You can get married only under exceptional circumstances. To get married less than one month after signing your NOIM form with your celebrant, you must be granted a shortening of the statutory notice period by a prescribed authority such as the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM). Registrars and Deputy Registrars (in your State) can also grant shortenings. As a Prescribed Authority, BDM will only consider your application if you:
You will also need to pay a non-refundable shortening fee.
Although BDM will consider a shortening application if you meet the above requirements, you may not be granted the shortening if BDM is not satisfied with your application.
Conjugal status indicates whether someone has been married and if so, how that marriage ended.
If your Fiancé/Fiancée does not speak English, an interpreter will be necessary. You must source the interpreter and they must be authorised and independent. Prior to your marriage, your celebrant must receive a statutory declaration by the interpreter stating he/she understands and is able to converse in the language/s required. Your celebrant can provide the necessary statutory declaration for you to take to your interpreter.
Immediately after the ceremony the interpreter must give the authorised celebrant a certificate of the faithful performance of his or her services as interpreter. The certificate must be in the prescribed form. Your celebrant will be able to provide the prescribed form.
Absolutely, however there are a couple of compulsory elements that must be included in order for you to be legally married. These are the Monitum (which authorises the celebrant to solemnise your marriage according to Australian law); set words that you both must repeat after the celebrant, in the presence of at least two witnesses; and the signing of the legal documentation. Apart from these, you have complete control, including the order of your ceremony.
Yes this is possible. Witnesses can be any person who is at least 18 years of age. It can be a family member or a friend, or even a complete stranger. However, you must have two witnesses attend your wedding ceremony, to witness the ceremony and sign the Marriage Certificates.
On your wedding day you will receive a decorative certificate known as the “Marriage Certificate”. This certificate is decorative and only for your own records. It is NOT a legal document, and it is not acceptable as proof of marriage for official purposes such as updating/changing your driver’s licence or passport to your married name.
If you will be updating/changing your name, you must apply for an official Marriage Certificate from Births Deaths and Marriages in your State as official proof of marriage.
Please note that the Registry can only issue an official Marriage Certificate once your marriage is registered by your celebrant. It is your celebrant’s responsibility to ensure the marriage is registered by lodging the documents within 14 days of your wedding ceremony. Once lodged, it then takes BDM up to 4 weeks to process.
As your Commitment ceremony is not legally recognised in Australia, you will not be issued with an official Marriage Certificate by Births Deaths and Marriages. After your ceremony, you should contact Births Deaths and Marriages in your State to complete and lodge an Application to Register a Change of Name. You will then be issued with a Change of Name Certificate. This can be used to change all your identification documents.
That’s a difficult one, but your ‘gut feeling’ is a good guide. Always ask yourself:
No, it is not a requirement, but celebrants are legally required to inform you about Relationship Education courses. Your celebrant should provide you with a relationships brochure “Happily Ever..Before and After”. This brochure contains important information for couples that wish to marry by referring them to services in regard to relationships and marriage.
It is recommended that you hold a rehearsal close to your wedding day. This enables potential problems to be identified and participants to know their role, helping to ensure your ceremony will run smoothly. While it is often advisable, it is not always necessary for the rehearsal to be held at your venue.
Absolutely. Your celebrant will help you find and/or write the vows and will create a ceremony which reflects your wishes. Please note that Australian law imposes minor inclusions in the ceremony wording, which a celebrant has no say over. Please refer to “Can we write our own wedding ceremony” above.
Yes this is possible, but not if the second ceremony is represented as “your wedding”. It is illegal to do this. The alternative is that you can have a civil ceremony with some religious observance, or that the second ceremony be presented as a celebratory event with family and friends in which you re-affirm the vows previously taken.
The celebrant will encourage participation of all who are part of the child’s circle — parents, grandparents, mentors, and friends. Participation takes many forms. Most families take the opportunity to celebrate family values and talents and express their wishes for the child.
No. Some people prefer to appoint “guardians”, “mentors” or use some other term of choice or simply call on those present to take an active role in being good role models for the child.
Note: the appointment of a guardian in a ceremony creates no legal obligation for that person in the event of the death of the parents.
No. The only ways a person can legally change the name on their birth certificate are to apply to the office of Births, Deaths and Marriages for a Change of Name Certificate or by getting married and taking the new spouse’s family name. However, a ceremony can still celebrate such a change of name and make it public.
Almost anything that is important enough for people to want to celebrate with a special rite or by staging a “special function”. These might include ceremonies of:
The marriage ceremony creates a legally recognised relationship between a man and a woman. The commitment ceremony also creates a celebration between couples, who may choose not to legally marry, or for a couple to celebrate their relationship with family and friends. This ceremony cannot be represented as a wedding ceremony.
Yes they can. In fact anyone can, so long as they are at least 18 years of age. However, they are unable to deliver the compulsory legal elements that must be included in order for you to be legally married. These are: the Monitum (which authorises the celebrant to solemnise your marriage according to Australian law); set words that you both must repeat after the celebrant, in the presence of at least two witnesses; and the signing of the legal documentation. The celebrant must be present.
Celebrating your life and the life of your loved one and how far you or they have come is important — celebrate you, celebrate your loved one!
Live! Love! Life! Learn! Laugh!
Supporter of Australian Marriage Equality
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