We "Know" about Getting Married that Ain't So
(26/07/2016) | Categories:
| Wedding Legals | Wedding Planning |
my all time favourite quotes comes from a long-dead
American writer, Charles Farrar Browne, better known
under his nom de plume, Artemus Ward.
ain't so much the things we don't know that
get us in trouble.
It's the things we know that ain't so.'
And in wedding land there are a lot of common beliefs
that just aren't true! Here are some of them.
- Marrying an Australian citizen or permanent
resident guarantees the same. NOT TRUE.
is one of the easiest countries in the world to get
married in - you don't need a special visa, any
permissions (as long as you are both 18), blood
tests, period of residence before the wedding, or
even to alert a government department to the fact
you intend to get married, and you don't have to be
an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of
Australia to legally marry here, but once married
you have to go through a process that assesses
whether you qualify to be a resident. You can find
marriage visa information on the Department
of Home Affairs website, if you hope to live
in Australia after your marriage.
- Being pregnant, or being on a visa that is
about to expire will qualify you to get permission
to give less than the required full calendar month
notice of your intended marriage. NOT
TRUE. there are ONLY five very precise
grounds on which you can apply for Shortening of
Time and pregnancy and expiring visas
are not on that list.
- You have to be in Australia in order to give
notice of your intended marriage. NOT TRUE. I
have heard stories of couples spending thousands of
dollars on air fares to make a totally unnecessary
trip to lodge the Notice. Your signatures can
be witnessed overseas and you can then send the
Notice to your celebrant. As long as it arrives at
least a month before the wedding, it's legal.
- Anyone who can witness a Commonwealth Statutory
Declaration can witness a Notice of
Intended Marriage. NOT TRUE.
There are two very short lists of people who can
witness the Notice (on page 4 of the Notice). List
(a) is of the people who can witness your signatures
if you are signing in Australia. List (b) is of the
people who can witness your signatures if you are
signing outside of Australia.
- Justice of the Peace certified copies of ID
documents, birth certificates, and divorce or
death certificates are acceptable proof when
getting married. NOT TRUE. And if that
is all you present you cannot be married. You must
show your celebrant original documents (which means
a document as issued by a relevant government
- An overseas marriage can be registered
in Australia. NOT TRUE. While Australia
recognises legal overseas marriages that also comply
with Australian law, your marriage won't be
registered in this country. So you need to keep your
official certificate safe!
- Blood relatives can't be witnesses to your
wedding. NOT TRUE. They can. And so
can people who are friends or strangers
- Witnesses must be Australian citizens. NOT
TRUE. Your witnesses can be anyone as long as
they are at least 18 years of age and can understand
what is going on. They don't have to live in
- If language is a problem, one of the marrying
couple can translate during the ceremony.
NOT TRUE. One of the parties to the marriage
cannot translate. The interpreter must be
- Signing the Notice of Intended Marriage is a
binding consent, so it is OK to surprise one of
the marrying couple when it comes to the day and
place of the ceremony. NOT TRUE. The
Notice of Intended Marriage is just that - notice of
your intention. It is not a contract. And your
celebrant has to be sure that you consent at every
stage of the process, which means, no surprises for
one or both of the marrying couple.