AJ's Step by Step
Guide to Marriage
What you need to know and what to do to get married in Australia
Congratulations! You’re engaged to be married, now what’s next?
Well, apart from planning a wedding, there are some legal requirements you should be aware of. I’m here to help and guide you through the process but first please read this quick guide to marriage in Australia.
WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM LEGAL REQUIREMENTS TO GET MARRIED IN AUSTRALIA?
To get married in Australia, you must:
1.Not be married to someone else at the time you are to be married to another person.
2. Not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister (including by adoption)
3. Be at least 18 years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is between 16 and 18 years old. Approval will not be given if both parties are younger than 16 years
4. Understand what marriage means
5. Freely and able to consent to getting married. Please note that surprise weddings are not able to be conducted as both parties must have consented ahead of time.
6. Use specific words during the marriage ceremony to adhere to legal requirements.
7. Complete of your Notice of Intention to Marry, within the required time frame and submit this to your celebrant. More below..
WHAT ARE THE STEPS I NEED TO TAKE TO GET LEGALLY MARRIED IN AUSTRALIA?
STEP 1: COMPLETE AND SIGN THE NOTICE OF INTENDED MARRIAGE (NOIM)
The first thing you need to do is fill out a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). You can follow the link and fine this on my resources page.
There are notes on the NOIM to help you fill it out. You should read those notes, as you complete the NOIM.
Alternatively, you can book you initial consultation with enough time and I can fill this in with you electronically.
What evidence of my identity do I need to provide?
You need to satisfy your authorised marriage celebrant ,that you and your partner are who you say you are.
As your celebrant I require to see the following evidence from you:
1. Evidence of your place and date of birth and evidence of your identity. If you have a passport, you can use your passport for this. It can be an Australian passport or a passport from another country. You can use a passport that has expired within the previous five years, but you cannot use your passport as evidence, if it has been cancelled. If you don’t have a passport, you can provide your driver’s licence and birth certificate as evidence of your place and date of birth and evidence of your identity.
2. Evidence of your divorce from or of the death of a previous spouse, if either of you were previously married. If either of you has been married more than once, then you only need to provide evidence of the divorce from or the death of your most recent spouse.
What are the marriage terms used in the NOIM?
Both parties to the marriage need to tick one of three boxes that best describes them: ‘groom’, ‘bride’ or ‘partner’. It’s up to each party to decide which option they want to use to describe themselves. For example, it’s completely fine for a person who identifies as a male to tick ‘bride’ or a person who identifies as a female to tick “groom”.
Who can I ask to sign the NOIM?
Normally couple whom I work with submit the NOIM with me and therefore I am able to witness your signatures and complete the 2nd page.
However if it’s not possible for us to meet face to face then once you’ve completed the details in the NOIM, ask one of the following qualified persons to witness your signatures: a police officer (Australian Federal Police or state/territory police), a barrister or solicitor, a Justice of the Peace, or a legally qualified medical practitioner (note: this doesn’t include a pharmacist or dentist). You can then email or post the NOIM to me.
***Please note the 30 day commences ONCE I have received the notice NOT of the date you signed it.***
The lifespan of the NOIM is 18 months – that is, you can get married at any time between one month and eighteen months from when your celebrant receives your signed and witnessed NOIM.
THE DECLARATION OF NO LEGAL IMPEDIMENT TO MARRIAGE
STEP 2: SIGNING OF THE DECLARATION OF NO LEGAL IMPEDIMENT TO MARRIAGE BEFORE YOUR MARRIAGE TAKES PLACE
You need to sign the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage (DONLIM) as close as possible to your wedding day as possible.
The DONLIM is a legal declaration that both of you are of marriageable age, are not in a prohibited relationship, are not married to someone else, and are not aware of any other legal impediment to your marriage taking place. Often, celebrants will get you to sign the DONLIM at a wedding rehearsal within the week before your wedding.
THE CERTIFICATEs OF MARRIAGE
and the different obligations Including witnesses
STEP 3: THE OFFICIAL CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE (X2) AND CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE (Form 15)
On the day of your wedding, you will need two people who are aged over 18 years and who understand English, to be your witnesses. They do not need to provide the celebrant with evidence of their age or identity.
Immediately after your marriage ceremony, you, your two witnesses and your celebrant will sign three marriage certificates. Two of these are the Official Certificate of Marriage and the other is a Certificate of Marriage (also called a Presentation Certificate). After you, your two witnesses and the celebrant have signed all three certificates, the celebrant will hand you the Certificate of Marriage – it is a record of your marriage that you can keep.
Within 14 days, the celebrant must provide your paperwork (the NOIM, the Declaration and one of the Official Certificates of Marriage) to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the Australian state or territory where the marriage took place, so they can register your marriage. (Your celebrant must keep one copy of the Official Certificate of Marriage in a secure place for 6 years). Personally I always apply for a copy of your marriage certificate on your behalf and you will receive an email requesting payment for this.
Let's Work Together
As you can see as your celebrant I take on a major role in making sure that your marriage process is both legal but also smooth sailing. The first step for you is to head straight to the book now page and select a date and time for your first meeting so we can get the ball rolling!