Will you marry me, babe?

A lot of us use nicknames when we speak to or about our partner, right?

Babe, honey, sweetheart, baby, or simply shortened versions of their birth names, are all ways we may use to refer to our soul mate. Nicknames are terms of endearment. They are a sign that we feel comfortable enough around our partner to assign strange and/or unique names that they learn to associate with, and vice versa.

There may be a temptation to use these nicknames in your wedding ceremony, especially if you are opting for a more personal and intimate vibe. However, not many couples are familiar with the fact that your full birth names are legally required to be used at some stage during the ceremony. That is, your first, middle and last (maiden) name must be used in the ceremony.

This does not mean that you have to say yours or your partners full name every time you wish to address them; state your full names once to fulfill the legal requirement, then you are free to use as many nicknames as your heart desires!

Such a small requirement can be easily forgotten in the grand scheme of planning a wedding, but it is a significant part of the bigger legal picture. By stating your full names, you are confirming that the names on the marriage license reflect those actually getting married!

Further to this, stating your full names also acts as a verbal acknowledgement of your agreement to marry each other, which we will look at in the final installment of legal aspects of wedding ceremonies in the next blog post.

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