Ceremony Q & A's
Can anyone perform a Marriage Ceremony?
In order for a marriage to be legal and recognised in Australia it must be performed by an Accredited and Government Registered Marriage Celebrant. You can have friends and family involved but the legal aspects must be done by an official Celebrant.
How soon can we get married?
Australian law requires a Notice of Intended Marriage is lodged at least 30 days before the wedding day.
We need to get married in less than 30 days, can we?
In order to marry in less than 30 days we need to obtain an official “Shortening of Time” approval from the government, a shortening of time may be granted for several reasons, eg…
Employment–related, or other travel commitments, Wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations, Medical reasons, Legal proceedings, and Error in giving notice.
What do we need to do to get married?
First you must set a date and then complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). The NIOM is usually signed in front of your Celebrant and they will be your official witness, it can also be signed and witnessed must be signed in the presence of a “Prescribed Authority"
What documents are required to complete your NOIM?
To complete and legally lodge your NOIM, both of you will need to present…
An official birth certificate, or an extract showing the date and place of birth of each party - these can be Australian or International (must be in English)
or, a passport showing the date and place of birth of the party (in English)
A Drivers Licence or Proof of age card.
Or, a statutory declaration made by the party or a parent of the party stating that, for reasons specified in the declaration, that it's not practical to obtain such a certificate and to state to the best of the declarant’s knowledge of when and where the party was born.
People born overseas will need to provide the relevant documents or obtain them from their relevant government departments. (Translated into English)
What if I’ve been married before?
If either of you have been married in the past, we will need to sight your official Certificate of Divorce or evidence of death.
Where can we get married?
Pretty much anywhere, however it is important to note that certain Shires require permits etc If you are planning to use their parks/locations it is worth speaking to the Shire to check.
Who can act as witnesses at the ceremony?
Usually the couples attendants act as witnesses, however, anyone aged over 18 and able to understand English can be your witnesses
How long does a ceremony usually take?
Your ceremony can be as short or long as you wish, A simple “Legals only” wedding will only take around 5 minutes, the usual “traditional” ceremony is around 20 - 30 minutes depending on readings and vow structures.
Can we use our own vows?
Yes, We can create the ceremony to fit your vows and make it uniquely yours, however there are certain specific vows, phrases and wording that we must perform in order for the ceremony to be legal.
How can we have music at an outdoor event?
I have a wireless PA system which is included as part of my service, I can arrange the music for the walk down the aisle and recessional etc
Will we receive a Marriage Certificate at the ceremony?
Yes. Often there is some confusion about the certificates. On your wedding day I will present you with an official Presentation display certificate, however this cannot be used to change names etc you will require the registered certificate from the BDM for that.
Changing your name/s?
Changing your name is a five-step process (it is not compulsory and while it is more traditional for a bride to change her surname to that of her husband, it can be either, or even a combination of your existing names. Same sex couples can change their names in exactly the same way, if they wish.
Start using the name as soon as you are married
Obtain your official certificate from Births, Deaths, and Marriages (I'll send you the form and explain how to. ) Make photocopies of it and have them certified by a JP. Change your personal records (Driver License, Medicare Card, Passport, Electoral Roll, Bank Accounts, Superannuation etc)
Can I surprise my partner with a ceremony?
No, both parties must complete and sign the government documentation at least 30 days before the ceremony