As part of my role as a celebrant, and on your part as the couple in the wedding, certain documents have to be filled out and completed with accurate information, so that we can ensure that your marriage is legal and that you can actually get married. We fill out a Notice of Intention to Marry first, and I will complete as much of the information as possible via what you tell me. I will need certain documents from you i.e. birth certificates to ensure your identities, and for you to sign this document. Other documents may be required if you have been married before or you don’t have an Australian Birth certificate, and in some other circumstances. The Marriage Act states that if you have been divorced or a widow or widower, an authorised celebrant shall not solemnise the marriage unless there is produced to him or her evidence of that party’s divorce, or of the death of that party’s spouse, as the case requires.
This NOIM certificate has to be filled out at least a month and one day, and no longer than 18 months before the wedding.
Then usually at the rehearsal, you sign another document that basically states you are both free to marry, that is, you are not already married, you are over 18 and not related to each other (Form 14 Declaration).
At the ceremony we all sign, with your witnesses, the marriage certificate which is yours to keep, and 2 similar marriage certificates (Form 16) one of which is sent to the registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM), and one that I keep. I keep a register of these certificates securely. (see my Privacy and Confidentiality Policy) Forms 16 and 14 and the NOIM are all sent to BDM within 14 days.
When and where can a marriage be solemnized?
A marriage may be solemnised on any day, at any time and at any place. It need not necessarily be solemnised in a building. The marriage must be solemnised in Australia, or within Australian territorial waters.
Under section 44, a marriage may not be solemnised unless there are present as witnesses at least two persons who are, or appear to the person solemnising the marriage to be, over the age of 18 years.
The object of requiring the attendance of witnesses is that their evidence will be available, should the occasion arise, to establish the identity of the parties or to testify as to the circumstances in which the ceremony was performed.
It is, therefore, most desirable that the witnesses should be persons who know the parties to the marriage. This is the responsibility of the parties to the marriage.
Births, Deaths and Marriages – Victoria
I am able to enter your details directly into the BDM Victoria website to enable printable copies and efficient submission of forms after the wedding, which i have to do within 2 weeks.
Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
GPO Box 4332, Melbourne VIC 3001
Phone: (03) 1300 369 367
Fax: (03) 9613 5807
From the Commonwealth Attorney Generals Department website:
There is a lot to consider when planning your wedding day. This page will help you with the key legal requirements.
To be legally married in Australia, a man and woman must:
- not be married to someone else
- not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister
- be at least eighteen years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between 16-18 years old
- understand what marriage means and freely consent to becoming husband and wife
- use specific words during the ceremony
- give written notice of their intention to marry to their authorised celebrant
The authorised celebrant you choose will help you understand these requirements.
You don’t have to be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia to legally marry here. See the marriage visa information on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website if you hope to live in Australia after your marriage.
Statutory Declaration form
Information about getting married:
Notice of Intention to Marry