Both a Court Order and parents’ consent are required when either the Bride or the Groom is under 18 years of age. Under no circumstances may two people under the age of 18 marry each other.
Two people over the age of 18 are required to witness your marriage and sign the Marriage Register and Certificates.
On 9 December 2017, the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 commenced. The Act changes the definition of marriage and provides for marriage equality in Australia. The right to marry in Australia is no longer determined by sex or gender.
While there are many optional components that you can choose to include in your wedding ceremony, there are a few things that are not negotiable. Your celebrant must introduce him/herself and state that they are authorised to solemnise marriage in Australia. They must also say the following:
“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 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 Attorney-General advises that the safest action for a Marriage Celebrant is to always use the words as they appear in the Marriage Act.
Although you may lengthen the legal vows to include examples provided or personal vows that you wish to make to each, you must each say the following words:
“I call upon the people here present to witness that I, AB/CD, take you, CD/AB, to be my lawful wedded wife/husband.”
You may leave out lawful or wedded but not both; you must use one of these words. Both the monitum and the legal vows MUST be spoken at your ceremony otherwise your marriage may not be valid.
The NOIM must be lodged with your celebrant no less that one month before the date of your wedding. It is valid for 18 months.
All couples must provide either their birth certificate or passport to be witnessed by the celebrant.
Divorce of death certificate must also be provided and witness by the celebrant if you are divorced or widowed.
Prior to your wedding, both parties will be required to sign a declaration, under the Marriage Act 1961, stating that you believe there is no legal impediment to the marriage between yourself and your partner. This is a legal document and calls for honesty at all times. Penalties may apply for false or misleading information.
On the day of your wedding, you will sign three marriage certificates. Each certificate should be signed by you, your celebrant and two witnesses. Your celebrant will give you one of the certificates as a record of your marriage.
Your celebrant must register your marriage with the registry of births, deaths and marriages in the state or territory it took place within fourteen days.
The certificate issued by the registry of births, deaths and marriages is required for many official purposes. You should apply for a copy of this certificate from the registry after your wedding through the relevant births, deaths and marriages.