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Legal Requirements for Weddings

Weddings legal requirements for marriage in NSW

Weddings legal requirements in Australia is the union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others.
A civil marriage celebrant or a clergy must authorizef the marriage.

In a nut shell-

  • Lodging & Signing a NOIM with me.
  • Presenting to me either original birth certificates or passports.
  • Presenting Divorce/death papers (if applicable)
  • This is all YOU have to do. I will do all the rest of the legal/paper work for you.

In details –

  • It is a legal requirement to complete a “Notice Of Intended Marriage” and lodge it with your wedding celebrant, at least 30 days and no longer than 18 months before the proposed wedding ceremony It is valid for 18 months. (I would suggest earlier rather than later to secure your date and time and starts the legal process)
  • Please do not sign the Notice of Intended Marriage Form as either your celebrant or other authorised person must witness  your signature.
  • You will also sign a declaration stating that there is no legal impediment to your marriage
  • This stage is a $200.00 lodgement fee. (which is non-refundable)

 Documents sighted by the marriage celebrant

Certain documentation must be produced and sighted by the wedding celebrant before the marriage is solemnised.

  • Either your Original Birth Certificate or Australian passport.
  • If either of you have been previously married then your Original Divorce papers or Death Certificate of a previous spouse. ( For a copy of your Divorce Paper please contact the Family Law Court in the State you were Divorced)
  • If either party has officially changed their names, a Change of Name Certificate is required
    * Any documents in a foreign language must be translated into English and a Translation Certificate supplied.

Statuary Declarations – If you cannot obtain a copy of your birthday certificate due to you being a refugee or other circumstances ,I can help you complete a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration where you state details of the date and place of your birth, your parents etc.

The marriage age in Australia 

Both persons intending to marry must be the age of 18.
If one party is between the age of 16 and 18 years old you are required to obtain the following:
* parents consent on the required form
* a court order under section 12 of the marriage Act.

Two witnesses at the Wedding Ceremony 

There should be 2 witnesses over the age of 18 present to sign the Marriage Register and Certificates after the wedding ceremony.

Documents signed after the wedding ceremony

You will be required to sign 3 marriage certificates following the ceremony.

  • The first is the official certificate which the celebrant will send to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to officially register the marriage.
  • Then, The second is a duplicate which the celebrant keeps as a record of the marriage.
  • The third is a numbered Wedding Certificate, often referred to as the parties’ certificate. It is a legal document proof of your marraige, which you will be given as a keepsake.

The proof of Marriage you will  receive

  • At your wedding you will be presented with a Marriage Certificate. This certificate is conclusive evidence of your marriage but not of your identity.
  • An official marriage certificate from the BDM. Some entities e.g. Passport Office & RTA require you to produce a registered copy of your Marriage Certificate. I will obtained it for your from NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (fee is $51).

I will ensure you have a full understanding of all legal requirements of a marriage. As well as undertake to comply with all areas of the Marriage Act 1961.

Is Shortening of Time possible?

It is possible to shorten this minimum time if special circumstances set out in the regulations are met.

  • Firstly, you need to meet with me to fill out the Notice of Intended Marriage Form.
  • Secondly you will need to approach a prescribed authority for approval (yourLocal Court or Registry Officials) They are the only ones that can shorten the required period if they are satisfied that the circumstances prescribed in the regulations are met: These circumstances are:

1. Employment related or other travel commitments.
2. Wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations.
3. Medical reasons
4. Legal proceedings.
5. Error in giving notice.

The reason for seeking a shortening of time must fall within one of these categories and it is up to the prescribed authority to approve the application ~ it is not an automatic process.

The Marriage Celebrant Must:

  • Identify themselves to the assembled parties, as the wedding celebrant authorised to solemnise the marriage and say the words required by section 46 (Monitum), in the presence of the parties, the formal witnesses and the guests before the marriage is solemnised;
  • Ensure that they see and hear the vows being exchanged, because it is the exchange of vows that constitutes the marriage;
  • Sign the papers required by the Act and register the marriage.

Marriage Celebrants are responsible for registering the marriage within 14 days of the ceremony taking place.

Translation and Interpreting Services-

Community Relations Commission 24hr/7days on site interpreting service available 1300 651 500 or Sydney 02 8255 6767 Level 8 175-183 Castlereagh St, Sydney Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.
For marriages dissolved before 1975, a copy of the decree absolute can be obtained from the Supreme Court in the state where the marriage was dissolved.

Couples living interstate

It is not a problem at all. Hence, the process is very easy. So if you live interstate and will not be in NSW until a few days before the wedding Ceremony ,we can still  get on with the lodgement of the NOIM .
You can either download the form from  Notice Of Intended Marriage or I can post you one and you can fill it out and have it signed by an appropriate person in that state and then post it off to the me. Just contact me for details.

State Registry Offices
(for all birth, death and marriage certificates).

GPO 30 Sydney
NSW 2001
GPO Box 788
Canberra ACT 2601
Ph: 02 6207 6444
Queensland Victoria
PO Box 188 Albert St.,
Brisbane QLD 4002
Ph: 07 3247 9203
PO Box 4332
Melbourne VIC 3001
Ph: 1300 369 367
South Australia Western Australia
GPO Box 1351,
Adelaide SA 5001
Ph: 08 8204 9599
PO Box 7720,
Cloisters Square WA 6850
Ph: 08 264 1555
Northern Territory  
PO Box 3021 NT
Ph: 08 8999 6119