Woo-hoo you’re engaged to marry your best friend!
Where to from here?
I’ve outlined the bare minimum legal requirements below. Everything else is completely up to you – but I’m here to help you design a ceremony that reflects you and your partner, and leaves a meaningful memory on each of your guests.
- At least one month prior to the ceremony, a form called the Notice of Intended Marriage (or NOIM) needs to be filled in by you and signed by your chosen celebrant. This form will require you to have some documentation handy to prove your identity (birth certificate or passport) and the end of any prior marriages. Should you need to get married in a hurry (i.e. quicker than the standard month’s notice) you can apply to a ‘prescribed authority’ for a shortening of time.
- A statutory declaration must be completed by the couple and signed by the couple and the celebrant as close to the ceremony date as possible – this usually happens at the rehearsal. This document outlines that there is no legal impediment to the upcoming marriage. The celebrant will provide you with this document.
- On the wedding day (so at least a month after signing the NOIM):
- you will need at least two witnesses, who are over the age of eighteen
- the celebrant must state to you and your witnesses who they are, and must legally say the following:
“I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”
- Both partners to the marriage must then take turns to say:
“I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [full name], take you, [full name], to be my lawful wedded wife/husband/spouse”
- The marriage celebrant, parties to the marriage and the two witnesses must then sign three documents:
- The Certificate of Marriage (that the celebrant will lodge with the registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages)
- The commemorative certificate that the couple keeps
- The marriage certificate that the celebrant legally retains