It is a legal requirement for me, as an Authorised Marriage Celebrant, to read out the following words with a clear and sound voice in the presence of the persons witnessing your marriage. However, any words, poems, readings, rituals, etc., before and after are up to you as the couple.
I, Mariana Podgorski-Guyett, 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 a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
Under the Marriage Act 1961, Section 45 (2) ‘Form of Ceremony’:
(2) Where a marriage is solemnised by or in the presence of an authorised celebrant, not being a minister of religion, it is sufficient if each of the parties says to the other, in the presence of the authorised celebrant and the witnesses, the words: “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take thee, C.D. (or A.B.), to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)”;
Or words to that effect.
It is encouraged for you as a couple to write your own vows to declare on your wedding day, your celebration of commitment, and or renewing of your vows. It will make your ceremony all that more special, unique and more meaningful to you both. Your vows do not have to be complex or elaborate!
You may also choose to have your vows read out by me as the celebrant, which you will repeat after me or to each other in your own very special and unique way!
In the first instance a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form must be completed and lodged with me, as the celebrant, one calendar month prior to the marriage ceremony date and no later than 18 months. (Click here to download a copy of the Notice Of Intended Marriage form from the Attorney General’s website www.ag.gov.au)
If your marriage ceremony is less than one calendar month, due to special circumstances, e.g., medical reasons, legal proceedings, travel commitments, error in giving the notice, etc., you must be granted a shortening of the statutory notice period by a prescribed authority, e.g., the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM). However, if you are located in a regional areas the Registrars and Deputy Registrars at most regional Courts can also grant this shortening of time notice.
Given the special circumstances provided, the BDM will consider your application if you:
Please be aware that a non-refundable fee is also applicable when submitting your application.
I can prepare and witness you completing the NOIM form. The NOIM must be signed by you and your partner. However, one signature is sufficient to be witnessed by me at the time of completion, and your partner can sign in my presence anytime up to one week prior to the marriage ceremony.
At the time of preparing and witnessing your NOIM, I must sight either of the following:
If you or your partner were born overseas and do not have official identification documentation, e.g., overseas passport and or are unable to obtain a full birth certificate, a statutory declaration must be prepared as to the reason why there is no passport or birth certificate. Any documents in a foreign language must also be translated into English by a NAATI accredited Translator. If your partner does not speak English, a NAATI Interpreter will be necessary. Prior to your marriage, I as your celebrant must receive a statutory declaration from the interpreter stating that your partner understands and is able to communicate in the national language required. I will be able to prepare the necessary statutory declaration for you to take with you to the Interpreter.
Immediately after the ceremony the interpreter must provide me as the celebrant a certificate of the true performance of their services as an interpreter and the certificate must be in the prescribed form. I can provide the prescribed form.
If you or your partner have been previously married, I will also need to sight the original Divorce Decree Absolute papers; and if widowed a copy of the death certificate of the previous partner.
You must both be over 18 years of age. If one person is under 18 years of age, the marriage is still possible by parental consent as per section 12 of the Marriage Act 1961.
The marriage ceremony must be witnessed by two (2) people over 18 years of age and they must be able to speak and understand English. I, as the celebrant, cannot act as a witness during the ceremony. However, any other person can, e.g., family member/s, friends, even a stranger! At the completion of your ceremony, both of you, me as the celebrant and the witnesses will be required to sign the Marriage Register and Marriage Certificate. These signed official documents will be lodged by me as the celebrant with the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages on your behalf after the ceremony.
If you wish to change your name after the marriage ceremony you will need to submit an application to the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages in the State in which you were married requesting, an official Marriage Certificate. The Marriage Certificate you receive after your ceremony is not a legal document or confirmation of your name change. This Certificate is only a celebration certificate and it does not support your application to change any of your identity papers.
If you are having a Commitment Ceremony, this is not a legally recognised marriage ceremony and you will not be issued with an official Marriage Certificate by the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages. If you want to change your name, it is recommended that after your Commitment Ceremony you contact the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages in your State and submit an application to register a Change of Name.
As a couple you are not required to attend any pre-marital courses. I will provide you with the brochure Happily Ever Before and After, as well as a Relationship Services kit as a guide for you both to review as a couple.
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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