Important for Marrying Couples

Congratulations! You are getting married in Australia – here is some information you need to know

Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrants are authorised by the Registrar of Celebrants of the Attorney-General’s Department, to legally solemnise marriages in Australia.
Registered marriage celebrants are bound by a Code of Practice. A professional celebrant will assist you in every way to achieve a personally meaningful, deeply rewarding ceremony.
The celebrant will offer ideas and texts for you to review; assist you in crafting your ceremony using poetry, ritual and symbol; and offer you guidance should you decide to author your own ceremony.
We also conduct Same-sex Commitments, also known as Civil Unions. Currently, these ceremonies have no legal status in Australia. There is a great deal of support for same-sex couples in the community – one can only hope that this situation will be resolved in the near future.
The legal requirements for couples marrying in Australia is comprehensively explained in the Privacy Notes on page two of this document: Notice of Intended Marriage. Legal requirements for marriage in Australia that must be attended to prior to marriage:

  • A minimum of one month’s Notice of Intended Marriage (maximum 18 months) must be received by the celebrant prior to the marriage;
  • Both parties (the couple) must provide evidence of their place and date of birth;
  • If a party to the marriage has been previously married, they must show evidence of divorce, or the death of the previous spouse;
  • A Declaration of no legal impediment to the marriage must be signed by both parties in the presence of the celebrant who will solemnise the marriage.

Your celebrant will guide you and offer advice regarding the solemnisation of your marriage. If you were born in Australia and need to obtain a birth certificate, you will be able to purchase one from Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) in the state or territory of your birth. You will also be able to purchase a death certificate of a previous spouse at BDM. If you registered a change of name at the BDM you will need a copy of this document to show the celebrant prior to marriage. Finally, you will want to purchase a registered certificate of marriage from the BDM office in the state/territory where your marriage was solemnised.

Here are links to all the BDM offices: BDM Perth, WA; BDM Darwin, NT; BDM Brisbane, QLD; BDM Sydney, NSW; BDM Melbourne, VIC; BDM Canberra, ACT; BDM Hobart, TAS; BDM Adelaide, SA. If you need to obtain a divorce certificate, you will need to contact the Family Court. If the divorce was granted in Western Australia: Family Court Perth, WA; For information about divorce in other Australian states/territories: this link for how to obtain proof of divorce.