Brisbane Marriage Celebrant
              Jennifer Cram
What You Have to do to Get Married
While from the legal point of view getting married in Australia is quite simple and easy, there are certain things the Marriage Act requires you to do, and if you don't do them then your marriage celebrant cannot go ahead with the wedding because to do so would be an offence that could result in a prison term. All celebrants have to comply with the Marriage Act so there is absolutely no leeway on this, and no point in trying to get round it!

When you book with me I'll give you a full list of all the prison terms and fines for doing the wrong thing when it comes to marriage - such as telling lies on the Notice (6 months), Bigamy (5 years) or being a party to visa fraud (10 years/$100,000).

Giving Notice
You must give at least one month's notice of your intention to marry by
  • completing a Notice of Intended Marriage form
  • signing the form in front of a qualified witness (listed on page 4). NB the requirements differ depending on whether you sign the Notice in Australia or overseas.
  • Giving it to your celebrant (generally referred to as lodging it)

What if You Don't Want to Wait a Month?
  • Unless you fall into one of five very specific circumstances, such as one of you being terminally ill, and you can provide satisfactory documentary proof to back up your claim, you will not be granted permission to shorten the waiting time.
  • Shortening of time can only be granted by an official (known as a Prescribed Authority) and is decided on a case by case basis after consideration of all the evidence and how it supports a case for one of the 5 specific grounds.
  • Your celebrant must confirm, in writing, that she is available and willing to conduct the ceremony on your chosen day, and that she supports your application.
  • An expiring visa, pregnancy, or just being in a hurry are not grounds for shortening of time
  • There is a fee to apply for shortening of time, payable whether or not it is granted.

Proving Who You Are and that You are Free to Marry
  • You must show your celebrant original government-issued documents as evidence of your date and place of birth (birth certificate or passport)
  • You must show your celebrant Photo ID
  • If you have been married before you must show your celebrant either a divorce certificate or the death certificate of your former spouse
  • Photocopies, even if certified by a Justice of the Peace or Notary Public are not acceptable
  • Any documents not in English or a language the celebrant reads well must be accompanied by an official translation

Signing Declarations Before the Ceremony
  • Both of you must sign declarations that you are free to marry
  • These must be signed close to the ceremony date
  • They can only be signed in front of your officiating celebrant

The Ceremony
  • You must both be physically present in the same space, together with your celebrant and two adult witness (no skype or proxy weddings allowed)
  • The Celebrant must recite a passage from the Marriage Act before you say your vows
  • Your full names must be used in order to adequately identify you to all present (I know, I know, but it is the law)
  • You must say your vows using a certain form of words
  • These must be signed close to the ceremony date
  • They can only be signed in front of your officiating celebrant

NB once you have said your vows you are legally married.

After the Ceremony
  • Your celebrant, your witnesses and the two of you must sign 3 documents
  • Your marriage must be registered within 14 days (the celebrant is responsible for forwarding the documents to Births Deaths and Marriages

What you Don't Have to do
  • You don't have to buy a marriage licence (Australia doesn't have them)
  • You don't have to provide a certificate of no singleness or no impediment etc. The Declarations serve that purpose
  • No blood tests involved either.
  • And no residence requirement or special visa required
  • You do not have to change your name

What Marrying an Australian Won't Guarantee
Marrying in Australia or marrying an Australian citizen or permanent resident does not guarantee a visa to live and work in this country.

  Please contact me to enquire about my availability and book your ceremony