Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the Ceremony Take?
Usually between 20-30mins depending on your selections, but can take much longer if you wish other family members to be involved.
How much notice do I need to give to get married?
You have to give 1 month and 1 day’s notice to the celebrant. There are exceptions to this rule but each individual case has to be assessed by the Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages.
Who can get married?
Hip hip hoooooray now anyone may marry in Australia providing you are both over the age of 18 and not legally married. If one or both of you is between 16 and 18, additional requirements must be met.
What documents do I need?
If Australian born, you need a birth certificate and photo id (ie. licence or passport).
If you are a citizen of another country, you will need your passport or birth certificate with an official English translation.
Also, both parties would require that any previous marriage has ended eg: Decree Absolute or Death Certificate if applicable.
I need a certificate to say I have not been married before. Does the Registry provide this?
Yes. It is called a “No Trace” or “Result of Search” certificate
Do I need two witnesses?
Yes you do and they must be over the age of 18 years and speak and understand English. Any person can act as a witness, even your parents. Your celebrant, however, cannot act as a witness.
How can I include other people in my ceremony?
Other people can participate in many ways, for example, by reading a favourite passage from a book, reading a poem or playing music or singing.
Do I have to be given away by my father?
No the giving away is optional and can be performed by any person if you wish for it to be included.
Can we exchange gifts instead of rings?
Absolutely. There is no law or obligation that states you must exchange rings.
Can I change my driver’s licence with the Marriage Certificate the celebrant gives me on my wedding day?
No, you will need to obtain your full Marriage certificate from the Registry Office. This can take several weeks depending on work load.
Can I fill my “Notice of Intended Marriage” before my divorce is processed?
Yes, you can but you cannot be married until the celebrant has your final divorce papers.
Do you need to be an Australian Citizen to marry in Australia?
No. Anyone may marry in Australia providing you are both over the age of 18 and not legally married. If one or both of you is between 16 and 18, additional requirements must be met.
If we are coming from overseas do we need to be in Australia a certain time before we can marry?
No. You can marry the day that you arrive from overseas if you wish. However, by law I must receive the Notice of Intended Marriage form from you at least 1 month and 1 day before the wedding. To be on the safe side, send it early.
We are visitors from overseas and intend to return home after the wedding. Can we still get married?
You most certainly can. As a matter of fact there are many marriages performed in Australia just like yours. You will have to check with your home country whether you require an Apostille Stamp attached to your marriage certificate for it to be recognised back home. You can get this information from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/authen.html
Can I marry anywhere in Australia?
Yes. An Authorised Civil Marriage Celebrant is permitted to perform a wedding ceremony anywhere in Australia.
Can we re-marry in Australia after being married in another country?
No. The only type of ceremony you would be able to have would be either a Renewal Ceremony or a Commitment Ceremony.
Can two people of the same sex marry?
YES, YES, YES I am delighted to say that now people of the same gender can be married in Australia.
Can I use photocopies and certified copies of my legal documents?
No. All documents must be originals.
What is the bare minimum legal requirement wording to get married with no further rituals or customisation?
The minimum legal requirements for the ceremony are the part where I introduce myself as being authorised and remind you of the solemn nature of the ceremony about to be undertaken. Then each of you ask the witnesses present to witness you ‘taking’ and ‘receiving’ of each other as husband and wife. This is the Monitum (i.e. minimum wording) of the ceremony which is prescribed by the Marriage Act. Those two things will take only about 1 or 2 minutes to get through.
What is a Notice of Intended Marriage form?
A Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) has to be signed at least 30 days prior to a marriage (except in special circumstances). It contains all your personal details, date of birth, parent details and is designed to identify you and ensure you are both aware of and willingly agree to participate in the ceremony. A NOIM is available at: www.ag.gov.au The form is available on the right hand side of the web page.
What happens if it’s raining and our ceremony is outdoors?
Risk management is a very important consideration and you should ensure you have a wet weather alternative for your ceremony. A gazebo or hall is usually a good place if your ceremony is in a park or garden or sometimes there may be a possibility of a ceremony at your place of reception.
Do we need to have a rehearsal?
A rehearsal of the ceremony always helps smooth events on the actual day, but it is not compulsory. It can simply be a run through of the ceremony.
Where can I find someone who supplies furniture and decorations?
There are plenty of businesses available that hire out everything from carpet to cutlery for weddings and parties. Yellow Pages have a Wedding Decorations category which is a good place to start. If you are looking for a rustic/antique look, we highly recommend Rustic Romance, who do delightful wedding and party settings.