To ensure your wedding covers the legalities, there is preliminary paperwork that needs to be completed prior to the ceremony. This includes the Notice of Intended Marriage. This is a very important form and everyone intending to marry must complete it. Recent changes now mean that as a marriage celebrant I am able to accept an electronic copy of the Notice. You may not marry for a month after I receive the notice, although it remains current for 18 months. (A month means a period starting at the start of any day of one calendar month and ending immediately before the start of the corresponding day of the next calendar month). The NOIM is available from me or it can be downloaded from the Attorney General’s website (make sure to download all four pages). If there are extraordinary circumstances a Shortening of Time may be sought which would enable a marriage to take place earlier then the month waiting period.
Also to be completed just prior to your ceremony is the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage. This is a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration stating that neither of you is married to another person, neither of you is in a prohibited relationship, both of you are of marriageable age (which in Australia is 18), and that there is no other circumstance that would be a legal impediment to the marriage. This form is available from me.
In Australia the Notice can be witnessed by:
- an authorised celebrant,
- a Commissioner for Declarations,
- a Justice of the Peace,
- a barrister or solicitor,
- a legally qualified medical practitioner
- or a member of the Australian Federal Police or the police force of a state or territory.
Outside Australia the Notice must be signed in the presence of:
- an Australian Diplomatic Officer,
- an Australian Consular Officer,
- a notary public,
- an employee of the Commonwealth authorised in writing by the Secretary of the Department,
- or an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorised in writing by the Secretary of the Department.
It is the law that originals of the following documents MUST be sighted by me before your wedding although recent changes enable me to accept electronic copies of the originals of your documents. It’s a good idea to bring them to our first meeting.
You will both need to have:
- your original birth certificates, and/or Australian passport
- a Certificate of Divorce if a previous marriage has ended this way
- a Death Certificate for your previous spouse if you are a widow/widower,
- and a Certificate of Name Change if your name has been changed other than by a previous marriage.
If you were born overseas you will need to have an original birth certificate or passport from your country of origin. If this is not in English you will also need to provide a certified translation.
Under Australian law you both need to be aged over eighteen. Your two witnesses must also be aged over eighteen.
The Getting Married page on the Attorney-General’s website is an excellent place to look for information on weddings and marriage.
There are no legal requirements for Naming or Commitment Ceremonies.