The Most Important Step in Your Wedding is Free!

by Jennifer Cram - Brisbane Marriage Celebrant ©  (27/05/2020)
Categories: | Wedding Legals |
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Marriage RegisterDid you know that the most important part of your wedding happens after it is all over - and that it won't cost you a cent?

What is it? It is the registration of your marriage, and the subsequent secure keeping of the record of your marriage.

Why does your marriage need to be registered?

There are a couple of reasons why you marriage needs to be registered
  • It is the law
    The Marriage Act, 1961 requires that every authorised celebrant (and that includes clergy and marriage officers located in Registry Offices and Courthouses) must submit the details of your marriage, including all relevant paperwork, to Births, Deaths, and Marriages, within 14 days of your marriage ceremony taking place
  • Only registered marriages are recognised by governments
    Unless there is an official record of your marriage, as far as government is concerned, it didn't happen.

Who is responsible for the registration of your marriage

There is dual responsibility. Your celebrant is responsible for submitting your marriage details and paperwork to Births, Deaths, and Marriages in the state or territory in which you were married. Births, Deaths, and Marriage is responsible for
  • checking all the paperwork
  • confirming that it is correct and that you were free to marry (so BDM may check records of your birth, and of how any previous marriage ended
  • Registering your marriage by including the details in the Register of Births Deaths and Marriages

Who is responsible for maintaining and keeping the record of your marriage?

The government of the state or territory is ultimately responsible. Births, Deaths, and Marriages in the state or territory in which you were married is the bureaucratic entity that does this on behalf of the government.

How long will the record of your marriage be kept?

For ever! It is an important legal record. Which means that you can apply for and, for a small fee, get an official certificate that proves your marriage has been registered, even years from now.

Who can see the record of your marriage?

There are strict privacy rules around who can access your record of marriage during the first 75 years after the date of your wedding. As per government protocols, details may be shared with courts and certain other legal entities. After 75 years it becomes a historical record which anyone can apply to access.

Who pays for all of this?

What you pay your celebrant will cover all the legal paperwork requirements for your marriage, including the submission of your marriage details and paperwork to enable your marriage to be registered. The cost of staff and resources for that registration, and for maintenance and storage of all records of all marriages that take place in Queensland (or any other state or territory in Australia), is the responsibility of the government. So, while there is no direct cost to you, collectively as a society we all pay for it.

More information

Thanks for reading!

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

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