Making your Marriage Legal

The legal side of getting married in Australia is quite straightforward, as long as you follow the rules. That's where I come in. I'll coach you and hold your hand through the process!

Boring? I do my best to make it as un-boring as possible.

Heads-up>>> While different celebrants can and will offer you differing personal styles, ideas, and ceremonial inclusions, every celebrant is required to make sure that the legal service they provide complies with the Marriage Act. It's the law. But in depth knowledge counts too, particularly if you have unusual or difficult identity or other issues. Which is why I can guarantee to make the legal side of getting married as pain-free as possible for you. It can actually be fun, with a little help!

What you must do

To marry in Australia you must
  • be at least 18 and not married to anyone else
  • give a full month written notice to your celebrant Notice of Intended Marriage form
  • have two witnesses present who are at least 18 years of age (they do not have to be Australian citizens or Australian residents, and can be blood relatives, friends, or strangers)
  • prove your age, place of birth, and identity by showing your celebrant official documents
  • if you've been married before, prove that you are now free to marry again (divorce or death certificate)
  • make the declarations required by the Marriage Act
  • make vows in the form required by the Marriage Act
  • use an official interpreter if understanding English is a problem for you or for one of your  witnesses

My Job (legally)

My job is to make sure that everything is done properly according to law, so that you are legally married.

A word about lodgement

The world "lodge" probably causes more confusion/misunderstand than any other word associated with weddings. What it means is that you put the Notice into the hands of the person who is going to marry you. When you do that (and it can be done by email for the purpose of starting the clock ticking) the Notice is lodged - and it then stays in the custody of your celebrant until after the wedding at which time it is sent in to Births Deaths and Marriages along with the paperwork you sign on the day to register your marriage.

Explaining a Prohibited Relationship

In Australia, there are certain people you cannot legally marry. These are people who are in a close relationship with you, either biologically, or by adoption. Click on the graphic to enlarge it.
Explaining Prohibited Relationships - a chart
                    showing who you can and cannot marry in Australia

detailed information about completing the Notice of Intended Marriage correctly
Common errors
when completing the Notice of Intended Marriage
Download my Legal Notes: Getting Married in Australia sheet
more information about Wedding Ceremonies