Can I legally get married in Australia?

The Marriage Act 1961 states that “Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

To be able to marry you must:

  • not be married to someone else (if your divorce is pending you can  start the process, but your divorce must be finalised before you can  marry)

  • not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister

  • be at least 18 years old, (if one person is between 16 and 18 a court  order must be obtained

  • understand what marriage means and freely consent to marrying

  • use specific words during the ceremony (I will go through this with you)

  • give written notice of your intention to marry to an authorise celebrant (me), a minimum of one month before your ceremony


What documentation do I require?

To complete the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) I need to see you

  • passport (Australian or foreign) OR

  • original birth certificate and a driver’s licence (or other form of official photo ID), and

  • evidence of termination of the your most recent marriage, for         example, original divorce papers or your former spouse’s death        certificate (if applicable)


All these documents must be in English or have an official translation certificate.



How far in advance do we need to contact you?

Legally you need to complete the NOIM a minimum of one month before the wedding unless you have approval from a prescribed authority (only given in limited circumstances).  It is best to contact me as soon as you have set the date for your wedding (Although I’m happy to have an initial meeting if you haven’t set the date). 


Who can witness our marriage?

As being a witness involves legal documents, witnesses must be over the age of 18.  It can be anyone you choose - they just must be able to witness you saying your official vows. 


We have some ideas about what we want in our wedding. 

Can we …

There are only a few legal requirements for the wedding ceremony.  I will explain these when we meet.  As long as these requirements are met, then there is a lot of scope to personalise your ceremony.  As part of my services we will discuss options and I’ll provide you with resources to assist you.


Can we write our own vows? 

Absolutely!  Again, there are some legal requirements, but once we have included those in what you are saying then you can expand on your vows and make them personal and meaningful.


Where can we get married?

I am authorised to solemnise marriages in Australia.  My fees are inclusive of venues within a reasonable drive of Canberra.  I love travel, so am more than willing to discuss other locations within Australia and my fees for your dream destination.


What paperwork is required?

There are a few documents which you are required to complete.  The Notice of Intended Marriage is the first document we will complete together.  I will talk you through all the other forms at our initial meeting, but they can all be found on the Attorney General’s Department website. 


Do we need to have marriage counselling?

All marriage celebrants are required to give you a document about relationship education Happily Ever … Before and After. Getting married is one of the biggest decisions you will make and I can give you information about relationship counsellors you can see.  I think getting support for your marriage is a great idea.  People often get financial advisors, personal coaches for fitness and health and career coaches or mentors but when it comes to marriage people think that counselling is only for when there are difficulties.  Relationship education is a great way to strengthen what is most special to you!


How can we meet you?

I am available to meet with you after 6 pm Monday to Friday and on weekends my arrangement, (obviously weekends are when most people want their ceremonies).  If you are in Canberra, I can come to you, you can come to me in Campbell, or we can meet somewhere that is mutually convenient (and quiet enough for us to talk).  If you are interstate or overseas, then there are lots of options that we can use to speak (skype, facetime etc). 


How do we book you?

I will provide you with my Service Agreement at our first meeting.  It details all the terms and conditions – what you can expect from me and what I require from you.  To book me for a particular date (noting that I will only book one wedding per day), I require you to sign the Service Agreement and pay a non-refundable booking fee. I accept cash or a direct bank transfer.  I don’t accept credit card payments.  Once that is received I will send you a receipt for payment and invoice for the outstanding amount, but you have secured me for the date you requested! 

If your date changes, you need to contact me immediately to check availability.


photo by Mary Wheatley Photography

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Photo by Timeless Creations