How long does a ceremony take?
A Civil Ceremony usually takes about 20 minutes, including signing the papers but it does depend on the type of ceremony you choose. It’s your special day and should be everything you want it to be.

Can we get married tomorrow?
Ordinarily no. You are required to notify your celebrant (ME!) at least 31 days before the date of your intended marriage. It is, however, possible to shorten this minimum time if special circumstances set out in the regulations are met.

Firstly, you need to meet with me to fill out the Notice of Intended Marriage Form.

Secondly you will need to approach a prescribed authority for approval (your Local Court or Registry Officials). These officials are the only people that can shorten the required period if they are satisfied that the circumstances prescribed in the regulations are met: These circumstances are:

1. Employment related or other travel commitments.
2. Wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations.
3. Medical reasons.
4. Legal proceedings.
5. Error in giving notice.

The reason for seeking a shortening of time must fall within one of these categories and it is up to the prescribed authority to approve the application. Please be aware that it is not an automatic process.

What is involved in the ceremony service?

  • Welcome (To family and friends)
  • Entrance of Bridesmaids and Bride (Music can be played as you make your entrance)
  • Giving the Bride Away (You don’t have to be given away if you don’t want to)
  • Introduction (Sharing how you met or your journey so far as a couple or family)
  • Reading (1st) (optional)
  • Monitum (The legal part of the Ceremony which must be said by the Celebrant)
  • Asking (I will ask if you are willing to take one another as partners in life)
  • Vows (The marriage commitment) (legal)
  • Personal vows
  • Exchange of Rings (optional)
  • Other rituals of your choice (optional) (eg. any family customs or traditions, a candle unity ritual, hand fastening ritual, etc.)
  • Reading (2nd) (optional)
  • Declaration and Kiss (Declaration of marriage)
  • Signing of the Marriage Register & Certificates (Some more music is best played here while you sign the legal paperwork)
  • Presentation of Newlyweds (This can include a blessing, reading, words of congratulations, or anything else of your choice. You will be presented with your Marriage Certificate and announced as the married couple for the very first time).

Do we have to attend any pre-marital courses?
This is your choice. I do have all the information regarding this should you wish to attend. Most couples who have taken advantage of this course, have gained a lot of insight and confidence in their marriage.

What paperwork is required for legal purposes?
Before your wedding, you need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage at least one month and one day prior to your Wedding. It can also be lodged with me up to 18 months in advance of the Wedding. I would suggest not leaving this document to the last minute.

Documents you need to supply:

  • an original copy of your birth certificate if you were born in Australia
  • If you were born overseas you will need your birth certificate or a current passport.
  • If you are widowed you will also need the death certificate which can be obtained from the State Registry in the state where the death was registered.
  • If either partner was previously divorced, a copy of the decree absolute can be obtained from the Family Law Court in the state where the marriage was dissolved.

Please note: Any documents in a foreign language must be translated into English and a Translation Certificate supplied.

At the wedding you are also required to have two witnesses who are over the age of 18 present to sign the Marriage Register and Certificates.

Documentation your celebrant (ME) will complete and submit to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Department:

  • The NOIM (Form 13)
  • The Declaration of no legal impediment to marriage (Form 14)
  • Official Certificate of Marriage (Form 16)
  • Certificate of Marriage (Form 15) which needs to be purchased separately
  • Marriage Certificate to give to you on the day of your wedding
  • The Marriage Register

Want to change your name once you’re married?

You can start using your new married name as soon as you are married! To get accounts and identification changed over into your new married name then you need the official marriage certificate. Most companies will want to see a copy, so get in contact with each one to learn the process and ask if they have a form. If you don’t like the idea of wasting newlywed days on hold, researching and filling in forms then consider using a name change kit. Simply check off the companies to notify and Easy Name Change will send you a custom pack of forms. Just attach your marriage certificate and send!