While it is legal to invite family and friends to a
function under some pretext and then surprise them by
getting married, both the bride and groom must be in on the
secret. Regardless of what various television programs might
imply, it is not
legal to surprise either the
bride or groom. To do so is an offence that carries a term
of six months in prison and loss of registration for the
celebrant and no celebrant in Australia will agree to be
party to such an arrangement
Getting Married is all about Consent
- There has to be real consent at every stage of the
process including both leading up to the wedding and
during the ceremony.
- You cannot get round this by both signing the Notice
but the date and place of the wedding being kept secret
from either the bride or the groom.
Why is it
Not Legal to Surprise the Bride or Groom?
- Being put in a situation where it is possible that
that person feels under duress to get married casts
doubt on the validity of the marriage.
- The celebrant has to be sure at every stage that the
consent of both parties is real and freely given, and
that there is no duress, and that includes during the
- Where there is a question mark hanging over the full,
free and willing consent to the marriage by either party
if the celebrant proceeds the celebrant commits an
offence and so does the person who made the arrangements
for a surprise wedding.
Are Any Surprises Legal?
There are many perfectly legal ways to inject an element of
surprise into the wedding, allowing you to surprise one
another or the guests, and I'd be happy to discuss these
with you at the point of completing the Notice and making a
How to Book Your Marriage Ceremony
me to enquire about my availability and book your ceremony
- Complete the booking form I will send you AND pay
the non-refundable deposit. Both are required to
lock the date and time into my diary
- The balance of the fee is due one month before the