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Getting Married in Australia

After all the excitement of the proposal and all the fun of choosing which stunning Australian destination you want to be married in, there is a lot to consider when it comes to all the legal requirements of getting married in Australia. You don’t even have to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia to get married here. However, in order to legally marry in Australia couples must:

•not already be married to someone else
•not be marrying a relative
•be at least 18 years of age (unless a court has approved otherwise)
•freely consent to getting married and understand what marriage means
•use specific wording in your ceremony
•provide your authorised celebrant with written notice of your intention to marry.

The celebrant you choose will help you understand these requirements.

Finding a celebrant

Only authorised celebrants can legally perform a marriage, regardless of whether they are religious or civil ceremonies.  There are three kinds of authorised celebrants:

1. Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants who perform civil and religious ceremonies (for independent religious organisations). The fees charged by these celebrants are not fixed. Prices may vary between celebrants.

2. Ministers of religion of a recognised denomination who perform religious ceremonies. These celebrants are regulated by state and territory registries of births, deaths and marriages and their respective religious organisation.

3. State officials who perform civil ceremonies.

Important paperwork - Notice of Intended Marriage

Although you can provide your celebrant with a completed Notice of Intended Marriage form up to 18 months before your wedding, the form must be completed and submitted no later than one month before your wedding. However your celebrant can provide assistance with completing the form and the notice may be completed and witnessed outside of Australia if need be. You will also need to provide your celebrant with evidence of your place and date of birth, your identity and the end of any previous marriages if applicable.

On your wedding day, you will sign three marriage certificates which should each certificate be signed by your celebrant and you as well as two witnesses. You will get to keep one certificate as a record of your marriage. Your marriage must also be registered by your celebrant within 14 days with the registry of births, deaths and marriages in the state in which your wedding took place. For any official purposes, the certificate issued by the registry of births, deaths and marriages is required and you should apply for a copy of this as soon as possible after your wedding.


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