Often the same questions come up from couples wanting to get married so I have answered some of the common ones in this Wedding FAQ. But it’s by no means exhaustive, so please get in touch if you have other questions you’d like answers to!
With such a wide choice of Marriage Celebrants, there is an equally wide choice of fees. A good place to start your comparison is with a standard Registry Wedding conducted at your local Births, Deaths and Marriage office. This is a simple and straightforward generic ceremony with a small number of guests, in a set location, during office hours. You can expect to pay around $500 for this service.
Marriage Celebrants offer a full choice of ceremony styles in all locations at the time of your choosing. Some focus solely on price and will offer a very basic service for less than the Registry, some as low as around the $200 mark. Corners will necessarily be cut at this level and your expectations should be lowered accordingly. Other Celebrants concentrate on offering a superior bespoke service, with a fee that reflects their skills and experience. For a high-quality ceremony created and conducted by a respected Marriage Celebrant, fees can reach in the region of $1500.
I cross that spectrum by offering four different levels of ceremony styles and fees to suit all needs and budgets.
When choosing your Marriage Celebrant, make sure you read their reviews, get a clear idea of exactly what they are offering, and try to pick up on their personality to ensure you’re a good fit for each other. Ask lots of questions – there is far more to the work of a Marriage Celebrant than meets the eye!
Yes. You must give official notice 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.
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.
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!
Yes. Marriage Equality became law on December 9th 2017. I welcome ALL couples to get married!
I’ll need to see your passport for ID checks. Or if you don’t have one, you can show me your birth certificate and photo ID, such as a driver’s licence.
If you’ve been married before, you’ll need to provide a Divorce or Death Certificate.
Documents must be in English, so they may 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.
Yes. There is no requirement for you to be a citizen, and there is no minimum residency period either.
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.
Marriages conducted in Australia are normally recognised overseas. The main exceptions 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).
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 should ideally 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.
Kiss Me Quick:
Bronze and Silver Weddings – around 10 minutes on average.
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.
Kiss Me Quick:
Bronze weddings, a PA is not required.
Silver weddings, I bring a PA and microphone so the ceremony is clearly audible to all.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
No. It’s generally 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 you can book a rehearsal at extra charge should you wish. Read more on my rehearsal page.
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 a 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. Check out my CHANGING YOUR NAME help page for more details.