Frequently Asked Questions

Planning a wedding, renewal of vows or naming day celebration is an exciting but busy time. With so much to organise, it’s perfectly natural to feel a little overwhelmed. As your Celebrant, it’s my job to work closely with you to create the right, personalised ceremony that is a true reflection of your personalities, dreams and hopes for the future. With regard to weddings, it’s also my responsibility to take care of the necessary legalities and paperwork so you can focus on enjoying your special day. The following provides answers to some questions people commonly ask when planning a wedding, renewal of vows or naming day ceremony in Australia.

At what age can you get married in Australia?

Generally speaking, both parties must be at least 18 years of age to get married. Occasionally a person over 16 but under 18 years of age can legally marry however this requires a Court Order which is usually only granted under exceptional and unusual circumstances. By law, under no circumstances may two people under the age of 16 marry each other.

Can anyone get married?

To be eligible to marry in Australia, you must be over the age of 18, not already lawfully married and not closely related to your intended spouse. Happily, since 9th December 2017, same-sex couples are able to legally marry in Australia.

How much notice do we need to provide before getting married?

A Notice of Intended Marriage (NIM) must be lodged with your Marriage Celebrant no less than one month and no more than eighteen months prior to the marriage being solemnised. Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to obtain permission for a shortening of time to provide less than the usual notice period by special approval. Usually, the NIM would be completed at our first meeting. You can download the NIM here.

What documents do we need to provide?

In order for me to lodge your Notice of Intended Marriage, I will need both parties to provide original birth certificates or passports. If you have misplaced your birth certificate, you can apply for a new one to be issued from the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages in the State where you were born.

A foreign (NOT Australian) passport is acceptable if you were born overseas and your birth certificate is not available. You can still use your foreign passport if it has expired, but not if it was cancelled.

If you do not have an overseas passport and your birth certificate has been lost or destroyed and you cannot obtain a new one, you may complete a Statutory Declaration which I can assist with.

If you have been previously married, you will need to supply your divorce certificate and, likewise, if you are widowed, you will need to provide a death certificate.

Any documents which are in a foreign language must be translated into English by an approved translator.

Do we need witnesses?

Yes, in order to legally marry in Australia, two witnesses over the age of 18 must be present to sign the Marriage Register and Certificates. As your Marriage Celebrant, I cannot act as a witness.

What other documents are involved?

Prior to your wedding, both partners will be required to sign a declaration, under the Marriage Act 1961, stating that you believe there is no legal impediment to the marriage between yourself and your partner. This is a legal document, and under Section 11 of the Statutory Declaration Act 1959, making a false statement therein is punishable by imprisonment.

If we live overseas, can we get married in Australia?

Regardless of your nationality, you are more than welcome to be married in the most beautiful country in the world, Australia!

Assuming the marriage complies with the Marriage Act 1961, as previously described above, your marriage in Australia should be legally recognised in your own country. It advisable, however, to confirm this with your own local authorities before making any arrangements. It is important to remember that there can only be one legal marriage so any further ceremonies performed when you return home would be marriage reaffirmation ceremonies only.

I would be very pleased to assist you with planning your special day in our beautiful country. With today’s ease of international communications, this process is very simple and can easily be done from a distance.

How long does a wedding ceremony last?

The mandatory statements that must be spoken to legally solemnise a marriage take only a few minutes. Beyond that, it’s completely up to each couple as to what they would like to include. The length of the vows and the number of readings included will shape the duration of the ceremony however most last somewhere between twenty to thirty minutes.

When should we start talking to a Marriage Celebrant?

Your marriage ceremony is the official beginning of the rest of your lives together and will set the tone for the rest of your special day. Because getting married also comes with some basic legal requirements that must be satisfied, it’s pretty important to start working with your Marriage Celebrant as soon as you have locked in your date! As your Marriage Celebrant, I will guide you through the process, provide you with the necessary forms to complete and take care of lodging the legal paperwork. I’ll also get to know you both so that together we can create a personalised ceremony that reflects who you are as individuals as well as your bond as a couple.

Should we have a rehearsal?

Some couples like to have a rehearsal dinner with close friends and family that acts as a celebration of the forthcoming wedding, but which also allows the couple to practice running through the ceremony together. Others are happy to do a basic rehearsal of the ceremony and vows either at their home or mine. Some couples will decide not to have a rehearsal at all. The choice is completely up to you however I usually recommend conducting an informal run-through so you’ll know what to expect on the day and will be better prepared to relax and enjoy the moment!

