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How to Get Married in Australia

Getting hitched is a monumental leap into a lifetime of\love and laughter. If you’re considering saying “I do” on the sun-kissed shores of Australia, sure you got the event’s place handled, the food and the ever-elusive seating chart. But perhaps the most important thing to think of in the first place is the legal aspect of the wedding to make your union official. Here’s our take on how to get married in Australia.

The Legal Aspect of Australian Marriages

According to the Marriage Act 1961 in Australia, the solemnization of marriages necessitates the physical presence of the authorized celebrant, the couple, and two official witnesses. Furthermore, this requirement encompasses the signing of essential documents for the marriage to be legally recognized.

How to Get Married in Australia

Legal Notes and Steps

The Marriage Act 1961 and Marriage Regulations 2017 dictate the rules for in-person weddings in Australia. Here are the key requirements:

Eligibility Criteria

Before diving into wedding plans, ensure you meet the legal criteria. Confirm that neither party conforms to the following:

– The absence of existing marriages.
– Prohibition of marriage with close relatives.
– Minimum age of 18, unless court-approved for ages 16-18.

Understanding and Consent

If you are eligible to get married, then you need to satisfy legal requirements; both parties must fully comprehend the significance of marriage and willingly agree to enter into it. During the ceremony, specific words must be used to ensure the legal validity of the marriage, underscoring the solemnity and legal framework of the union.

Marriage Celebrant

Choose an authorized marriage celebrant to officiate the ceremony. The celebrant will guide you through the legal documentation and ceremony preparation. In Australia, a celebrant legally must say specific words known as the “monitum” before marrying two people. The monitum is a statement prescribed by law and is required to be said during the marriage ceremony. The celebrant must say:

“I am duly authorized by law to solemnize 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 of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

This statement emphasizes the legal nature of marriage in Australia and ensures that both parties understand the commitment they are making. It also highlights the principle of monogamy and the voluntary nature of the union.

Before Getting Married

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Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)

Submit the NOIM form to an authorized marriage celebrant, this form doesn’t require Australian citizenship or permanent residency.

 Documentation Required

Gather essential documents, including the following:

– Proof of birth date and place (birth certificate or passport).
– Identity verification (driver’s license or passport).
– Evidence of the termination of any previous marriages.

On the Wedding Day

As the much-anticipated wedding day arrives, the legalities continue to play a crucial role in ensuring the authenticity and validity of the union. Here’s an in-depth look at the legal formalities that transpire on the day you say “I do.”

Signing the Marriage Certificates

One of the pivotal moments during the wedding ceremony is the signing of the marriage certificates. Subsequently, the couple, along with the marriage celebrant and two witnesses over the age of 18, come together to sign three marriage certificates. These documents serve as tangible proof of the marriage and include essential details about the couple.

Submission to the Registry

Following the ceremony, the authorized marriage celebrant takes on the responsibility of submitting the signed marriage certificates to the registry. Subsequently, this step must be completed within 14 days of the wedding day. This submission ensures that the marriage is officially recorded, thereby marking the legal commencement of your marital journey.

Issuance of the Shorter Certificate

On the wedding day, the couple is provided with a shorter certificate of marriage, which bears the signatures of the couple, the celebrant, and the witnesses. Despite holding sentimental value and acknowledging the marriage’s occurrence on a specific date, this document does not carry legal weight.

How to Get Married in Australia

Name Change or Proof of Marriage

For the legal name change or as proof of marriage, the couple needs to obtain the official marriage certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in the state where the wedding occurred. This document holds legal significance and is crucial for any official processes that may require proof of marriage.

Recording Essential Details

The marriage certificates capture more than just the couple’s signatures. They include details such as dates and places of birth, usual addresses, occupations, conjugal status, and parents’ names, including mothers’ maiden names. This comprehensive recording ensures a detailed and accurate account of the marital event.

Same-Sex Marriage in Australia

The legalization of same-sex marriage in December 2017 marked a transformative moment in Australia’s legal landscape. Additionally, the amended Marriage Act 1961 acknowledges marriage as “the union of 2 individuals, voluntarily entered into for life, to the exclusion of all others,” affirming the right of same-sex couples to legally wed. This milestone not only reflects societal evolution but also establishes a legal framework promoting inclusivity. However, while every effort has been made to provide accurate information, consulting the Embassy or High Commission of Australia is advised for precise details.

 Essential Facts and Details for Your Wedding Plans

 Here are some facts and additional details that you may want to know:  

Get Married in Australia: Civil Ceremonies and Legality

Civil ceremonies are legally binding and can occur in any location.

Get Married in Australia: Legal Recognition

Marriages performed in Australia are internationally recognized and legally binding.

Get Married in Australia: Residency Requirements

No minimum residency requirements for marrying in Australia.

Get Married in Australia: Lodging the Form from Overseas

The form can be lodged from overseas if witnessed by specific authorities.

Get Married in Australia: Restrictions

Marriage under 18 without a court order is invalid.

Get Married in Australia: Legal vs. Ceremonial Certificate

The legal certificate is available from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Sign the Deal!

So that’s our list for How to Get Married in Australia. While the legal aspects may seem intricate and, at times, demanding, they form the foundation of a union that withstands the test of time. Each signature, submission, and certificate marks a significant milestone towards creating a legally sound and enduring marriage.

Additionally, our final tip advises planning on the practicalities as meticulously as you plan the festivities. Striking a balance between love and legality sets the stage for a union that flourishes in every aspect. Moreover, as you say “I do,” rest assured that the legal groundwork is laid, allowing your love story to unfold with grace and enduring strength. With everything in place, you’re now ready to seal the deal and embark on your journey together!

After you’ve sorted out all the official paperwork, Melbourne Entertainment Company to take their wedding celebrations to the next level with top-notch entertainment services tailored to their unique style and preferences!


How to Get Married in Australia

  • Governed by the Marriage Act 1961, Australian marriages necessitate the presence of an authorized celebrant, the couple, and two witnesses to attain legal recognition. Additionally, eligibility criteria mandate the absence of existing marriages, prohibition of marriage with close relatives, and meeting the minimum age requirement.
  • Furthermore, both parties must fully comprehend and consent to marriage, with the celebrant guiding them through the legal documentation process. This includes emphasizing the “monitum” statement, which highlights the legal nature of marriage and stresses aspects like monogamy and voluntary commitment.
  • Transitioning to the next step, completing the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form and gathering essential documentation serve as crucial prerequisites for moving forward.
  • Lastly, on the wedding day, pivotal tasks such as signing marriage certificates, submitting them to the registry, and obtaining the shorter certificate must be diligently carried out to ensure the legality and validity of the marriage.

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