What’s the legal process to get married in Australia?

Legal marriage in Australia involves two consenting (and smitten) lovers over the age of 18 (there is a court order that can allow a couple to marry if one of the parties is aged 16-18).  You will need to complete and lodge a legal document called the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) no later than ONE MONTH prior to, or 18 months before your ceremony (this is essential for you to be legally married on your chosen date).  This document establishes your identities and your intention to marry each other and is lodged directly with your celebrant (either in person or via email).  Here is a link to the PDF if you would like to familiarise yourself with it.

Your NOIM can be witnessed by your celebrant – or if you are planning a destination wedding and are based elsewhere it can be witnessed by a JP, Police Officer, Doctor or Solicitor and then scanned to me (along with your supporting ID of either passports OR birth certificates and licences, and proof of termination of any previous marriages where applicable).  *NOTE* The Marriage Act 1961 has been temporarily modified (due to COVID19) allowing celebrants to witness the NOIM via teleconference (Zoom/Facetime/Skype).  This change is currently until 31st of December 2022 (unless extended).

There is another document that needs to be signed prior to your ceremony (called the Declaration of no legal Impediment to Marriage) but I won’t bombard you with it now, it is something we sign together in the days leading up to your ceremony. 

Within three days of the ceremony taking place, I lodge your legal papers through the Queensland BDMs online portal, and they process the registration of your marriage.  On the day of your wedding, you receive a government issued ornamental certificate, but this certificate does not hold the strength for legal purposes such as changing your name.  The certificate that is used in legal processes after your marriage is called the Official Certificate of Marriage and is a separate application through BDM once the marriage has taken place.  I offer my couples the option for me to fast-track their application for the Official Certificate for them while I register their marriage through the portal (if you wish me to do this, I will forward you the link of the supporting documents that BDM will require me to sight on their behalf before the marriage takes place).

Do we need witnesses? And if so, how many?

You will require two witnesses to officially lock down your love.  Their job is to be present, listening to words that make it official, and also to sign the marriage certificates.  The prerequisites for this role is to be over the age of 18, fluent in English and not under the influence (save the partying for later).

Who can witness if we are eloping?

If you are eloping your photographer and/or videographer, make mighty fine witnesses.  If we are one short, I will gladly bring along a seconded witness to share the love buzz and get you across the line.

How often do we meet/speak with each other?

Because 95% of my couples have destination weddings, we often catch up in person for the first time in the days leading up to their ceremony (this does not stop us from becoming as thick as thieves through our many Facetime/phone chats and emails).  If you are heading up this way for a wedding planning trip beforehand though it’s always an absolute treat to catch up in person!  We speak via Facetime and email as often as you like to ensure you feel completely at ease (and super excited!) about your special day.  Our pre-ceremony catch up often doubles as a rehearsal…of sorts.  I never rehearse the words (because we want you and your guests to experience them in the most organic and emotional way possible on the day) but we catch up at the location and walk through any details or questions that will help you feel fully ready for the big moment.

How do you create/personalise our ceremony?

Getting to know you, and creating a ceremony that truly reflects you, and brings all the big and fun emotions is my Number ONE priority so our creative process together is really important.  I send you a questionnaire (and recommend you answering separately so that you hear all those sweet and funny things for the first time on your special day) – your responses become the heart of the ceremony and are often the source of laughter and tears during it.

What equipment do you provide?

It’s really important to me that everything on your wedding day is top quality, reliable and aesthetic. I provide a state-of-the-art Bose S1 Pro PA and wireless Sennheiser mic to make sure that your guests are hearing every one of those precious words, and your music is clear and loud, and bringing all your vibes to your special day.  I also have a signing table and chairs available for your use if you wish (images attached).    

Are you up for adventure weddings and elopements?

Hell yes!

Elopements have been a passion of mine for years now and helping you find your perfect location and create the most magical elopement experience is something that brings me BUCKETS of joy.  I’m a nature lover/adventure girl so hit me with your most adventurous of plans!

How do we book you?

If you are perusing my website and thinking ‘this could be the lady for us!’, shoot me an email, pick up the phone or reach out in whichever way feels most comfortable to you.  Happy wedding planning lovers, and hopefully catch you soon.