Weddings Legal Requirements Step-by-Step

 Legal Requirements for Marriage in NSW

Weddings legal requirements in Australia. 
A civil marriage celebrant or clergy must authorize the marriage. 
Same-sex marriage in Australia is legal since December 2017 as marriage is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others. 


Marriage in NSW in Only 3 Simple Steps

  • Lodge & Sign the NOIM with me. (either in person, by e-signature or by email)
  • Present to me either original birth certificates + photo ID, 
    OR passports and Divorce/death papers (if applicable).
  • Enjoy your wedding ceremony.
    This is all YOU have to do. I will take care of the legal/paperwork for you as well as the wedding.

NOIM For Weddings 

  • It is a legal requirement to complete a “Notice Of Intended Marriage” and lodge it with your marriage celebrant, at least 1 calendar month and no longer than 18 months before the wedding ceremony day. It is valid for 18 months. (I would suggest earlier rather than later so we can start the legal process)
  • You’ll need to sign the Notice of Intended Marriage Form either with your celebrant or another authorized person who must witness your signature.

Documents the Marriage Celebrant Must Sight 

The Marriage Celebrant must sight certain documentation before the marriage is solemnized.

  • Either your Original Birth Certificate and a photo ID OR your passport.
  • If either of you has 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, then 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 birth 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.

Requirements for Getting Married in Australia

  • You must be over 18 years.
  • Both partners must be free to marry (not married to somebody else at the time of your marriage).
  • You must be marrying of your own free will.
  • You need to lodge the NOIM form with a celebrant.
  • All nationalities can get married in Australia. 

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.

The Marriage Age in Australia 

Both persons intending to marry must be over the age of 18.
So 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.

Documents Couples sign after the Wedding Ceremony

You will be signing 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.
  • A Declaration of no legal impediment to marriage form.
  • The third is a numbered Commonwealth Marriage Certificate. It is a legal document proof of your marriage, which you will receive on the day as a keepsake.

The Proof of Marriage you will  Receive

  • At your wedding, you will receive a commonwealth Marriage Certificate. So 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 copy of your Marriage Certificate. I will obtain it for you from the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (fee applies).

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.

The Marriage Celebrant Must –

  • Identify themselves to all parties, as the wedding celebrant authorised to solemnise the marriage. Then the celebrant has to 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.

Shortening of Time For a Wedding

It is possible to shorten this minimum time of 30 days 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.
  • So I will then provide you with a special letter to the authorities.
  • You will need to approach a prescribed authority for approval (your Local 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.


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 8 am-5 pm.
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 or overseas having a wedding in Sydney

It is not a problem at all. Hence, the process is very easy. So if you live interstate or overseas and will not be in NSW until a few days before the wedding ceremony, we can still go ahead with the lodgement of the NOIM.
Please contact me for the latest updated NOIM.  The appropriate authority has to sign the form in that state and then post it off to 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


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