A legal requirement
As part of a marriage ceremony in Australia, the couple must nominate two people to be their official witnesses. It means the minimum number of people present at a marriage ceremony is 5 - the couple getting married, the two witnesses and the Marriage Celebrant.
Under section 44 of the Marriage Act 1961, a marriage may not be solemnised unless at least two persons are present at the ceremony who are at least 18 years old (but they do not need to be Australian citizens or provide any ID documents). They are the people who will sign the marriage certificates in their capacity as the witnesses to the marriage. The legal roles of the witnesses are to confirm the identity of the couple getting married and/or to recount the circumstances in which the ceremony was performed, if required. Normally that means that the couple said the minimum vows to each other and the Celebrant has explained the meaning of marriage using the required legal words.
It is preferable (but not a requirement of the Marriage Act) that the witnesses know the parties to the marriage. Providing witnesses at the marriage ceremony is the responsibility of the couple.
Please provide your details using the form below. Thank you for fulfilling this important role!