Getting Married - Your Legal Obligations:
While choosing a dress, flowers and a venue are very important parts of planning a wedding, the most important task is ensuring that your marriage will be legally recognised. Below is a summary of the legal matters I will discuss with you prior to the ceremony,
Providing notice of your intended marriage:
Prior to the wedding we will meet and have a nice informal chat, to get know you and we fill out and sign a Notice of Intended Marriage Form. This forms needs to be completed no less than one month and one day prior to your wedding and can be done up to 18 months in advance. Both of you will also need to sign a Declaration of Marriage Form, declaring that there is no legal impediment to your marriage, this form is usually filled out on your rehearsal day about 14 days before your wedding.
Before the wedding I will need to see the following documentation:-
- A Birth Certificate for each of you (or extracts) and some photo identification e.g. driver's license or passport.
- A Passport, if you are a citizen of a country other than Australia.
- A Statutory Declaration if you were born overseas and have no record of your birth (or lost your documentation) witnessed by the consulate of your birth country.
- If you have been previously married you will need to present either a Decree Absolute if you have divorced or a death certificate if you are a widow/widower.
- If you are under 18 years of age, you will need to provide your parents consent and an order from a Magistrate.
- If your documents are in a language other than English you will need to have them translated into English and authorised by a person who is a legally recognised translator.
- I will ensure all legal documentation is registered with the proper authorities, within fourteen days of your marriage.
Participating in a marriage ceremony:
When thinking about how you would like to design your ceremony you may ask family and friends to participate in aspects such as poems, readings etc. However, there are several legal requirements that can only be fulfilled by an authorised marriage celebrant.
At the ceremony, the authorised marriage celebrant must::
• consent to be present as the responsible authorised marriage celebrant
• take a public role in the ceremony
• identify themselves to the assembled parties, witnesses and guests as the celebrant authorised to solemnise the marriage
• be responsible for ensuring the validity of the marriage, according to law
• say the words required by section 46 in the presence of the parties, the formal witnesses and the guests before the marriage is solemnised
• be in close proximity (ie nearby) when the vows required by subsection 45(2) are exchanged. It is the exchange of vows that constitutes the marriage and the authorised celebrant must see and hear the vows being exchanged.
• be available to intervene (and exercise the responsibility to intervene) if events demonstrate the need for it elsewhere in the ceremony
• be part of the ceremonial group or in close proximity to it; and
• sign the papers as required by the Act.
On the day of your marriage, you will need two witnesses to sign the Registry and Certificate Of Marriage - they will both need to be over the age of 18. They do not necessarily have to be in the bridal party.