Legal Requirements

To help ensure that your special day is also a legal marriage Occasions4u provide the following information. You can also go to the Attorney-General’s website for more information on Getting Married:

DISCLAIMER:  This summary is provided as general information and does not constitute a legal opinion. If in any doubt, always seek further guidance from a qualified legal adviser.

  • The legal age for marriage in Australia is 18 years. Provisions exist under Section 12 of the Marriage Act if ONE of the parties is between the ages of 16 and 18 years.
  • Prohibited relationships are between a person and a direct ancestor or descendant; and between full or half blood siblings. For the purposes of this requirement adopted children and parents are deemed to be a natural relationship.
  • The first step in getting married is to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage form with your celebrant. I can provide one or you can download a copy of the form (PDF document, 64 KB) to complete and give to me. The form can be lodged up to 18 months prior to the wedding, and no later than one month and one day prior to the wedding.
  • ·The Notice can be lodged by one person only (if the other party is unable—eg overseas) provided that the second party completes it prior to the marriage.
  • Marriage may take place between Australian and foreign residents. However marriage in itself does not confer legal rights to Australian residency.
  • A recent change in legislation now allows photo ID to be presented as proof of identification for Australian citizens. An acceptable photo ID is usually issued by a Federal or State Government agency or affiliate.
  • If born in another country, an ORIGINAL birth certificate of that country, or an ORIGINAL current or lapsed passport of another country showing date and place of birth will be acceptable evidence of age. If these are in another language they must be officially translated into English. Australian passports cannot be used for evidence of birth details.
  • Persons previously married must provide ORIGINAL evidence of how the last relationship ended. (i.e. death certificate or divorce absolute or divorce certificate) A church issued Nullification is not acceptable.
  • Notwithstanding any evidence submitted, the celebrant has the responsibility to be personally satisfied as to age, identity and free intent of the parties.
  • Documents in a language other than English will generally require official translation before acceptance by the celebrant. (Refer: National Accreditation for Translators  Phone: 1300 557 470
  • Two persons over the age of 18 years are required to witness your marriage and sign the forms.  Relatives are quite acceptable.

Your Ceremony

A civil ceremony allows you the freedom to choose the type of ceremony you prefer. However there are certain words that must be said by the celebrant during a wedding ceremony to make it a lawful and valid wedding. These words are contained in Section 45 of the Marriage Act 1961 as follows:

“I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, (full name) take thee (full name) to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband).”

In addition, Section 46(1) requires the following words, a paragraph known as the Monitum, to be said by the Celebrant:

“I am duly authorized by law to solemnize marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and 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.”

Some couples have friends or family who are members of the clergy or other established religions and they would like this person to participate at their wedding. I can liaise with that person to deliver the ceremony that you want. According to law, it is only the Commonwealth registered marriage celebrant who can administer the vows (as contained in Section 45) and the Monitum (as contained in Section 46(1) of the Marriage Act 1961).

After The Ceremony

Following the ceremony, you can apply for a certified copy of your marriage certificate through the Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages in your state.

As part of my service to you, I can provide an application form which I will submit on your behalf at the time I lodge your marriage documents. The current fee charged by BDM will be added to your invoice.

Otherwise you can apply for the certificate yourself following your marriage. You can download a copy of the Application for Marriage Certificate form (PDF document, 37 KB) for this purpose.

You will need to provide proof of Identity:

To protect your privacy, all certificate applications must be accompanied by ID. The application can only be used if the marriage occurred in NSW.

Please provide at least three (3) forms of identification, one of each from Categories 1, 2 and 3. If you are unable to provide identification from Categories 1 and 2, you must still provide at least three (3) forms of identification. At least two (2) of these must be from Category 3.

All documents except foreign passports must be current.

If you wish to change your name with all legal and Government services we recommend that you check our affiliate – Next Steps here.