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Bunora Avenue, Ferny Hills

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How it all works

The process from start to finish

For you to be legally married, the following steps must be taken!

1. First you must find an authorised celebrant. I will guide you through the process and ensure that all aspects of your wedding are recorded correctly, and in accordance with the Marriage Act 1961.

2. I will help you fill out, sign, and file a NOIM (Notice of Intended Marriage) at least 30 days prior to wedding ceremony, and within 18 months of the wedding ceremony. If you are divorced or widowed, you must provide proof of how your previous marriage ended. You also need to show your birth certificate/passport/drivers licence to the celebrant. This can be done in person or via email.

3. If your ID documents are in another language than English, you are required to get them translated by a NAATI approved interpreter. But please check with me first if this is necessary.

4. Before your wedding, I will get you to sign the CNI (Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage). This is to declare that you are over 18 years old and not already married.

5. You will also have to choose two people over 18 years of age as your witnesses. They will witness the ceremony and sign the three Marriage Certificates after the ceremony. Your witnesses can be anyone of your choice and if you want your wedding to be a secret, your celebrant can provide two witnesses for a fee.

6. The ceremony is built up around four legal components.

  • The Monitum, where I, the celebrant has to say words to the effect of: “My name is Christina Towler and 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 between two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”.
  • The second component are the legal vows, where I will ask you; ‘Do you Edward Peter Cullen, take Bella Donna Smith as lawfully wedding wife…and vice versa, and you say ‘I DO’!
  • The third legal component is where I introduce you as Husband and Wife/Spouses/Wife and Wife/Husband and Husband/Married.
  • The last part is the signing of documents by me, the couple and the two witnesses.

7. Everything else before, after, and in between is all up to you. I have a whole heap of suggestions and ideas, but it is all up to you how much or little you want.

8. Once the signing is done, I will lodge the documents with the Registry of Birth, Death and Marriages (BDM) within 24 hours and you will receive an email from them prompting you to pay the fee ($56.80 as per 2021) for the Official Government Marriage Certificate, this is the certificate you will need as proof of marriage and to change your surname, should you wish to. The BDM has a turnaround period at around two weeks.

Signing the marriage documents

The ceremony is over and now it is time to sign the documents. Do you write your new name or your maiden name on the marriage certificates? This is a great question and something that a lot of my couples get confused about when it comes to getting married.

On the actual day of your ceremony, you sign three documents and all three are required to be signed with the same name and signature that you used in all the pre-ceremony paperwork that you completed with your Celebrant.

Once your Celebrant has lodged the documents with the registry of Birth, Death and Marriages (RBDM), you will receive your Official Government Marriage Certificate – You can apply for this through your Celebrant while completing the initial paperwork, or at any time after your wedding directly through the RBMD for $56.60 (November 2021). This is the certificate that you will need as proof of marriage and to change your family name should you wish to. It is not a legally required thing; it comes down to your own personal choice AND it is not required that the bride takes the groom’s last name. He can take hers as well.

If you choose to change your family name when you get married, you will need to tell various government agencies, banks, utility suppliers and other businesses your married name.

Your list may include:

  • passport
  • driver licence
  • car registration
  • bank accounts
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Australian Electoral Commission enrolment
  • Medicare
  • insurance policies
  • doctors/dentist
  • superannuation
  • subscriptions
  • memberships
  • Insurance companies
  • Electricity, gas and water providers
  • Your place of work
  • Your mortgage provider
  • Landlord
  • Mobile phone provider
  • Internet provider
  • Any store cards you may have
  • RACQ
  • Vet

Did you know that I can witness your NOIM via Zoom?!

The Marriage Act 1961 has been temporarily modified until 31 December 2022, due to COVID-19, to enable an authorised witness (Celebrant/JP) to remotely witness the signing of the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM).

This means your authorised witness (Celebrant/JP) can observe your signature through Skype or Zoom.

A NOIM must still be given to the authorised celebrant at least one month before the marriage is solemnised.