Giving Notice of Your Intended Marriage when You Live at Opposite Ends of the Country (or the Earth)

by Jennifer Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant (24/02/2020)  |  Categories: | Wedding Legals |
Map of Australia with coloured pinsI've heard a few horrendous stories about couples spending thousands of dollars on (unnecessary) travel to lodge their Notice of Intended Marriage together in Australia because they haven't been given the correct advice.

 How to have the Notice signed by both parties is also a question that is often asked when I'm talking to someone here in Australia who is in the process of applying for a Prospective Marriage Visa to bring their partner to Australia so they can be married.

So let me reassure you, you do not have to front up in person to lodge your Notice of Intended Marriage. And you also do not need to be together.

Here are the facts.
  • You must complete a Notice of Intended Marriage, sign it in front of a qualified witness - they are listed on page 4 of the Notice of Intended Marriage form - and lodge it with your chosen celebrant at least a month before your wedding date. No Notice. No Wedding!
  • You can sign your Notice whereever in the world you are. The only thing that differs is that the qualified witnesses overseas are not the same as the qualified witnesses in Australia
  • You do not have to both sign on the same day or in front of the same witness
  • While it is usual to have both of you sign it before it is lodged, where you are not both in the same geographical area, the Notice can be lodged with only one signature. So, if one of you is in Australia and the other one is overseas, the person in Australia can lodge the Notice with only their signature on it.
''... if the signature of a party to an intended marriage cannot conveniently be obtained at the time when it is desired to give notice under this section, a notice duly signed by the other party and otherwise complying with the provisions of this section shall, if it is signed by the first mentioned party in the presence of an authorised celebrant before the marriage is solemnised, be deemed to have been a sufficient notice.''
Marriage Act, 1961, Section 42(3)
  • The signed Notice can be given to your celebrant in person, sent by mail, or scanned (as a PDF) and emailed.
  • The clock starts ticking on the month's notice when your celebrant gets it Pro-tip: If you are cutting it fine, make sure you check any time differences between where you are and where your celebrant is. And don't forget that in Queensland we don't do Daylight Saving Time in summer!

Further Information


Jenny xxx Let's talk soon about how you
                      can have the best ceremony ever