Below you will find the answers to the most frequent questions I receive. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to give me a call.
Where can we hold the ceremony?
In Australia there are many different places that you may hold a civil marriage ceremony:
- beaches and islands
- national parks
- Australian bush
- hotels and restaurants
- boats (in Australian waters)
- hot air balloons (in Australian air space) or
- on a bridge
Check out WA wedding venues here.
What paperwork do we need to bring along when we see you?
You need original documents when filling out the Notice of Intended Marriage, including:
- Birth certificate or extract of entry of birth showing place and date of birth.
- If you are a resident/citizen of a country outside of Australia and you legitimately cannot obtain your Birth Certificate from your country of origin, you are required to submit a ‘Statutory Declaration’ and provide a Passport, or National Identity Card as evidence of your date and place of birth.
- A Certificate of Divorce or a Certificate of Nullity, if previously married.
- A Certificate of Death, if previous spouse is deceased.
- If either party are under 18 years of age, a consent form signed by the parents of the person under 18 and a court order permitting the marriage.
- An official translation of documents in a foreign language [not in English], must accompany the original documents.
- Change of Name Certificate if a name has been changed from that on your birth certificate.
Can we write our own vows?
You most certainly can write your own vows. However, there are several requirements to keep in mind.
The Marriage Act requires that you include some minimum requirements:
1st: You must use the words “spouse” or “husband” and “wife” in the vows. “Partner” and other terms are not permitted under the Marriage Act of 1961.
2nd: You must use your full names at least once in the ceremony.
3rd: The following phase must be used – “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I (full name) take you (full name) to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife.”
If you don’t want to write your own vows, I can provide you with a wide range to choose from.
Do we receive a marriage certificate on the day of our ceremony?
Yes, you will be presented with a marriage certificate (issued by the Commonwealth of Australia) on the day of your wedding.
However, whilst this certificate is evidence that you are married, I recommend that you apply for a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
This may be obtained from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
My fiancé is coming from overseas for the wedding. If we both plan to remain in Australia, what do we need to do?
If you are a citizen of Australia, your fiancé from overseas will need to obtain a Prospective Marriage Visa before the day of your wedding ceremony. If you both plan to remain in Australia after the wedding it is best to consult the Department of Immigration to discuss what is the most appropriate approach for your individual situation.
In order to do this, you will need to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage form with me.
The Notice can be signed by your fiancé in the presence of a Notary Public or an Australian Diplomatic Officer or an Australian Consular Officer or an employee of the Commonwealth or the Australian Trade Commission.
The Notice of Intended Marriage form should then be sent directly to me.
When your fiancé arrives in Australia, the original certificates will need to be produced to support the Notice of Intended Marriage.
If your fiancé cannot fill-in the Notice of Intended Marriage form and have it witnessed, then you can complete your section of the Notice of Intended Marriage form and supply your fiancé’s details. When your fiancé arrives in Australia, they can sign the Notice of Intended Marriage form in the presence of a qualified witness.
Your fiancé will need an official ‘Prospective Marriage Visa Letter‘ which must be lodged at the Australian Embassy/Australian High Commission in their country of residence. I provide this official letter. This letter is required before a ‘Prospective Marriage Visa‘ will be issued to your fiancé.
For more information, please feel free to contact me, or alternatively, contact an Australian Immigration Agent, or see the Australian Immigration Web site.
We want a surprise wedding – is this legal?
A surprise wedding is legal only if both of you know that you are getting married. The only people you can surprise are your family, friends and guests.
Both parties of the marriage must fill out and sign the Notice of Intended Marriage at least one month and one day before the intended marriage.
Do we have to remember our vows?
No, you don’t have to remember your vows, unless of course you really want to. I can say the main body of your vows and all that you have to say is “I do” or “I will.”
Alternatively, I can ask you to repeat your vows after me and I can lead you through them line upon line. This is the most intimate and cherished part of your ceremony.
The choice is yours.
Do we need to have a rehearsal?
In most cases, it is not essential.
However, you are entitled to have a rehearsal if you desire one.
It is recommended that you have a rehearsal if your wedding ceremony is quite detailed and includes rituals and involves the participation of other people.
We want to get married in Australia – will it be a legal wedding there and in our own country?
If you marry in Australia, there is no legal requirement that you stay in Australia. You can marry in Australia whilst you are on holidays providing your Notice of Intended Marriage has been lodged one month and one day prior to you wedding day.
You should check with the government of your own country what they require so that your marriage is officially recognised by them. Some countries may require a ‘Registered Copy’ of your marriage certificate issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Perth, WA.
Others may require that you have an apostille attached to your certificate before they will accept it as an authentic document.
The Smart Traveller web site has more information on apostilles and authentification.
Are there any extra charges?
There are no extra charges.
You will receive a presentation marriage certificate on the day of your wedding and this is included in the cost. If you wish to obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate, it may be obtained from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Perth.
The Registry charges a small fee to issue you with a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
NO HIDDEN CHARGES
There are no hidden costs that you will need to pay the celebrant later.
What if we need to postpone our ceremony?
Your ceremony may be postponed providing that it does not exceed the 18 month period stipulated on the Notice of Intended Marriage (form 13).
However, you may need to check with me about my availability when you set a new date for your ceremony.
We have children – can we include them in our marriage ceremony – how?
If you have children from a former relationship, it is wisdom to acknowledge their role and place in your changing relationship. You are encouraged to consider including them in the ceremony.
This can be done in a number of ways. They can play active or passive roles in your marriage ceremony.
They can be welcomed into the new family. They can be involved in the lighting of candles, readings, carrying the rings on a cushion, page boy, flower girl, witnesses (if over 18 years of age) etc. There are a variety of ways they can be involved.