Often the same questions come up from couples wanting to get married so I have answered some of the common ones in this frequently asked wedding questions list. But it's by no means exhaustive, so please get in touch if you have other questions you'd like answers to!
1. Where and when can we get married?
I can marry you anywhere in Australia, on any day, at any time. If you're going for somewhere outdoors like a park or beach, check with the local council as there is often a booking process and fee to pay. And make sure you have a Plan B in case of rain, or heatwave.
2. How much notice do we have to give?
At least one month before your wedding day and no more than 18 months ahead. Allow enough time to get everything together for your Notice of Intended Marriage - as well as the preparation time, you might need to apply for a copy of your birth certificate or apply for suitable ID, which can take time.
In very exceptional circumstances, you may be able to apply for a 'Shortening of Time' to allow you to marry more quickly. However, that decision is not made by me, but 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 and I can advise you further. You will need to make an appointment to state your case and you may be asked to pay an additional fee.
3. How old must we be?
At least one of you must be 18. If one of you is between 16 and 18 you need legal permission. Under no circumstances can two people under the age of 18 marry. There's no upper limit!
4. Does Australia have legal same sex marriage?
Yes. Marriage Equality became law on December 9th 2017.
5. What documents do I need to show you?
Normally just your passport. If you don't have one, you can show me your birth certificate and photo ID, such as a driver's licence.
6. What if I've been married before?
I'll need to see your (most recent) divorce certificate.
7. What if my documents are not in English?
They will need to be translated. The Marriage Act 1961 stipulates they must be translated by an official NAATI translator. I can help you arrange this if required.
8. I'm not an Australian citizen or resident. Can I still get married here?
Yes. There is no requirement for you to be a citizen, and there is no minimum residency period either. Welcome to Australia!
9. We live overseas and want to come to Australia to marry. Is that possible?
Yes. I marry many couples from overseas who come to Australia just to get married. In this case there are special arrangements to sign your Notice of Intended Marriage in your home country. I provide full instructions! If you live overseas, we conduct our pre-wedding meetings online.
10. Is our marriage legal outside of Australia?
Marriages conducted in Australia are normally recognised overseas. The sad exception are same-sex marriages. If your home country does not have legal same-sex marriage, your marriage in Australia may not be recognised. You must check with your relevant local authorities to ensure your marriage is recognised or to see if you need to complete any additional steps to satisfy local requirements (such as an Apostille Stamp).
11. Do I need witnesses?
You need to nominate two witnesses who are 18 years old or above who will sign your Marriage Certificate following the ceremony. This is a nice job to give to someone important to get them involved in your ceremony. The witnesses can be friends or family, they must be known to you and if they don't speak English, an interpreter must be present. They do not need to show me any ID and they do not need to be Australian citizens. I cannot provide witnesses for you.
If you are unable to provide witnesses yourself, I can book two people to fulfil this required role, at extra charge. Ask me for details.
12. How do I change my name after we're married?
Changing your name is not a legal requirement of marriage, and it is not an automatic process. If you want to change your name, you'll need an extended Marriage Certificate issued directly from the Births, Deaths and Marriages Department (which I can help you obtain). Then you'll need to complete a change of name application for your passport, driving licence etc. You need to contact those agencies directly, but it's a well oiled process. Outside of Australia, check for your local requirements.
13. Do you have a PA system?
For Kiss Me Quick Bronze weddings, a PA is not required.
For Kiss Me Quick Silver weddings, I bring a PA and microphone so the ceremony is clearly audible to all.
For Kiss Me Quick Gold and Tailor-Made weddings, I bring my professional PA system with a microphones, input for music and line out for wedding videographers. If you're having recorded music, simply tell me what songs you'd like and I look after all of that for you during your ceremony.
14. We've booked a Tailor-Made Wedding but are not sure where to start - can you help us with ideas?
Of course! That's a big part of my job. If you have booked a Tailor-Made Wedding, you'll be given access to my Wedding Wiki. It contains loads of tips, advice, pointers and help. That will get you thinking along the right lines and prepare you for when we meet to discuss and plan your ceremony in detail.
15. When do we meet to plan our ceremony?
For Kiss Me Quick Weddings, we meet shortly after your booking to sign the required paperwork and talk through the process. This takes around 15 minutes. Then I'll see you again on the wedding day.
For Tailor-Made Weddings, we meet around two months before the wedding date for a detailed planning meeting, which takes about an hour. By that time, you'll have a better idea of how your wedding day will run, you've had time to formulate some firm ideas and your mind is focused on your big day.
16. Can we write our own wedding vows?
Absolutely yes - and I encourage it. That's the point in the ceremony when you're standing in front of your family and friends, telling your partner that you love them, and want to spend the rest of your lives together. These are your own words from the heart which express your love. I can guide and advise you on how best to find those words if you get stuck! It doesn't have to be an essay - most couples keep it to half a dozen short sentences at most. And I give you your vows on a printed card, eliminating any worries about having to remember your words.
17. How long does the ceremony last?
Kiss Me Quick Bronze and Silver Weddings - around 10 minutes on average.
Kiss Me Quick Gold Weddings - usually 15 to 20 minutes.
Tailor-Made Weddings - Allow 30 minutes for the whole ceremony, from when you're walking down the aisle to when everyone is hugging you and saying congratulations.
18. What time do you arrive on the day?
Kiss Me Quick Bronze Weddings - 15 minutes before ceremony start time.
Kiss Me Quick Silver, Gold and Tailor-Made Weddings - 30 minutes before the ceremony start time.
19. Can you send us a full marriage certificate when our marriage has been registered by Births, Deaths and Marriages?
Yes. You'll need this for name changes. I can apply to the BDM for the full certificate on your behalf and have it posted it to you.
20. What happens if you're ill?
I have a network of Celebrant friends who I can turn to in case of emergency. They are all of the same style and approach as me, so you'll feel comfortable with them. Read this blog to see the backup plan in action!
21. What do you wear?
I take my cue from each couple but I'm always smart and stylish. Look at my gallery to see how I'm dressed at different weddings!
22. Do we need a rehearsal with you?
No. It's unnecessary and rest assured, you'll be fully briefed and ready before the day, and we'll have a final recap before the ceremony begins. I'm there to make sure everything runs smoothly! But yo can book a rehearsal at extra charge should you wish. Read more on my rehearsal page.
23. I've got a question you haven't listed here....
Easy - just email me!