Process & Legal Requirements
What are the legal requirements?
- You both must be over the age of 18 years.
- Prior to the day of marriage, you need to produce your Birth Certificate if born in Australia or your Passport if born outside Australia.
- You must give the celebrant one calendar month’s notice.
- If either of you has been previously married you must produce your Divorce Decree Absolute papers and/or if either of your spouses are deceased, you will need to produce the Death Certificate.
- On the day of your marriage, you must have two witnesses over the age of 18 years who are present at the wedding.
For questions regarding other services offered, please contact me and I will be only too happy to answer any queries.
Notice of Intended Marriage
Before you marry, you must complete, sign and lodge with me, your marriage celebrant, the Notice of Intended Marriage.
This Notice of Intended Marriage must be in my hands at least one month prior to your wedding and no earlier than 18 months before to your wedding day. You may submit your Notice in person, or email, however you must bring the original Notice of Intended Marriage with you when we meet ‘face to face’. The Notice of Intended Marriage has a life-span of 18 months from the date I receive it.
The Notice of Intended Marriage must be signed in the presence of one of the following:
(a) if you sign the notice in Australia – an authorized marriage celebrant, a Commissioner for Declarations under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959, a justice of the peace, a barrister or solicitor, a legally qualified medical practitioner, or a member of the Australian Federal Police or the police force of a state or territory.
(b) if you sign the notice outside Australia – An Australian Consular Officer, an Australian Diplomatic Officer, a Notary public, an employee of the Commonwealth authorised under paragraph 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, or an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorized under paragraph 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955.
You must produce either your Birth Certificate (preferred) in English (plus photo ID eg Drivers Licence) or Passport. If you have been married before, you must also produce proof of cessation of that marriage (eg Divorce Degree/Absolute or Death Certificate). It is preferable that you email these documents to me and then bring the original documents to the first meeting. In some circumstances, one signature on the Notice of Intended Marriage is sufficient to start the one month’s notice, process. (eg you may live in different countries or cities). However, the Notice of Intended Marriage must be signed by both of you before the marriage can take place.
Circumstances where you cannot give the one month’s notice for lodgement of the Notice of Intended Marriage:
Such as (but not limited to):
- Employment related or other travel commitments,
- Medical reasons
- Legal proceedings
The authority for shortening of time can only be obtained from The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages or the local Magistrates Court. It is your responsibility to apply for this authority. Before doing so, you would lodge the Notice of Intended Marriage with me (the marriage celebrant) and I will give you a letter to take to the authority. You would need to take the appropriate evidence or reason for the shortening of time, to the authority.
After approval is given, you must return the Notice of Intended of Marriage to me (your marriage celebrant Brisbane).
Other Requirements for a Legal Marriage:
1. The minimum age for marriage in Australia, and for getting married in QLD, is 18 years of age. However, there may be some special circumstances where a party under the age of 18 years may marry. Permission must be obtained from a magistrate or judge and parental permission must be given. Two people under the age of 18 years of age cannot marry (ie one of the parties must be over 18 years of age). A person under the age of 16 cannot marry.
2. On the day of your marriage you must have two witnesses over the age of 18. For elopement ceremonies, I can usually provide these two witnesses, if prior notice is given.
3. If you have been married in a legal ceremony overseas, you are not permitted to have another legal ceremony in Australia. I can perform a ceremony for you. However, it will not be a legal marriage ceremony. It would be a celebration of your overseas marriage.
4. All documents must be in English or translated into English by an official authority. Failure to do so means that I cannot perform a legal marriage ceremony on the wedding day. In which case, I would perform a Commitment Ceremony.
Do you have to attend pre-marital courses?
All celebrants are obliged to advise you of the availability of pre-marital courses. It is totally up to you if you choose to use the service. Printed information is also available. If you are interested please contact me.