Legal Requirements Marrying in Australia
Legal Marriage in Australia is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others.
A Civil Marriage Celebrant or Member of the Clergy can authorize a marriage.
The same legalities apply to locals as to overseas visitors.
How to Get Married in Australia
- We will need to complete the “Notice Of Intended Marriage” and lodge it, at least 1 calendar month and no longer than 18 months before your wedding ceremony.
- The NOIM is valid for 18 months. (Best earlier rather than later to secure your date and time)
- You will need to sign the Notice of Intended Marriage Form in front of either a celebrant or an authorised person.
- We usually fill in the form together online, otherwise, I’ll email you the valid form, fill it in and email me the form back so that I can lodge it for you.
- If you are overseas, or can’t come over to see me, I will provide you with this form, as well as detailed instructions on how to fill in the NOIM.
Documents to Have your Wedding in Australia
The documents you must produce to your the celebrant before the marriage takes place:
- Your Passport OR your Original Birth Certificate. (Driving license if we use your birth certificate)
- If either of you has been previously married then your Original Divorce Decree papers or Death Certificate of a previous spouse. (in case you need 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.
Legal Age For Marriage 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 will need to obtain the following:
- Parents’ consent on the required form.
- A court order under section 12 of the Marriage Act.
Couples Living Interstate or Overseas
- If you will not be in NSW until a few days before the ceremony, we can still very easily get on with the lodgement of the NOIM.
- I can email you the form and you can fill it in and signed by an appropriate person here in Australia or overseas.
Contact me for details.
Witnesses for the Wedding Ceremony
You will need to have two witnesses who are both over the age of 18 present to sign the Marriage Register and Certificates.
Shortening of time before a Wedding
So yes, 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 (your Local Court or Registry Officials) So 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 authorities to approve the application ~ it is not an automatic process.
Shortening of time for a Wedding in Australia
For shortening of time, you really need to have good reasons, as there are five categories for that. You will also need to present enough documentation to support your application.
So since the bride and groom currently live overseas, we communicated over the phone, email and on Skype. They lodged the Notice of Intended Marriage at the embassy in Dubai. Then, I issued them with a special letter and with the right documentation, they managed to obtain a shortening of time for their wedding ceremony. So the whole process really took less than 10 days. From the moment they contacted me, till they were husband and wife.
This couple also needed a shortening of time for their registry wedding ceremony here in Sydney.
So we still made this wedding a lovely special time for the couple. A time to remember even though they were really only after the legal part at this stage in their life.
Contact me so I can assist you with your wedding ceremony, whether you are having a big ceremony or only after a registry-style one.