I Won't Judge You or Your
(unless the Law makes
me do so)
Cram Brisbane Marriage Celebrant
Wedding Legals |
that is often said to me when I'm talking to
couples is "Please don't judge us/me, but ...."
And one of the great fears that couples have
when planning their wedding is that they'll be
judged for their choices. So let's talk about
There are some things which
the law, and my obligations under the law as
a Marriage Celebrant, requires me to make
judgements about. But there are many things
that people fear being judged about that I
definitely don't and won't judge you for
What the Law requires me to
make judgements about
The Marriage Act is very clear cut on certain things,
removing any need for a celebrant to make judgements
- Are you old enough to get married?
Your birth certificate or passport answers that
questions. You have to be 18 to get married
without a court order
- Are you free to get married?
If you've ever been married before you have to
show your celebrant proof of how that marriage
ended. No proof (i.e. certificate), no wedding
- Can you prove who you are by producing
original official documents?
But there are a number of other things that a
celebrant is required to make judgements about, and to
use their own conclusions to decide whether going
ahead with the wedding is within the law
- Are you marrying freely and willingly?
Forced marriage is a crime. So, if at any time
during the period leading up to the ceremony, and
during the ceremony itself, I have any doubts at
all that you are doing this of your own free will,
bearing in mind that while you may be physically
forced into the marriage (which would be pretty
obvious I would think), you could also be tricked
into it, or psychologically coerced into it by
threats, community pressure, family pressure, or
pressure from the person you are marrying), the
law requires that I refuse to solemnise the
marriage. I have only had to do this once, and it
was not a comfortable experience, but if I had
continued I would have been committing a serious
- Are you mentally competent to make the
decision to marry?
In other words, do you understand what marriage is
and that you are getting married if you go ahead?
Obvious issues are dementia and other conditions
where the brain, and therefore the capacity to
understand and make decisions are compromised. But
there is also being under the influence of
substances, alcohol, drugs, medications, legal or
otherwise. Again, your celebrant is required to
make a judgement and refuse to go ahead if there
is any doubt whatsoever.
- Is this a genuine marriage?
Sham/scam marriages for the purpose of obtaining a
visa are illegal, so I can't have anything to do
with such a marriage.
- Are your witnesses old enough to witness your
Your legal witnesses must be adults. Oddly enough,
witnesses to a marriage in Australia are not
required to produce ID. But if you look under 18
to the celebrant, unless you can prove you are an
adult, you can't be a witness. So yes, you might
be carded at a wedding!
What I definitely won't
judge you for
There is a very long list of things I won't judge you
for ... but here are some of the more common things
people have been concerned they might be judged for
- How old/young you are (as long as you are
at least 18)
- Your gender, your sexuality, or who you are
- Your abilities or disabilities
- Where you were born, or the method by which
you traveled to Australia, if born overseas
- Your race
- Your religious or spiritual beliefs (whether
or not you have any)
- How you met
I still get the odd couple tell me, very
tentatively, that they met on Tinder. Not my
business, and you definitely won't be the first to
have met online, or at work, or even when you were
in a relationship with someone else.
- Whether you've been married before
- Your visa status
Actually, unless you need the letter from me
to help you meet the requirements of a prospective
marriage visa application, your visa status is
- What your job is
- Whether you are currently living together or
- Whether you have children together or not
- What you are planning to wear at your wedding
- Tattoos, piercings, hair styles, etc
- What your wedding budget is
Thanks for reading!