So you want to get married, huh? That's great news! I'm here to help.
Most couples start their journey with me 6-18 months prior to the wedding date. If your wedding is sooner than six months away, please enquire via this form as soon as possible.
Here are the ten key steps in planning your marriage ceremony (don't worry, I'll do most of the work):
Meet – we catch up in person or via digital means.
Lodge – we complete a document called the Notice of Intended Marriage at least one month prior to the wedding.
Plan – we discuss your preferences and plan the big day. This could happen quickly or over the course of months.
Questionnaire – I'll send you a few questions to fill out as a couple in your own time.
Write – I write my ceremonies from scratch using the answers from your questionnaire. This means it's your words and thoughts woven together by me, which makes it unique.
Vow – I have a guide that can help you write personal vows (if that’s what you want to do).
Final checks – you'll get to proof a final version of the ceremony in full.
Rehearse – in the week prior (usually on the day before) we do a walk-through on site. At this time we also sign a document called the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage.
Wedding day – I'll be there at least an hour before start time to set up and rev up the crowd.
Lodge – after the wedding I will register the marriage via my online portal and you should receive confirmation within two weeks.
Most of our planning can be done over email, but I’m happy to meet or chat as many times as you like.
If you're having a more intimate ceremony or elopement, the above process will differ slightly.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW
What does a celebrant do?
A marriage celebrant is responsible for planning the ceremony before, during and after the wedding, including lodgement of documentation to officially register the marriage.
A celebrant doesn’t just turn up on the day. Correction, a good celebrant doesn't just turn up on the day! A lot of work happens before, during and after to ensure a marriage is legally (and well) officiated.
Think of your celebrant like a host - the person that will take responsibility for the event that is your wedding ceremony, and set the tone for the day ahead.
Requirements of marriage in Australia
To be legally married in Australia, a person must:
not be married to someone else
not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister
be at least 18 years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between 16 and 18 years old
understand what marriage means and be freely consenting to marrying
specific words must be said during the ceremony
give written notice of intention to marry to an authorised celebrant, within the required time frame
be married by an authorised marriage celebrant
A celebrant can help you understand these requirements. See more here.
You don't have to be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia to legally marry in Australia. If you and your partner plan on visiting Australia and would like to get married during your stay, as long as you can meet the legal requirements listed above you are eligible to marry under Australian law. You may wish to confirm that a legal marriage in Australia is recognised under the marriage laws of your home country or country of residence, in which case I recommend getting in touch with your Consular Office.
Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrants can only perform legal marriages within Australia. If you're planning on getting married somewhere outside of Australia, I am more than happy to travel and officiate your ceremony! While it won't be legally binding, the ceremony can be a pretty similar version of a legal ceremony on Australian land. I can also conduct a legals-only marriage ceremony here in Australia that will ensure your marriage is legally solemnised before you travel to your overseas wedding.
What documentation is required for a marriage in Australia?
Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) – this form needs to be lodged a clear month prior to the wedding. During our first meeting I'll provide you with this, help you fill it out and then lodge it by signing and taking possession of it until after the wedding.
Happily ever...before and after brochure – I'm legally required to provide this to you once you've lodged the NOIM.
Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage – I'll get you to fill this out and sign closer to the wedding day.
Documentation on the day – you and your partner, your two witnesses and I will sign three documents on the day. I'll provide you with one to keep, send one to the registering authority in whichever state the marriage ceremony is being held (as evidence of the marriage) and provide you with one for your own records.
Post-ceremony documents – in NSW I can order an official marriage certificate from Births, Deaths and Marriages on your behalf, at your direction. There is a fee associated with ordering the certificate, so I'll pass on the charges including the fee, postage and credit card charges.