What legal stuff do I need to know to get married?

Okay, so there’s lots of legal stuff to get you married in Australia, but luckily we’re one of the easiest countries in the world to marry.

Two brides in gowns dancing on rocks overlooking a beach
Gorgeous Molly and Alexis married in Caloundra

Here’s a step by step guide to help you along the way …

  • Firstly, you must give at least one month’s notice of your intent to be married (I can email you a form – but if you book with me you’ll complete the form through my software).  If you’d like to marry on 17th October 2024, I need to have received your completed and signed Notice of Intended Marriage (NoiM) before 17th September 2024. But, this is something you can do early – like up to 18 months early! Do it now – get it done and avoid the stress.
  • You must sign the form in front of an approved witness such as a Justice of the Peace, Celebrant, Solicitor, Doctor or Police Officer (the category of person approved is listed on the Notice).  If you’re outside Australia the witness must be an official at the Australian Embassy or Consulate OR a Notary Public (again, check the form).
  • A few changes happened because of Covid – until the end of 2023 you can sign your NoiM in front of me via Zoom – yiha. Makes life for my couples so much easier.
  • You must show me the original ID documents required to prove your date of birth, place of birth and identity before the ceremony starts (example is driver’s licenses and either birth certificate or passport) and these can be scanned through to me.
  • You must prove through original documentation that any previous marriage has ended and you are free to marry again (for example divorce certificate or death certificate of previous spouse).
  • You will need to have two witnesses over the age of 18 present at the ceremony.  Don’t panic though, if you’re planning an elopement I can arrange witnesses on your behalf. Your witnesses can be family.
  • Consider whether you are both able to understand the English language.  If this is not the case you must provide a registered official interpreter (hint: not your cousin – unless they’re a registered interpreter).
Bride and groom laugh as they run through a tunnel of sparklers held by their guests
Sparklers as the couple leaves are awesome

There are a few myths about marriage in Australia, so let’s clear some of them up

  • One of the couple must have reached the age of 18, no two people under the age of 18 can marry.  If one party to the marriage is under 18, parental consent will be required.
  • Same sex marriages are now legal in Australia, so if you’re part of the LGBTIQ+ community, marry away <3
  • You do not have to buy or obtain a Marriage  License as these are not required in Australia
  • You do not need to have a blood test
  • You do not need to have a pregnancy test
  • You do not need to fulfil any residency requirements (you can get married the day you arrive from overseas)
  • You do not need a special type of visa – you can be married if you’re visiting on a tourist visa or a work/business visa
bride and groom dancing next to the Mahino shipwreck on Fraser Island
Married at the Mahino shipwreck

There are no rules about when, where, or how you marry

  • You can be married at any time on any day of the year (365/24/7)
  • You can be married indoors, outdoors, in a park, on a beach, by a lake, in a hot air balloon, on a boat, in a wedding chapel, a restaurant, historical building, vineyard, lookout, or surrounded by kangaroos, koalas and other Australian wildlife, in fact anywhere you like.  Often you will need to obtain approval of the local Council to marry on public land and I can help with this.  Many venues will charge you if you’d like to be married on their private premises.
  • You can wear what you like, too.  Don’t think you need to wear a bridal gown and veil.  You can wear a bikini if you like.
  • You do not legally need to exchange wedding rings.
  • The smallest legal wedding will contain five people:  the Celebrant, the couple, and two witnesses.

Want more information? Contact me now, I’m happy to answer questions 0400 595 679