Where can we get married/have our ceremony?
I am authorised to solemnise marriage ceremonies anywhere within Australia.
Legal documentation that is required for you to get married?
The Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) is completed at least one month prior, and no more than 18months prior to the wedding date. I need to sight your original birth certificate or passport, licence/photo ID, and evidence of termination of previous marriage(s) if any.
You will be required to sign a declaration that there is no legal impediment to the marriage (generally this is completed at the rehearsal or within a few days prior to the ceremony).
At the marriage ceremony you will be required to sign three marriage certificates. These are also signed by your witnesses. I supply and lodge all legal paperwork with the Birth Death and Marriages (BDM) in the State/Territory in which the marriage is solemnised.
What if I can’t find my birth certificate/do not have a passport?
There will be a copy of your Birth Certificate held at the Office of Births Deaths and Marriages in the State in which you were born. There is a small fee that must be paid when ordering your Birth Certificate and there can be a processing delay of at least up to 14 days, so you will need to consider this and the deadline of completing your Notice of Intended Marriage.
What other legal considerations do we need to be aware of?
Both parties to the marriage must be over 18 years old, have no legal impediment to the marriage and must complete the NOIM (Notice of Intent to Marriage) with the celebrant at least one month prior to the wedding and no further than 18 months from the marriage date.
I will complete the NOIM with you at your client interview, however, if you wish to you can download this form and complete it yourself from the Attorney General website or BDM website in your state.
Your two witnesses to your wedding must be over 18 years old and not necessarily part of the bridal party.. They can be eg: grandparent, friend, parent etc.
What do I need to do to change my name?
The wedding certificate that you receive from your celebrant is only ceremonial, it isn’t an official identification document. Therefore, most organisations may not accept it as proof of your identity. You need to apply for an "official marriage certificate" for changing your name with most organisations. This normally takes approximately 4 weeks for BDM to process the documentation of your marriage enabling you to obtain the office marriage certificate.
Go to Birth Deaths & Marriage in your state website. In Victoria BDM now permit Celebrants to apply on your behalf but there is a fee applicable for this document.
Can my children be witnesses for the wedding?
Anyone can be a witness to your wedding as long as they are over 18 years of age.
Can we write parts of our ceremony and our own vows?
Absolutely, you can have as much or as little say in the format, structure, content and actual words of your ceremony as you like. I write every ceremony from scratch so each ceremony is unique and written personally for each couple. If you have ideas on what you would like to include in your ceremony we can incorporate these. If you need inspiration, I have the resources and experience to guide you along the way.
A lot of couples like to write their own vows and have lots of examples for you to peruse for ideas. Legally you include and say a set vow first as specified by the Attorney Generals Dept, however after that your vows can be as traditional or personalised as you like.
Can both my parents give me away at my wedding?
Yes. There are no rules on who or how many or if anyone must ‘give you away’. There are many options including father, mother, step-parents, family friends or children.
How will everyone know where to stand?
When we meet I talk about where you stand, if you wish we can have a rehearsal where we will go through placement. On the day of your ceremony I arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before the ceremony and will arrange everyone.
Should we have a rehearsal?
It is good to have a rehearsal so that people involved know what they have to do and where they have to be. If possible all people involved in the wedding should attend the rehearsal. Ideally the rehearsal will be conducted within one -two weeks of the ceremony.
How long do civil wedding ceremonies typically go for?
The average ceremony is 30-45 minutes (including time for signing the register and certificates). Your ceremony may be shorter or longer depending on the content you want to include.
What types of ceremonies do you officiate?
I perform civil wedding ceremonies, vow renewals, commitment ceremonies, naming ceremonies and funerals plus other types of life event ceremonies such as boat naming or pet weddings and funerals. Within these I am comfortable to include most rituals and traditions from religious and non-religious backgrounds and have developed and delivered traditional and contemporary ceremonies across several categories or you may like to consider including a ritual from your country of birth. Every ceremony I deliver is individual and custom-designed. This offers you the most choice and creativity in creating a ceremony that truly reflects you.
Do we have to attend pre-marriage counselling?
Pre-marriage counselling is not required in Australia, however it is recommended. I will provide you with lots of information on the services available and you can decide for yourselves if it is right for you.