Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of some of the most common questions celebrants are asked. If you need more information regarding any aspect of my services, or cannot find the answer you are looking for, please do not hesitate to contact me.
What does a Marriage Celebrant do?
Ensures your marriage meets the legal requirements in Australia.
What does your fee include?
My fee includes all consultations whether in person, by phone, by post or email, assistance with completion and lodgement of statutory paperwork, creation of ceremony in consult with couple, rehearsal, solemnisation of marriage, presentation certificate, forwarding of paperwork to registry, lodgement of application to obtain certificate from registry to enable change of name. Should additional transport (e.g. water taxi, etc.) be required the cost of same would need to be met.
What is your payment schedule?
Upon booking a non-refundable fee is paid to keep the date/time for you. The balance is then paid 4 weeks prior to the ceremony. Should you book less than 4 weeks prior to the ceremony the total fee is to be paid at that time. Other payment arrangements can be made upon request. Payment can be made by cash, or electronic transfer.
When do we need to place a booking with you?
As soon as you have chosen your date it is best to check my availability. Your Notice of Intended Marriage must be lodged with me no later than 1 month prior to your marriage. As the Notice is valid for 18 months from the date of lodgment, by attending to it as soon as you have your date, ensures you meet the time requirements.
Do we need to attend a pre-marital course?
For a civil ceremony it is not mandatory for you to attend such a course but you will be given information regarding pre-marriage education programs that are available should you wish to partake.
Where can we get married?
Anywhere in Australia – for example beach, park, chapel, home, garden, hot air balloon. Should you wish to marry on a boat it must not be more than 12NM out to sea and the same applies to an aircraft (not more than 12M above Australian land).
Can we have a spiritual or religious ceremony?
The content of the ceremony is your choice provided the legal requirements are met.
Can we write our own vows?
Yes - this is a way to personalise your ceremony. There are certain words that must be included in the vows and you will be advised of these.
How long does a ceremony take?
An average ceremony, runs for approximately 20-30 minutes. This is a guideline, so the ceremony is not too lengthy for you, or your guests, particularly if they are standing. This can include readings and symbolism (such as a covenant of sand, candle lighting etc.) and is not too extensive that you may feel overwhelmed with nerves and excitement.
A short ceremony would be approximately 10 minutes and this is usually elopement or registry office style.
What equipment do you supply for our ceremony?
Depending on your venue and number of guests, a PA system is supplied where considered necessary.
What happens if you are unable to perform our ceremony on the day?
Should I not be able to perform your ceremony, due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances beyond my control, another celebrant will be contacted to perform the ceremony. This arrangement is discussed at our initial meeting.
Can you marry us if we are not Australian citizens?
Yes - provided you meet the relevant criteria and provide the necessary documentation.
What are our legal obligations?
You must provide relevant ID documentation, be at least 18 years of age, sign a statutory declaration of no legal impediment to marriage. For more information, please read the Legal Requirements for Marriage in Australia.
We need to get married quickly, is this possible?
Yes - you can apply for a shortening of time under specific circumstances.
If we are applying for immigration, what needs to be done?
You should contact the Department of Immigration to find out what the requirements are, and if necessary, contact a Migration Lawyer or Agent. Should you require a letter confirming your intention to marry, this can be provided upon completion of the relevant Notice of Intended Marriage, and the booking fee being paid.
I can't find my Birth Certificate or other legally required documents, what do I do?
If Australian born, you will need to apply for a new Certificate to be issued.
If divorced or widowed in Australia, you will need to apply for the relevant certificate to be issued.
If born overseas, or your divorce or partner’s death was registered overseas you will need to apply for the certificates from the relevant country.
Please read the Wedding Resources and Forms page for more information.
What are the required legal elements of a ceremony?
Your celebrant must use your full names at least once in the ceremony.
The monitum, which is the legal definition of marriage in Australia, must be said by the celebrant, prior to your exchange of vows.
Your vows must ask those present to witness that you take each other as lawful husband/wife/spouse.
You and two witnesses must sign the relevant paperwork in the presence of each other.
How do I change my name after the ceremony?
The certificate you will receive from the registry following registration of your marriage can be used at all government departments, passport office and banks as proof of marriage.
Under what circumstances would you be unable to legally perform our ceremony?
Should either party to the marriage or witnesses appear to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or duress of any kind. This possibility is discussed at our initial consultation.