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Legal steps to getting married in Australia

There are several legal steps to getting married in Australia.

Marriage celebrants are professionals who are trained and authorised to solemnise marriages in Australia according to the rites of the Marriage Act 1961. This is a legal service so we take our role as marriage celebrants very seriously!

We must comply with a Code of Conduct and undertake ongoing professional development each year to ensure we stay up to date with legislation and regulations.

As your marriage celebrant, it is my responsibility to guide you through these steps as painlessly as possible.

*In normal circumstances, you must both be at least 18 years old, not married to anyone else, and not in a prohibited relationship.

This infographic shows the key steps:

  • Between one and 18 months before your planned wedding date, complete the Notice of Intended Marriage form with your marriage celebrant.
  • Prove your identity to the satisfaction of your marriage celebrant. Useful documents are your birth certificate and driver's licence or passport.
  • If you have been married before, show your marriage celebrant documents that show how your most recent marriage ended i.e. divorce order of death certificate.
  • As close as possible to your ceremony, but before your marriage is solemnised, you must both sign the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage.
  • On the day, as your marriage celebrant I must make a legal statement called the monitum, and you must both speak your legal vows.
  • You need two witnesses who are at least 18 years of age.
  • The couple getting married, your two witnesses and your marriage celebrant sign three copies of the marriage certificate.
  • Within 14 days of solemnising your marriage, your celebrant must submit all of the legal paperwork to the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages who will register your marriage.
  • The marriage certificate you receive on your wedding day is a presentation certificate. You can apply for your official certificate from BDM (charges apply).

*There are provisions in the Marriage Act 1961 which cater for special circumstances that arise from time to time. As your celebrant, I can advise whether those may provisions apply.

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