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The legal requirements for getting married in Australia

Before we list the requirements for a wedding ceremony in Australia to be valid, it is important to note:

Your marriage can take place from 1 calendar month after the date you meet and lodge the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) with your Celebrant.

What legal wording must be included in a marriage ceremony in Australia?

A marriage ceremony must include:

- The Celebrant to state their name and that they are an authorised Celebrant

- The Celebrant must state the mandatory wording known as the ‘Monitum’

“I am duly authorised by law to solemnise 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 law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

- The following mandatory vows (or an acceptable variation of as defined by the Marriage Act) must be stated by each party to one another:

I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take thee, C.

D. (or A.B.), to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband, or spouse).

And dah dah - we’ve covered it, that is all that actually needs to be said for you to be legally married , then you can sign the marriage certificates and pop open the champagne.

Of course you may like to exchange rings and share your own personalised vows and share a little of your love story, but those are all entirely optional.

What is involved with signing paperwork?

2 witnesses are required to officially witness your marriage. They need to be over the age of 18 and of sound mind (e.g. not drunk – the Attorney- Generals rules, not the Celebrants!)

- Your Celebrant will provide you with the following 3 documents to sign, these are usually already pre-completed with all your info so it’s just each of your signatures, followed by your witnesses signatures to be actioned:

1. Official Certificate of Marriage – To be submitted by your Celebrant to the office of BDM (Births, Deaths and Marriages) in the state where your marriage took place.

2. Official Certificate of Marriage – Identical to the above, this one is the Celebrants copy keep and archive.

3. Presentation Certificate – This is your keepsake certificate that you will be given to take with you after the ceremony.

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