WEDDING – Legal isssues

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The Commonwealth Attorney General has set out certain legal requirements for weddings in Australia and as your Celebrant it is my duty to see that all these requirements are met. I will list some of them and if you want futher information go to

To be legally married in Australia, a couple must:

  • not be married.
  • not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister.
  • be at least eighteen years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between sixteen and eighteen years old.
  • understand what marriage means and freely consent to the marriage.
  • use specific words during the ceremony.
  • give written notice of their intention to marry to their authorised celebrant.
  • As your Celebrant, I  will help you understand these requirements and guide you through the process.
  • You don’t have to be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia to legally marry here. You can find marriage visa information on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website if you hope to live in Australia after your marriage.
  • A completed Notice of Intended Marriage form must be given to me, your celebrant, at least one month before the wedding. You can give it to me up to eighteen months beforehand.I can help you complete the form. The notice may be completed and witnessed outside Australia if required.

 After you are married

  • I will register your marriage with the registry of births, deaths, and marriages within fourteen days.
  • An additional certificate issued by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages is required for many official purposes such as obtaining a passport in your married name. If I apply for a copy of this certificate on your behalf from the registry after your wedding there is no need for you to send any further documents in to the NSW Registry of Births,Deaths and Marriages . There is a cost of $60 for a standard certificate or $87 for the Commemorative package

I will discuss this with you and gladly apply for the extra certificate and include the cost in my quote

  • On the day of your wedding, you will sign three marriage certificates. Each certificate should be signed by you, your celebrant and two witnesses. I will give you one of the certificates as a record of your marriage.
  • Changing your name on a passport after marriage in Australia
  • ………………………………………………………………………………….

Legal issues if you are a foreign national 

As a Marriage Celebrant, by law  I am not allowed to give any advice on Immigration matters so please read the following advice from the Australian Government.

The Australian Attorney General recommends that foreign nationals check with authorities in their own countries prior to entering into a marriage in Australia. Some overseas countries do not recognise a marriage entered into in Australia as valid, unless other requirements, such as the prior granting of permission from that country’s embassy, are fulfilled. This can have implications for foreign nationals who intend to return to their country following a marriage.

In cases where a marriage involves an Australian citizen and a foreign citizen,  it is recommended that parties obtain advice about immigration issues from the  Department of Immigration and Border Protection or a registered migration agent. Details of registered migration agents can be found on the website.