This is What It Takes to Get Legally Married

The Attorney-General's Department  states that The ceremony should enhance the dignity of the occasion, meet all legal requirements and accommodate the reasonable requests and expectations of the couple marrying. 

What You Have to Do

To marry in Australia you must
  • give a full month written notice to your chosen celebrant of your intention on a Notice of Intended Marriage form
  • show your celebrant original documents that prove
    • when and where you were born (which means an official birth certificate or  your passport)
    • your ID (photo ID document such as driver licence or passport)
    • you are free to marry again if you've ever been married before
  • make the declarations required by the Marriage Act
  • make vows in the form required by the Marriage Act
  • have two adult witnesses at the ceremony
  • use an official interpreter if one or more of you and/or your  or one or both of the witnesses does not speak English
  • be ready to start the ceremony on time

What I have to do

Every celebrant is required to ensure that the legal service they provide complies with the Marriage Act. That is the law (though obviously experience and in depth knowledge counts too, particularly if you have unusual or difficult identity or other issues).

 So I have to
  • make sure that the Notice of Intended Marriage is properly filled out and witnessed by an appropriate person (which includes your marriage celebrant)
  • make sure that your wedding date is at least a full month after the day that you give me the Notice of Intended Marriage, (i.e. lodge it with me) but not more than 18 months after you give it to me.
  • make sure that you show me the proper identification documents and documents that prove how any previous marriage ended and that they are original documents as issued by an appropriate government authority (JP certified copies are not acceptable).
  • make sure that you give me official English translations for any documents in another language.
  • make sure that I give you information about pre-marriage relationship education
  • make sure I recite the required passage from the Marriage Act before you say your vows
  • make sure that you include the required statement in your vows that will make your marriage legal
  • make sure that two adult witnesses are present for the whole ceremony.
  • making sure that both of you give real consent to the marriage both in the process leading up to the ceremony and in the ceremony itself.

Real consent includes, but is not limited to:

  • The marrying couple both giving accurate information on the Notice of Intended Marriage.
  • The marrying couple both understanding the implications of a marriage solemnised in Australia
  • The marrying couple both understanding what is going on in the ceremony and consenting to marrying each other. You must both be able to understand the ceremony itself and the explanations about the documents you are signing, including the declarations before the ceremony and the certificates afterwards, therefore
    • if I believe that you are affected by any substance (drugs, legal or illegal, or alcohol) it against the law for me to continue with the wedding.
    • if I am not confident that you understand English well enough to fully understand what is being said and the documents you have to sign you must have an interpreter
    • if you say or do anything that suggests that your consent is not real it is against the law for me to continue with the wedding.

more information about Wedding Ceremony Fees and Inclusions
more information about Legals Only Weddings
more information about Secret and Surprise Weddings
more information about Destination Weddings
more information about Prospective Marriage Visa Weddings