How do I Get Married
The Legal Part
1. COMPLETE AND LODGE THE NOTICE OF INTENDED MARRIAGE
To be able to legally get married on the date you have requested we need to complete a super important form called Notice of Intended Marriage(NOIM). This can be completed, no earlier than 18 months in advance and no later than 1 month before your wedding day. However there are a few circumstances where exceptions can be made to these time frames, I’m happy to discuss those with you.
On this form, you will both provide your full legal names (as shown on your birth certificate or passport), current address, occupation, date and place of birth, and details of your parent’s names and countries of birth. If you have been married previously you will need to provide some details about your previous marriages and how they ended.
You will need to sign this form in front of an official witness, and lodge it with your chosen celebrant. (As your celebrant I can help you with the process of filling in the form and also be your witness). At this point it is ideal to show your legal documents too, but note these can be seen another date if necessary.
2. PRODUCE ID DOCUMENTS
Before I can marry you, we need to establish, that you are who you say you are! This can be proven in a few ways and the options are below. They need to show your place and date of birth and photo.
The following documents only are acceptable as evidence of a party’s date and place of birth:
* an official (original) certificate of birth, or an official extract of an entry in an official register showing the date and place of birth of the party
* a statutory declaration from the party or the party’s parent stating: – it is impracticable (this does not mean not practical or convenient; it means impossible) to obtain an official birth certificate or extract, and the reasons why, and – to the best of the declarant’s knowledge and belief and as accurately as the declarant has been able to ascertain, when and where the party was born, or
* a passport issued by the Australian government or a government of an overseas country showing the date and place of birth of the party.
PHOTO ID You need to provide at least one of the following documents with photo identification as evidence that you are you!: * a driver’s licence * a proof of age/photo card * an Australian or overseas passport, or * a Certificate of Australian Citizenship along with another form of photographic evidence (such as a student card or other photo identification not listed above) OTHER POSSIBLE SITUATIONS If you have been married previously, either evidence of how the last marriage ended (eg divorce certificate or a death certificate). Annulment by a church is not a legal divorce. If your documents are written in a language other than English, you will need to get an official translation, all of which I can assist with. Ideally when you lodge the NOIM you would provide these documents. If its not possible for me to sight the original documents when lodging the NOIM (ie your overseas and emailing the NOIM, or you just forgot them at the meeting!!) an email copy if fine to start with. I just need to sight the original documents in person before or on the wedding day.
However, it is recommended to check that you can find your documents in plenty of time, or you may need to apply to get fresh copies issued to you that may take some time. Here are some links that can help get new copies: Click here for: Applying for a Birth Certificate Click here for: Form 2 (Birth Certificate Extract) Click here for: Renew or Replace a Drivers License Click here for: Renew Your Passport
3. SIGN A LEGAL DECLARATION
Prior to your wedding ceremony, you will be asked to sign a legal declaration stating that you believe there are no legal impediments to your marriage. Under Australian law you may not get married in any of the follow circumstances:
* you are under 18 years of age (except with special permission) OR
* you are already married OR
* you and your proposed spouse are of the same gender OR
* you and your proposed spouse are close relatives by birth or legal adoption – siblings, parent/child, grandparent/grandchild OR
* due to mental impairment you are not able to give informed consent
Both the bride and groom must freely and knowingly give their aware and informed consent to the marriage.
The signing of the declaration often happens when we meet for a rehearsal or walk through a week or two before the marriage ceremony, or if required (ie an elopement) we can complete on the day but must be before the ceremony takes place.
4. SOLEMNISATION OF MARRIAGE (ie: Get married!)
The big day!! On the day of your wedding, I will remind you of the legal significance of the step you are taking (a little passage thats read out in the ceremony), and you will need to declare your intention to marry before two adult witnesses (18 years or older) and me (ie saying your vows) using a specific form of words set out in the Marriage Act 1961. You and your witnesses will then sign the marriage certificates. I will present you with an official marriage certificate (The pretty one!). Please note that this document is not accepted as legal proof of your change of marital status/change of name, so you will also need to get a certified copy.
Remember: This is the bare legal minimum – all the have to do parts! The rest of your ceremony design is between us tailoring it so that its personal and memorable, an authentic expression of who you are!
5. CHANGE YOUR NAME
You don’t legally have to change your name, many people choose not to nowadays, however I will always provide you with a ‘What to do now’ kit to describe how to change your name if you want too.
After the big day I consolidate all the legal paperwork (make sure we crossed all the t’s and dotted all the I’s) and get it sent to Birth’s Death’s and Marriage Registry Office for them to process the forms.
You can then apply to BDM to get your Offical Marriage Certificate (looks like a birth certificate!) as legal proof of your change of marital status.
Once you have that, you can use this as proof of marriage to change your name with banks, licence, passport and any others documents you may wish to update.