Who can be our witnesses at the wedding?

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Traditionally, the Maid of Honour and the Best Man are also the witnesses for your wedding. But just because it’s tradition, doesn’t mean you have to do it that way.  Today we are covering off who can sign your marriage certificate.

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The legal requirements for wedding witnesses

Every wedding needs to have two witnesses to sign the Marriage Certificate. The only requirement is that these two people need to understand what they are doing – they are signing to confirm that they have witnessed a lawful ceremony conducted by a registered Celebrant.

Traditionally this role has been undertaken by the chief bridesmaid and best man, but the couple may choose others who are significant people to them.

Also, it is not necessary for one witness to be from each “side” i.e. one for the groom or one for the bride either.

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So who else could be witness at your wedding?

  • If you’ve been wracking your brains trying to find a role for a special friend or family member, then asking them to be a witness at the wedding could be the perfect fit.
  • Christchurch wedding celebrant Krissy Christensen suggests that if you can’t decide who to ask without upsetting someone – you can do a ‘lucky dip’ and have numbers under a chair, pull names out of hats, play a game of heads and tails or something similar to get the 2 witnesses, in the ceremony. Everyone is made to feel as important and special.
  • It can be rather special to ask a grandparent to be a witness. Other people who may be asked include parents, siblings, special friends or other family members.
  • If the couple have children who are old enough it is also rather special for them to be a witness. It is worth giving some thought to who you are going to ask to be your witnesses during the planning of your wedding. You’ll need to discuss with your celebrant whether they think your child (or children) are a suitable witness. Whilst there is no age requirement, it is obviously important that they understand what they are signing.

So there you go – a few different things to think about. We’d love to hear who you decide to have as a witness, leave a comment below.

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