Legal 2017-07-12T00:17:56+00:00

question-mark-faq-legalA range of frequently asked questions about the legal requirements that affect everyone getting married in Australia

We want to get married, what do we have to do? 2017-04-17T15:49:19+00:00
  • You have to lodge a government form called the ‘NOIM’ with an authorised wedding celebrant.
  • You need to provide original ID.
  • If you were married before or widowed, you need to provide original documentation that you are free to marry.
  • You need to decide where you want to get married.
  • You and your witnesses will need to be over 18.
Can a civil wedding celebrant marry anyone in Australia? 2013-08-08T18:50:05+00:00

Yes, a wedding celebrant can conduct a marriage ceremony for anyone of any nationality, provided you are over 18 years of age, are legally free to marry and have the required identification documentation.

How much notice do you need? 2013-08-08T18:49:47+00:00

Legally, a Notice of Intended Marriage form (the NOIM) has to be lodged with the wedding celebrant no longer than 18 months and at least one calendar month before the date of the ceremony.

You can download Form 13 Notice of Intended Marriage [PDF 64KB] here and complete it by using block letters and black pen.

Signatures have to be witnessed by your celebrant or other authorised witness as stated on the form.

Where can couples get married? 2013-08-08T18:46:10+00:00

In Australia, you can get married almost anywhere!  At the usual places like: churches, beaches, restaurants and historic buildings.  But you can also get married underwater, on a mountain or even in a hot air balloon.

Please note: If you want to get married outdoors, a permit is often required from the local authority.

How many witnesses do I need? 2013-08-08T18:45:49+00:00

Only two, they must be over 18 years old.

What is legally required in a wedding ceremony? 2013-08-08T18:45:30+00:00

Legally the wedding celebrant has to say ‘The Monitum’, this is the wording required by the Marriage Act 1961, and the couple have to ask each other to marry, in the presence of the celebrant and at least two witnesses.

How many documents have to be signed? 2013-11-21T12:58:17+00:00

Three documents, five signatures on each document.  (Bride, groom, wedding celebrant and two witnesses).

Please note: you are required to write your name in full – not initials – in black ink.

Is the wedding certificate given to the couple at the ceremony a legal certificate? 2014-11-09T13:08:11+00:00

It is a commemorative certificate and cannot be used for change of name.  The celebrant registers the marriage documentation (within 14 days of the ceremony) with the state’s Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages.  BDM will issue an official marriage certificate on application (a fee applies).

Do we legally require a rehearsal? 2013-08-08T18:44:03+00:00

No, but a wedding celebrant is required to conduct one if requested and is usually happy to do so.

Do we have to attend any pre-marital courses? 2013-08-08T18:43:44+00:00

No, however, authorised wedding celebrants are obliged to inform you of available courses.

I have been divorced more than once, do you require proof of only the last marriage’s dissolution? 2013-08-08T18:52:00+00:00

Yes.

I have lost my original birth certificate, will a certified copy do? 2013-08-08T18:41:49+00:00

No, for misplacement of a Birth Certificate, Death Certificate or Marriage Certificate you can apply to Births, Deaths and Marriages in your State or Territory in Australia to request another ‘original’. Ensure you allow plenty of time to apply and receive your documentation.

In Queensland the website is http://www.justice.qld.gov.au
E-mail: bdm-mail@justice.qld.gov.au
Tel: 1300 366 430

For misplacement of Divorce Certificate or Decree Absolute apply to the Family Law Courts at: http://www.familylawcourts.gov.au.

What do we do if we cannot meet the wedding celebrant at least one month before the ceremony? 2017-04-17T15:49:19+00:00

If meeting in person is not possible you can have the NOIM witnessed by one of several authorised persons.  However, I must receive it at least a calendar month before you are planning to marry.  Please contact me for details.

What happens if both of us cannot sign the NOIM at the same time? 2013-08-08T18:42:42+00:00

If both parties cannot sign the NOIM at the same time it is legal for one party’s signature to be witnessed in order to lodge the NOIM. However, the other party must sign the NOIM as soon as practicable before the wedding ceremony takes place.

What do we do with supporting documentation? 2013-08-08T18:42:20+00:00

Documents such as original birth certificates; divorce certificates, death certificates and or name change documents may be scanned and e-mailed, faxed or you can send your originals via registered mail.

Alternatively, you can bring them with you, but please don’t forget – your wedding celebrant has a legal obligation to sight the original documents before the wedding ceremony in order for you both to be married.

Is it possible to marry us earlier than one month after receiving the NOIM? 2013-08-08T18:42:31+00:00

Only for very limited specific reasons – you would have to make application to a prescribed authority.  Contact me for more details.

We are not Australian, can we still get married here? 2013-08-08T18:39:31+00:00

Yes. Anyone who meets the criteria can marry in Australia but you should check with the consulate or embassy in your country whether a marriage in Australia is recognised by your country.

Can anyone have an elopement ceremony? 2013-08-08T18:53:15+00:00

Absolutely, as long as you are legally free to marry. However, the NOIM certificate is still required at least one month prior to the ceremony. I can arrange for witnesses if required.

Can you help with fiancé visas and immigration issues? 2017-04-17T15:49:19+00:00

Unfortunately wedding celebrants are not qualified to give advice on fiancé immigration visas. Instead, please contact the immigration dept. http://www.immi.gov.au/.

The Attorney-General’s office does inform authorised wedding celebrants of any changes affecting marriage legislation but does not provide any information regarding immigration law. You can find more info here: http://www.ag.gov.au.

However, I can, with pleasure, write a letter for my clients to the Immigration Dept confirming your marriage took place.

Do we need a translator if my fiancé does not speak English? 2013-08-08T18:38:55+00:00

Yes.  Please advise your wedding celebrant if the bride or groom or witnesses cannot understand or speak English as an accredited translator will be required. Details here: http://www.naati.com.au.