Who doesn’t love a TV or movie wedding ceremony?

We all have our favourites wedding ceremony scenes, and they range from inspirational, cheesy, romantic, or simply hilarious! We observe the outfits, hear their vows and check out those hair do’s! We might also observe the official paperwork, or the “licence”. Often, it’s assumed couples need to complete a “marriage licence” before they get married as part of their marriage paperwork in Australia. This is incorrect.

Couples getting married in Australia need to complete a Notice of Intent to Marry document and lodge it with me, your celebrant, at least a month before your wedding day. I can send you the link to this document or give you a hard copy to complete. I like to complete this document face to face with my couples so that we can easily and efficiently complete all the details required and check for any mistakes. Or, in 2022, I can also witness you signing this document online. I will then keep this document until after your wedding and lodge it to the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the state you were married.

Behind the scenes, I complete all the information to ensure all the correct paperwork is generated for your wedding ceremony. You will need to show me your birth certificate and/or passport, and if you’ve been married before, your Certificate of Divorce or evidence of divorce.

During or after Australian wedding ceremonies, couples need to sign three pieces of paperwork provided by your celebrant. For the girls, even if you are planning to change your surname you must sign all documents with your current surname, not your husband to be (even if you have been practicing his signature for years!! ;). Couples must provide two witnesses who can also sign the paperwork. Witnesses must be over the age of 18 and they don’t need to be a member of your bridal party. They can be mums, grandparents, siblings, or fabulous friends, and they don’t need to be Australian citizens. I love it when grandparents are asked to sign the certificate. It can be a lasting legacy and beautiful memory for many years to come. Grandparents are always thrilled to be invited and I love their excitement and happiness as they have their moment in the spotlight (often dressed in a carefully considered special outfit!)

On your wedding day, I will give you your “Presentation” Marriage Certificate or put it in a safe place, or give it to one of your very responsible guests.

If you do wish to change your name, or just if you wish to have your official marriage certificate, I can apply on your behalf to the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages when I register your wedding. You will need this certificate as proof to the various authorities that you are married and can officially change your name. This is legally required to change your name on specific documents such as your drivers licence and your passport.

I can save you a lot of time as it will simply arrive in your mail box 4-6 weeks after your wedding. How easy is that?!

If you have any queries regarding the wedding paperwork and getting married, then please get in touch with me – 0409 235 243.