- First you must find an authorised celebrant. She or He will guide you through the process and ensure that all aspects of your wedding is recorded correctly, and in accordance to the Marriage Act 1961.
- Your Celebrant will help you fill out, sign and file a NOIM (Notice of Intended Marriage) at least 30 days prior to wedding ceremony, and within 18 months of the wedding ceremony. If you are divorced or widowed, you must provide proof of how your previous marriage ended. You also need to show your birth certificate/passport/drivers licence to the celebrant. This can be done in person or via email.
- If your ID documents are in another language than English, you are required to get them translated by a NAATI approved interpreter. But please check with me first if this is necessary.
- Before your wedding, your celebrant will get you to sign the CNI (Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage). This is to declare that you are over 18 years old and not already married.
- You will also have to choose two people over 18 years of age as your witnesses. They will witness the ceremony and sign the three Marriage Certificates after the ceremony. Your witnesses can be anyone of your choice and if you want your wedding to be a secret, your celebrant can provide two witnesses for a fee.
- The ceremony is built up around four legal components;
- The Monitum, where the celebrant has to say words to the effect of: “My name is Christina Towler and I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union between two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”.
- The second component are the legal vows, where the celebrant asks you; ‘Do you Edward Peter Cullen, take Bella Donna Smith as lawfully wedding wife…and vice versa, and you say ‘I DO’!
- The third legal component is where the celebrant introduces you as Husband and Wife/Spouses/Wife and Wife/Husband and Husband/Married.
- The last part is the signing of documents by the celebrant, the couple and the two witnesses.
- Everything else before, after and in between is all up to you. Your celebrant will have a whole heap of suggestions and ideas, but it is all up to you how much or little you want.
- Once the signing is done, the celebrant will lodge the documents with the Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages (BDM) and you will receive an email from them prompting you to pay the fee ($55.80 as per 2021) for the Official Government Marriage Certificate, this is the certificate you will need as proof of marriage and to change your surname, should you wish to. The BDM has a turnaround period at around two weeks.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I am always happy to hear from you.
Christina@kissandgo.net – 0404 231 052