All weddings are full of planning and organising, and there is some red tape involved as well. Couples need to consider the legal implications of marrying in Australia and are bound by the Australian Marriage Act 1961.

The following points are by no means the only requirements of the Act, but are an abridged list of conditions for all couples as a guide to ensure that they fall within the legal boundaries:

  • A Notice of Intended Marriage needs to be lodged no later than 1 month before and no earlier than 18 months before the wedding date
  • Both parties are over 18
  • If one of the parties is under 18 but over 16 years of age, a court order will be required
  • (Only one of the party may be under 18 - even if a court order is granted)
  • Neither party is currently married
  • If previously married, ORIGINAL divorce certificate / death certificate will need to be sighted for recording
  • The couple is not related as ascendants or descendants
  • Each of the party needs to provide 2 photo identification eg: ORIGINAL birth certificate or passport and / or drivers licence
  • If one of the parties is being sponsored for a Fiancee Visa, the same identification requirements apply. (I will be happy to write a letter of Intention of Marriage to the appropriate embassy to assist with any Fiancee Visa applications.)
  • Prior to the wedding, both parties need to sign a Statutory Declaration declaring their eligibility and freedom to marry
  • During the ceremony, the mandatory vows according to the Australian Marriage Act 1961 must be declared by both the bride and groom for all people present to hear as well as all mandatory declarations by celebrant
  • The couple will need two witnesses to the ceremony to sign the official marriage papers- both of whom need to be over 18 years of age and are fluent in English. It is not necessary for the witnesses to be Australian citizens and it is acceptable to have both witnesses as same gender
  • After the ceremony, all relevant papers to be lodged with the relevant state Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages by the celebrant for recording by state registry office.

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