Legal stuff you may like to know about (or not …)

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 get married!

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 by sending a completed Notice of Intended Marriage to me (postal details are on the form).  For example if you’d like to marry on 17th October 2015, the celebrant must have received your completed and signed Notice of Intended Marriage by 17th September 2015. 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 (me!!), Solicitor, Doctor or Police Officer (the category of person approved is listed on the Notice).  If you are outside Australia the witness must be an official at the Australian Embassy or Consulate OR a Notary Public (again, check the form).
  • The Notice can be scanned and emailed as long as you give the original to me before the ceremony starts.  You do not need to physically hand the form to me, I can receive it through the mail.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Consider whether you are both able to understand the English language.  If this is not the case you must provide a registered official interpreter (there will be an additional charge for this).

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 not legal in Australia, however I am a huge advocate for marriage equity and am ‘gay friendly’ and will be happy to conduct a Commitment ceremony instead of a legal ceremony.
  • 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)
  • 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

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 bride and groom, and two witnesses.

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