FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How much notice do I need to give to get legally married in Australia?
It is a legal requirement to complete a Notice of Intention to Marry Form. Marriage can take place no earlier than one month after the authorised marriage celebrant receives this form. It is valid for 18 months.
At least one of you (Bride or Groom) must sign the form in the presence of a Civil Marriage Celebrant or another authorised person e.g. lawyer, doctor etc (listed on the form).
Who can I have as my 2 Witnesses?
Providing your 2 Witnesses are over the age of 18 years, you can have anyone you want including witnesses from overseas.
What name does the Bride sign on the day of the Wedding?
The Bride must sign her MAIDEN name on all documentation on the day of the wedding.
What happens in the event that we have to postpone our Wedding?
The Notice of Intended Marriage is valid for 18 months therefore it is possible to re-schedule your wedding and I would be only too happy to assist you in any way with a new booking date.
How long will the Ceremony take?
The average time for a Ceremony is 15 - 20 minutes. This varies depending upon how many readings or poems you include.
How many poems or readings is the right amount?
This is personal choice, however 1- 2 is appropriate and ensures that your Ceremony is not too long.
We want to arrive at the ceremony together, is this suitable?
Again it is personal choice - If you would like to arrive together then you absolutely should!!
Do I (Bride) have to be given away?
No this is a personal choice and is not a requirement.
Who usually gives the Bride away?
Today many Brides choose not to follow with tradition being the Father of the Bride. Therefore it is a personal choice and it can be anyone / people you choose.
Is it still fashionable for the Bride to be late?
Remember if the Ceremony starts late - so does the rest of your Special Day!! Your reception venue, photographers, musicians and caterers are all on a time schedule. Most importantly, you should consider your guests, who may be elderly and become hot, tired and thirsty if your ceremony is held in an outdoor venue.
What happens if there are people around where we plan to hold the Ceremony?
Providing you have written approval from the relevant Council to hold the Ceremony, you have the right to ask them to move. I am happy to do this on your behalf.
Should we have some seating for our guests - how many chairs is the right amount?
It is a very good idea to provide chairs for the elderly and family. If you only want to provide minimal seating at an outdoor venue, then 12 chairs is a good number.
What would happen if the Celebrant was to get sick?
I would have to be incredibly ill for me not to attend your ceremony. If this is the case, then I would call upon some of my other referral celebrants to perform your ceremony and transfer all the legal documentation for them to finalise.
What happens if I need to change my Marriage Celebrant and I have already completed a Notice of Intention to Marry Form?
It is very unlikely but for some reason you may need to change your Marriage Celebrant you will need to obtain the Notice of Intended Marriage form that you lodged with the original celebrant and give it to your new celebrant or fill in a new form and wait a further month and one day. The original celebrant may charge a fee for work performed when passing on the form. The Celebrant by law must pass on the NOIM.
When would my Ceremony require a Portable PA system?
Celebrants must ensure that all persons at your ceremony can adequately hear the ceremony. I charge a hire fee.
How long before the wedding does the Celebrant have to arrive?
According to the Celebrant Code of Conduct, all celebrants must arrive at the ceremony at least 20 minutes beforehand, unless an alternative arrangement has been made with you.
Is it important to have a Rehearsal?
Yes. I always insist on having a rehearsal prior to your Wedding Day. It is during this time that I get a true feeling for your venue - be it your garden at home, a beach side setting or a reception venue. It is at your rehearsal that we can discuss the placement of the bridal party and your guests and make the best out of your chosen location.
I suggest we have the rehearsal as close to the time of day as your ceremony is planned. This way we can get a true indication of how it will be on your special day. E.g. where the sun will placed be if you are planning an outdoor ceremony. I know it is not always possible, however I recommend we ask all the participants in the ceremony to attend.
What happens when I want to get married overseas?
For information on getting married overseas please contact the Embassy or other diplomatic mission of the country concerned. If that country requires you to get a certificate of no impediment to marriage, contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on (02) 6261 3015.
What happens with the Bride's Change of Name?
Current polls suggest that there is a decline in Bride's changing their name to that of their husband once marriage takes place. A number of Brides now either retain their surname after marriage, or use the hyphenated name which includes her own, and the Groom's name.
To continue to use her own name, the Bride doesn't need to do anything. If she wants to change her name to that of the Groom she needs to contact the various organisations or services concerned. If the Bride wants to hyphenate her name with that of the Groom, the process becomes a legal change of name and you can get a Name Change Kit here at newlywed.com.au. I am happy to send your application form for your Registered Marriage Certificate together with my legal documentation or can do it in person at the Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages in your state.
What is a Shortening of Time?
It is possible to shorten the minimum notice time for a marriage
to less than a month if special circumstances set out in the regulations are met. There are five categories of circumstances in the regulations.
Employment related or other travel commitments;
Wedding or Celebrant arrangements, or
Legal proceedings; or
Error in giving notice.
You need to approach a Prescribed Authority (usually at your Local Court or Registry office) for approval to shorten the required period of notice. The reason for seeking a shortening of time for notice must fall within one of these categories before an application can be considered. A list of Prescribed Authorities may be found at Prescribed Authorities.
What happens if I want to get married and I am currently seeking a divorce?
You can lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage Form with me prior to your divorce proceedings being finalised, however, I will ensure that I take note of the date when the decree becomes absolute as a marriage can only take place after that date. The marriage cannot be performed until the divorce is finalised.
As from 1 July 2002, the Family Court and Federal Magistrates Court ceased issuing separate documents for a decree nisi of dissolution of marriage and a decree absolute. They now issue a document headed "Certificate of Divorce" which contains the date of both the decree nisi and the decree absolute. This certificate is evidence of divorce for the purposes of solemnising a marriage (see section 42(10)). If you were divorced prior to that date you will need to show the celebrant a copy of the decree absolute.
Can I marry a Relative?
The Marriage Act prohibits people marrying:
These restrictions also apply to adoptive relationships even if these have been annulled, cancelled, discharged or cease to be effective for any reason (for example, due to a subsequent adoption order being made). This means, for example, that a person cannot marry their parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister. However, a person may marry their aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, first cousin or step-sibling.
Can a person under 18 years of age be married in Australia?
Any person between the age of 16 to 18 is deemed to be a minor for the purpose of marriage in Australia.
A person aged 16 and 17 can be married with the parents' / guardian's consent and an order from a judge or a magistrate.
Can two people, both under the age of 18, be married with parent's consent and a court order in Australia?
No, two persons under 18 cannot be married under any circumstances.