Marriage – Legal Aspects

Notice of Intended Marriage: Your Celebrant must receive this notice a month prior to your wedding date (and no earlier than 18 months prior). I can provide this form for you or you can download it from the Attorney-General’s website: www.ag.gov.au and bring it along to your first appointment.

Legal Wording: As part of your ceremony, you are required to say some particular wording as part of your vows, which makes the marriage valid, and I, as your celebrant, am also required to recite a particular legal declaration at the commencement of the ceremony, but apart from that, the ceremony can be of your own creation.

English as a second language: If either the bride or groom have difficulty in understanding English, you will be required to use the services of an accredited interpreter. The interpreter will be required to attend the initial interview with your celebrant, as well as attending the marriage ceremony itself as Australian Law requires this.

The interpreter needs to be accredited and details of these services may be found at: www.naati.com.au. The cost of this service must be met by the couple.

Ritual and Ceremony: As Australia has such a wide variety of people from all across the world, and an ancient indigenous culture, I welcome the opportunity to work with couples to integrate their cultural requirements into their ceremony. Ceremony and ritual play an important part in our lives and should be celebrated and integrated with enthusiasm. I have a host of ideas for you, from a pagan theme, to integrating Hindu rituals, through to a Christian ceremony with prayers and blessings, or a simple and basic ceremony, just to name a few. However you want your wedding ceremony to be, together, we can make it happen. A simple, basic ceremony would flow like this:

  • The couple arrive to stand before the celebrant (your two witnesses must also be present).
  • The celebrant welcomes those present and makes the required legal declaration.
  • The celebrant delivers the ceremony as designed with the couple, and then asks them to say their legal marriage vows and declarations as well as any additional vows.
  • There is an exchange of ring(s) and/or gift(s) between the couple (a ring or gift ceremony).
  • The celebrant would then declare that the couple are now husband and wife.
  • The Register is signed by the couple, witnesses and celebrant.
  • The Marriage Certificate is presented.

Register table

Music: As most couples like to have music playing as part of their ceremony, it may be of interest to you to know that this is allowed by the music licencing agencies as it is considered ceremonial usage, and there is no issue over copyright or having to pay fees. However, it is a different matter at your reception where this is considered public broadcasting and is subject to copyright, so you will need to discuss this with your reception venue and/or the provider of your music.

Your privacy: As a Registered Marriage Celebrant, registered through the Attorney Generals Department, I am required to ensure your privacy. This is required by federal law and the Marriage Celebrants Code of Practice. I comply with the information privacy principles (IPPs) of the Privacy Act 1988 and therefore ensure that all the information that I obtain for the purposes of solemnising your marriage will be used only for this purpose. I also never discuss my clients with any unauthorised third parties. With me, your privacy is assured.

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