I am again receiving wedding requests from people who don’t realise that there are non-negotiable legal requirements before getting married. So… just to clarify, here they are:

  • A Notice of Intended Marriage must be completed, by the couple, signed and witnessed, one month before the ceremony. Under certain circumstances, it is acceptable for one of the couple to complete this only. However, the Notice must be signed by the other party to the marriage before the ceremony. Yes, that reality program where they married on TV before even meeting is fake. So-called TV surprise weddings where they go straight from the proposal to a celebrant/minister to marry them are fake. The Notice is just one document that must be signed before the ceremony! I think these stupid programs contribute to this misunderstanding that you can call a celebrant a week before you want to get married and no worries! Not true. One month.
  • In order to sign the Notice, there are certain identity documents you must have: original birth certificates/extracts or passports; divorce paperwork as proof of divorce or a death certificate if any party has been previously married; and driver’s licenses for photo identity if a passport is not used.
  • A declaration must be signed before the wedding ceremony. This declares that there is no legal impediment to the marriage and both are free to marry – not married to someone else, under 18, etc. This paper is usually signed at rehearsal but whether signed then or not, it is another paper that must be signed prior to getting married.

That’s the pre-wedding papers done and dusted! Remember… there really is no such thing in Australia as ‘let’s get married tomorrow!’.

Tim & Jodie 4 copy 2