Legal Process

What role does a Marriage Celebrant perform?

Planning a wedding can be a complex operation. Who does what may not always be clear. As a Marriage Celebrant, my role under Australian law is this:

  • Help you complete the legal checks and pre-marriage paperwork
  • Make you aware of relationship education
  • Research and write your ceremony
  • Perform your ceremony
  • Prepare and present your marriage certificate(s)
  • Register your marriage

 

I cannot do the following:

 

  • Assist with immigration matters
  • Obtain documents/court orders
  • Help book venues/catering/photographers etc

 

When and where can we marry?

Whenever and wherever you wish! The Marriage Act 1961 states:

A Marriage occurring in Australia may be solemnised on any day, at any time, and at any place.

That means you can get married absolutely anywhere in Australia, including in the air or at sea.

 

How quickly can we marry?

By law, you must give me at least one month’s notice before you can get married.

This is done by completing a “Notice of Intended Marriage” form which I will prepare on your behalf, ready for you to sign.

In very exceptional circumstances, such as serious illness, you can apply for a shortening of time to allow you to marry more quickly. However, that decision is made by a special legal authority and is decided on a case by case basis. You must inform me immediately if you feel you have a special case.

 

Are there age and residency requirements?

At least one of you must be 18. If one of you is between 16 and 18 you need legal permission. Under no circumstance can two people under the age of 18 marry. There's no upper limit!

There is no residency requirement to marry in Australia, so if you live overseas and want to come on holiday and get married, feel free!

 

Does Australia have legal same sex marriage?

No. Unfortunately Australia is behind many other countries and has yet to introduce same sex marriage. This change is long overdue and can't come soon enough.

If your gender identity is different to the sex you were assigned at birth, you may have options. Talk to me about your circumstances and I can advise you.

What information do we need to provide?

I will ask you to provide me with the required details to complete your “Notice of Intended Marriage” form. This includes:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Occupation
  • Marital Status
  • Date and place of birth
  • Details of your parents
  • Details of any previous marriages

 

What documents do we need to provide?

Australian PassportThe Marriage Act 1961 stipulates you must show evidence of your date and place or birth, and of your identity, when we sign the Notice of Intended Marriage.

Passport
The easiest way is to show me your passport.

If you are an Australian citizen, you can show me your Australian passport. If you are not an Australian citizen, you can show me your overseas passport.

Expired passports up to two years out of date remain acceptable.

 

NSW Birth CertificateBirth Certificate
If you don’t have a passport, or it is more than two years out of date, you can show me your birth certificate.

This is a sample birth certificate from NSW but yours may look different depending in which state you were born.

If you can’t find your original certificate, you can order a new one from the Births, Deaths and Marriages office in the state in which you were born. I can help you do this. Photocopies and scans cannot be accepted.

If you have an overseas birth certificate which is not in English, it will need to be translated. I can help with that.

 
 
 
 
 
 
NSW Driving LicencePhoto ID
If you are providing a birth certificate instead of a passport, you will also need to show photo identification, such as your Driving Licence or Proof of Age card.
 
Married before?
If you are divorced, you will need to show the original copy of your (most recent) final divorce certificate. This may be a PDF emailed to you and not an actual piece of paper!
 
If you have been widowed, you must show me the official death certificate of your husband or wife.
 
If either document is not in English, it will need to be translated. Again, I can help.
 

 

What protections are in place for couples during and after the marriage process?

Celebrants work to a Code of Practice which lays out what you can expect from us. There is also a dispute procedure where you can escalate a complaint should you be unable to resolve it with your chosen celebrant.