The Process

In Australia there are a number of legal requirements before a couple can be married.

A couple must first:

  • not be married to someone else
  • not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister
  • be at least eighteen years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between sixteen and eighteen years old understand what marriage means and freely consent to becoming husband and wife
  • use specific words during the ceremony
  • give written notice of their intention to marry to their authorised celebrant, within the required time frame.

Granted that this eligibility is met, I can begin our first meeting. This is where we get together in person (or by phone/video call) and chat about the exciting ceremony on the horizon!

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At this first meeting, we can get through some of the initial legal jargon, complete the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form together and I’ll sight relevant documentation. The NOIM form must be completed and lodged with me no later than one month prior to the ceremony and up to eighteen months before the ceremony. While I will be with you when completing, it may be helpful to know I will ask you to provide evidence of your date and place of birth, identity, and the end of any previous marriages for each party.
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During this meeting, we may also go enjoy a coffee together while you share your love story and discuss all the elements of your dream ceremony; from readings to ring exchange, from vows to the big ‘I do’. Alternatively, this can be done in a second meeting, if you wish. Based on this information, I will then write up the draft ceremony script for you to provide feedback on (including some rough timing for the service).

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Then, before you know it, the big day will be around the corner. But not before we organise a rehearsal, roughly one week prior to your ceremony. This is always a lot of fun and is used to plan the staging - the entrance of the wedding party, the location, lighting, ritual timing and any other variables (e.g. noise, tides), and perhaps even a practice kiss!

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The last pieces to the puzzle are the marriage certificates. On the day of your wedding you will sign three marriage certificates. Each of these will be signed by you, your celebrant and two witnesses. I will give one certificate to you as a record of your marriage. The others will be submitted to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages within 14 days, allowing you to apply for a copy of this certificate after the big day.