend is inherently personal. Every word and gesture is imbued with meaning, reflecting the couple’s personality and their journey together.

Flexibility: Without the constraints of a traditional officiant, couples have the freedom to craft a ceremony that truly reflects their values and desires, from the location to the structure and content of the ceremony itself.

Cost-Effectiveness: Opting for a friend to officiate can also be a budget-friendly choice. It eliminates the fees associated with hiring a professional celebrant, allowing the couple to allocate their resources elsewhere.

Strengthening Bonds: Having a friend officiate is a beautiful way to honour and deepen the bond between the couple and the chosen friend. It’s a role that carries significance and creates lasting memories.

White Leaf Films


Creating a wedding ceremony script for a friend-led service involves crafting a balance between personal touches and traditional elements, ensuring the ceremony is both meaningful and memorable. Below is a sample script that can be customised to fit the couple’s personalities and preferences:


“Good [morning/afternoon/evening], everyone. We are gathered here today in the presence of friends and family to celebrate one of life’s most momentous occasions, the union of [Bride’s Name] and [Groom’s Name]. My name is [Celebrant’s Name], and it is my great honuor and privilege to officiate their wedding ceremony today. As a dear friend to both, I have had the joy of witnessing their love grow, and I am thrilled to be part of their journey into marriage.”


“Before we proceed, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we stand today, [insert specific traditional owners], and pay our respects to their Elders past, present, and emerging. We also remember those who cannot be with us today, as they are certainly here in spirit and in the hearts of [Bride’s Name] and [Groom’s Name].”

The Couple’s Story

“Every couple’s story is unique, and the tale of [Bride’s Name] and [Groom’s Name] is no exception. From their first meeting at [brief story of how they met] to the beautiful journey that has led them to this very day, their love has been a beacon of light and joy. [Share a short, personalised story about the couple, highlighting key moments in their relationship.]”

Poem / Reading / Song

“At this time, we have a special reading chosen by [Bride’s Name] and [Groom’s Name], which will be read by [Reader’s Name].”

[The reading is presented.]

“Thank you, [Reader’s Name], for those beautiful words.”

The Vows

“And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. [Bride’s Name] and [Groom’s Name], as you stand before us, it’s time to share your vows with one another. These are not just mere words, but promises and commitments from the heart that will bind you together for a lifetime.”

[Bride and Groom exchange vows.]

Exchange of Rings

“Rings are a symbol of eternity, without beginning or end. They are a sign of the promises you have made to each other today.

[Bride’s Name], please place the ring on [Groom’s Name]’s finger and repeat after me: ‘With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my everlasting love.’

[Pause for action.]

[Groom’s Name], please place the ring on [Bride’s Name]’s finger and repeat after me: ‘With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my everlasting love.'”

Declaration of Marriage

“By the power of your love and commitment, and the vows you have shared in the presence of your family and friends, it is my honuor and delight to declare you husband and wife. You may now kiss your bride!”

Closing Words

“Ladies and gentlemen, friends and family, I present to you for the very first time as a married couple, [Bride’s Name] and [Groom’s Name]! Let us celebrate their union with joy and look forward to the journey they embark on together. Thank you all for being part of this beautiful day.”


This script is a template and can be tailored to include more personal anecdotes, cultural or religious traditions, or any other elements that the couple wishes to incorporate, making their day truly their own.

Friend-led Wedding Ceremonies

As this trend continues to grow, it’s a testament to the value of personal connection and the evolving nature of matrimonial celebrations. In a world where weddings can sometimes feel by-the-book, friend-led ceremonies stand out as a heartfelt alternative.

Contact us today if you’d like to tour our ceremony and reception space for your wedding.


07 33240844
51 Holdsworth St Coorparoo QLD