Break the law? That's
one thing that your marriage celebrant cannot do. We
have to comply with all of the provisions of the
Marriage Act and with all State and Federal laws,
together with Council by-laws. We also have to
comply with the Celebrant Code of Practice.
What that means is that we would be in serious
trouble (like jail time or huge fines) and we would
be de-registered if we do anything that is illegal.
So FYI here is a list of things that your celebrant
Marry anyone who is
The legal age for marriage in Australia is 18. If
one person is 16 or 17 they must have permission
from the Court to marry someone who is 18 or older.
Two people under 18 cannot marry.
Marry anyone who is
drunk, stoned, or under the influence of
You must be able to be
able to give real consent
to your marriage.
If your decision-making capacity is impaired your
celebrant must make you wait until you have sobered
up before going ahead with the wedding.
who lacks the mental capacity to
If you are unable to understand what marriage is,
and what getting married means, celebrants cannot
go ahead with the wedding.
who is using a false name
A marriage where one or both parties use a false
identity is a void marriage. It isn't legal. If
you use a false name you won't be legally married
and everyone involved will be in trouble.
Be party to a forced
You must be marrying of your own free will. If
the celebrant suspects that you are being forced
or psychologically co-erced, or tricked into the
marriage, the celebrant must refuse to marry you
and report the matter to the Australian Federal
Be involved in a sham
Marrying a couple who don't know one another and
will have nothing to do with after the marriage,
usually for the purpose of obtaining a visa, is in
breach of the Migration Act and can land everyone
marriage celebrant cannot unlawfully discriminate on
any of the grounds covered in the
Anti-Discrimination legislation. Your race, religion
(or lack of it), gender, who you love, your previous
marital or relationship history, whether you are a
parent, etc are not allowed to be used as a reason
to refuse to marry you. As long as you comply with
the requirements of the Marriage Act, that is.
Breach your right to
There is a substantial list of things that a
celebrant must do to protect your privacy, and an
equally substantial list of things they must not do.
Your celebrant must
- Only collect information required to provide
you with the service
- Store all personal information securely
- Destroy copies of your ID documents, such as
birth certificates, once your marriage has been
Your celebrant must not
- Share your personal information without your
consent - which means everything from
identifying you and sharing information about
you and your wedding on social media to
outsourcing writing of your ceremony or parts of
- Post photos of you on social media without
your consent, regardless of who took the photo
- Ask you to provide information that is not
relevant to marrying you, for example, your visa
Offer you an incentive for
a 5 star review
Celebrants aren't unique in this one. The
Competition and Consumer Act classifies any review
for which a cash or kind incentive has been offered
as a fake review. And it is illegal. The ACCC has
the power to impose fines and insist that the review
The nine things on this list are breaches of
the law that would not only directly affect you, but
could also result in you getting into hot water.
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