What venues do you officiate at?

Located in Kiama, I offer Marriage Celebrant services locally as well as in Wollongong, Shellharbour, Jervis Bay and right throughout the Illawarra as well as in Sydney and the Southern Highlands. I’ll perform your wedding ceremony at a venue of your choosing which might be a family home or garden, a local park, a beach, a hotel, a reception centre or pretty much anywhere with special meaning to you.

Does a renewal of vows ceremony have any legal requirements?

No, this type of ceremony is usually undertaken by couples who are already married but wish to commemorate a special anniversary or simply reaffirm their commitment to each other in front of family and friends. It requires no special paperwork or legal obligations. As your Celebrant, at the completion of the event, I will provide you with a reaffirmation certificate and a copy of the ceremony.

Why would I choose to have a renewal of vows ceremony?

Most couples considering this type of ceremony are looking for a special way to celebrate a milestone anniversary however anyone can choose to renew their wedding vows. Other reasons this type of ceremony might be sought include couples who have married overseas wishing to celebrate their union again with loved ones at home or couples who have separated and reunited wishing to publicly reaffirm their commitment to each other.

Can we include friends and family in the ceremony?

Yes! Many couples choose to involve loved ones in their renewal of vows ceremony by having them recite poems, blessings or readings that hold special meaning.

How long does a renewal of vows ceremony last?

Just like a wedding ceremony, it’s completely up to each couple what they would like to include in a renewal of vows ceremony. The duration is generally determined by the length of the vows and how many readings are included however most last somewhere between twenty to thirty minutes.

Where is a renewal of vows ceremony usually held?

A renewal of vows ceremony can be held pretty much anywhere but popular choices include family homes, local parks and gardens, beaches and restaurants. I offer Celebrant services across Kiama, Wollongong, Shellharbour and right throughout the Illawarra as well as in Sydney and the Southern Highlands.

What is a naming day ceremony?

A naming day ceremony is a special day which celebrates the arrival of a new baby and welcomes them into the family and the wider community. It often involves the nomination of those people who have been chosen to act as additional guardians for the child.

Why do parents choose to have a naming day ceremony?

A naming day ceremony is often sought by non-religious couples or multi-cultural families as an alternative to religious ceremonies such as Christenings and Baptisms. It allows a couple to share the joy of their new arrival with family and friends in a way that reflects their own individual beliefs and perspectives.

Does a naming day ceremony have any legal requirements?

No, this type of ceremony requires no special paperwork or legal obligations. It’s each couple’s choice as to what’s included in their child’s naming ceremony. As your naming day Celebrant, I will work with you to create a meaningful ceremony that reflects your unique family bond and hopes for your child’s future. During the ceremony, I will present you with a Naming Certificate that can be signed by you as well as the any nominated guardians.

Can we include friends and family in the ceremony?

Yes! Many couples choose to involve nominated guardians and other loved ones in their child’s naming day ceremony by having them recite poems, blessings or readings that hold special meaning.

How long does a naming day ceremony last?

Just like a wedding ceremony, it’s completely up to each couple as to what they would like to include in their child’s naming ceremony. The duration is generally determined by how many additional friends and family members are involved and how many readings are included however most last somewhere between twenty to thirty minutes.

Where is a naming day ceremony usually held?

A naming day ceremony is frequently held in the baby’s home but can be held pretty much anywhere of meaning to the family. As a Celebrant, I offer personalised naming day services across Kiama, Wollongong, Shellharbour and right throughout the Illawarra as well as in Sydney and the Southern Highlands.

Contact Me Today

Have the ceremony you want, share it with everyone

Book your ceremony by 1st November 2019 and have the ceremony live streamed to your closest friends who are unable to attend.

You will also get a digital copy of the recording within 24 hrs.

*Subject to availability

$0
of value, FREE
BOOK NOW

Have the ceremony you want, share it with everyone

Book your ceremony by 1st November 2019 and have the ceremony live streamed to your closest friends who are unable to attend.

You will also get a digital copy of the recording within 24 hrs.

*Subject to availability

$0
of value, FREE
BOOK NOW