Legal requirements of a wedding conducted in Australia
You will need to complete and lodge this form with me (or another celebrant) at least one month prior to your wedding. You can download a copy from here at the Attorney-General's Department.
- Proof of Identity -
You need to provide original photographic evidence to prove who you are, this can be:
A proof of age/photo card
An Australian or overseas passport or
a Certificate of Australian Citizenship along with another form of photographic evidence.
- Proof of your date and place of birth -
You need to provide an original document to confirm your date and place of birth, this can be:
an original birth certificate or
an Australian or Overseas Passport (as appropriate)
an original extract of birth
- Documents to confirm the dissolution of your previous marriage (if appropriate) -
If you are a widow or widower, you will need to provide an original death certificate of your former spouse.If your previous marriage ended in divorce and this was prior to 2002 then you will need to show me a copy of your ‘decree absolute’. If your marriage ended after 2002, you will need to provide a Certificate of Divorce.
- Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage -
You will need to sign this form in the days leading up to your wedding (usually signed at the rehearsal).
- Ceremony -
Your ceremony will need to include the required legal components (as set out below)
- Official Certificate of Marriage, a Certificate of Marriage and the Marriage Register –
You will need to sign these documents during the ceremony in the presence of myself and two witnesses over 18 years of age.
- Lodgement -
I need to lodge the relevant documents with the local Birth, Deaths and Marriages.
Frequently Asked Questions
What must be included in our ceremony to ensure it is legal?
I need to introduce myself to the wedding party and guests as an authorised celebrant
Your names must be said in full (as listed on the Notice of Intended Marriage) at least once during the ceremony, prior to or during your vows.
I must read a particular paragraph, known as the Monitum, from Section 46 of the Marriage Act 1961.
For example: I am duly authorised by law to solemnize marriages according to law. David and Julie, before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
You must exchange legal vows which state that you would like everyone present to witness that you take the other to be your lawful wedded husband/wife, as per Section 45(2) of the Marriage Act 1961. For example: I ask everyone here today to witness that I Donald take you Betty to be my lawful wedded wife.
You must sign the Official Certificate of Marriage, a Certificate of Marriage for you to retain and the Marriage Register.
What are the rules for marriage in Australia -
To be legally married in Australia, as provided by the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department. The two marrying parties must:
not be married to someone else
not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister
be at least eighteen years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between 16-18 years old
understand what marriage means and freely consent to becoming married
use specific words during the ceremony
give written notice of their intention to marry to their authorised celebrant.
Can I get married if I am under 18 years of age?
Of a couple intending to marry, one party is able to be under 18 years of age however you will need to complete extra paperwork. Contact me to discuss the legal requirements.
Can I get married within one month if I have not completed a Form 14 Notice of Intended Marriage
There are certain circumstances when a shortening of time can be permitted. Contact me to discuss the legal requirements.
Can I get married in Australia if I am not an Australian citizen or resident?
Yes, you may get married in Australia if you are not an Australian citizen or resident and even if you are not living in Australia