The Nitty-gritty

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What are the legal requirements to get married in Australia?

  • You must be of marriageable age – that's over 18 (or ONE party may be 16 with consent from a judge and parent/guardian)

  • You must not be immediately related or in a prohibited relationship

  • You must not be already married

  • You must both be consenting and willing to marry

  • You must give one month notice

Do you support marriage equality?

Abso-fucking-lutely!

How do we give our one month notice?

One month notice must be given by completing a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). This form is valid for 18 months before the wedding. I will send you a link to fill out your details via a simple form on my website. When we get together, all you will need to do is check that all the details are true and correct and you’ll sign it with me.

What I.D documents do we need to provide when lodging our notice?

I need to verify the following and will need original documents to support;

  • Your identity and proof of birth - current or expired passport OR birth certificate with photo identification (i.e drivers licence, proof of age card etc.)

  • Evidence of any prior marriages ending (if applicable) - decree absolute or death certificate

  • Proof of name change (if applicable) - marriage certificate from a previous marriage, BDM issued change of name certificate, deed poll certificate

  • Depending on your circumstances, further identification may be required

We're eloping and don't live near you, are we able to email our notice and I.D documents?

Yes, you can email scanned copies of your I.D documents and your NOIM to me to begin the process within the legally required time, however, I MUST sight the original documents at a later date but before the marriage takes place.

You can also have your signatures on the NOIM witnessed by another authorised person other than myself (see the bottom of the form for a list of authorised witnesses). 

Download your NOIM here.

Can we get married sooner than one month?

In extenuating circumstances, there are several scenarios where a shortening of notice may be required such as;

  • Employment or travel commitments

  • Pre-booked wedding or celebration arrangements

  • Medical reasons

  • Legal proceedings

  • Celebrant error in giving notice

You will need to fill out an Application to Shorten Period of Notice of Intent to Marry and lodge it with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages along with supporting documents. The application must be approved before your marriage can be solemnised. Administration fees will be charged by BDM upon application.

Find the Application to Shorten Period of NOIM form here.

What are the legal bits during the ceremony?

  • The Monitum (celebrant)

“I am legally registered 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 two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

  • The Vows (couple)

“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 / husband / partner in marriage / spouse)."

Your full names must be used in the vows or at least once somewhere else in the ceremony, but before the vows take place.

  • Four documents to sign

1. Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage - (before the ceremony and as close to the ceremony as possible)

2. Official Certificate of Marriage - one copy to send to BDM

3. Official Certificate of Marriage - one copy I keep for my records

4. Certificate of Marriage - your copy

  • Two witnesses

Your witnesses can be whoever you like, as long as they are over 18.

I’m taking my partner’s name? What name do I sign on the marriage certificates? How do I change my name after the ceremony?

On the marriage certificates you will sign your current name with your usual signature.

To change your name to your spouse’s surname or to hyphenate your surnames, you will need to first obtain your Official Certificate of Marriage from BDM. I will update you on when your marriage is registered and send you a link to where you can apply for your certificate. (Note: The certificate you receive on your wedding day is not a legal identification document. A small administration fee will be charged by BDM on application).

You can then simply take certified copies of the Official Certificate of Marriage directly to the relevant establishments such as Vic Roads, your bank, Medicare etc. You can also use a certified copy of the marriage certificate to obtain an updated passport. Often new photo I.D will be enough evidence to change your name with smaller authorities.