Who doesn’t love a TV or movie wedding?
We all have our favourites and they range from inspirational, cheesy, romantic, or simply hilarious! We observe the dress, their vows and those hair do’s! And we may also observe the certificate, or the “licence”. Often, it’s assumed couples need to complete a marriage licence in Australia – this is not the case.
Couples who choose to marry in Australia need to complete a Notice of Intent to Marry document and lodge it with their celebrant at least a month before they plan to have their wedding. Your celebrant will then keep this document until after your wedding and they will then send it through to the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the state you were married. I like to complete this document face to face with my couples so that we can easily and efficiently complete all the details and check for any mistakes. All this information is then cascaded behind the scenes to other documents by your celebrant. Couples need to show their birth certificate and/or passport, and if they have been married before, a Certificate of Divorce to their celebrant.
During Australian wedding ceremonies couples need to sign three pieces of paperwork provided by their 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 with them. 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 – a lasting legacy and beautiful memory for many years to come. They are 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 and planned special outfit!)
On the wedding day, couples keep the “Presentation” Marriage Certificate (make sure you keep it somewhere safe or ask your celebrant to give it to someone responsible who will keep it safe and sound on the day). If you do wish to change your name you will need to apply to the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages after your wedding to get your official wedding certificate as proof to the various authorities that you have married. Heads Up: there is currently a wait of a number of weeks before you can receive this.
If you have any queries regarding getting married then get in touch with me – 0409235243.