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 parties 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 parties intending to marry are not related as ascendants or descendants
  • Each party needs to provide 2 forms of identification eg: ORIGINAL birth certificate or passport and / or drivers licence
  • If one partiy 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 "No Legal Impediment to Marry" document
  • During the ceremony, all mandatory declarations by celebrant and mandatory vows of participants, must be audibly declared
  • 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
  • After the ceremony, all marriage papers will be lodged within the relevant state's Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages by the celebrant according to where the marriage ceremony took place.

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