Frequently Answered Questions

What do I need to do in Australia to get Married?:

Once you have decided to get married the first thing to do is book a Celebrant who will advise you about the legal requirements of Marriage in Australia and will guide you through the process.  A Notice of Intended Marriage must be completed anytime between 18 months and  one calendar month prior to the ceremony. A wedding cannot take place less than one month from the date of the completed NOIM, except in special circumstances. Such circumstances are assessed by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages on a case by case basis.

Do both parties to the Marriage have to sign the NOIM at least one month before the Ceremony?:

No. As long as one of the couple i.e. either the Bride or Groom, has completed the NOIM one month before the ceremony the other one can sign it anytime before the wedding ceremony.

What Documents do I need to Show the Celebrant?

The Celebrant will need to see one or the other of the following documents as proof of Identity

a. Your original Birth Certificate.


b. An Australian or Foreign Passport.

If either of these documents are in a foreign language they will need to be officially translated into English.

In addition if you have been married before you will need to provide documentary evidence of how the marriage ended i.e. a Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate.

Do I need to be Resident in Australia to be Married?:

No. Anyone can marry in Australia providing you are both over the age of 18, not legally married and have completed the NOIM at least one month in advance of the date.  If one or both of you is between 16 and 18, additional requirements must be met.

How Long does a Ceremony Take?:

A Civil Ceremony normally takes about 20 – 30 minutes. However as long as a couple includes the legal components of the ceremony which is the Monitum and the legal vows, they are able to include as much or as little as they want in a ceremony. A Ceremony which includes poems, verses and/or rituals could take up to 45 minutes.

What is the ‘Monitum’ and the ‘Legal Vows’?:

The Monitum and Legal Vows are the legal component of every wedding ceremony as prescribed by the Marriage Act and cannot be changed.

The Monitum is when the Celebrant states her authority to perform a wedding by law. The words are as follows:

As a Civil Celebrant I am authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to the law of this country. Before you are joined together in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage according to the law in Australia is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

The Legal Vows are as follows:

I call upon the person’s here present to witness that I Bride/Groom take you, Bride/Groomto be my lawful wedded wife/ husband.

You may add your own vows to the legal vows.

How Many Witnesses do I Need at my Ceremony?:

You will need to have two witnesses present at your Marriage Ceremony as they are required to sign all the Marriage Documents on the day. The only requirement is that they are over 18 years of age.

We have had a Ceremony Overseas. Can we remarry in Australia?:

No. As long as your ceremony was a legal ceremony it is recognised in Australia so it is illegal to be married again. The only type of ceremony you would be able to have would be either a Renewal Ceremony or a Commitment Ceremony.

How do I Change my Surname after Marriage?:

You will need to apply to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages of the State you were married in to obtain a copy of your Official Marriage Certificate as proof of your wedding. This can be done a few weeks after your wedding date. The Ceremonial Certificate given to you on your Wedding Day will not be accepted a proof of Marriage.

Do I need to Change My Name?:

No. This is a personal choice.