The Legal Obligations To Getting Married in Australia
Yes it is a very exciting time for you both. But there is a lot to consider when planning your wedding day.
It is with hope, that the information provided on this page will help you to
understand the legal obligations to getting married and the requirements needed
to solemnise a marriage in Australia.
To be legally married in Australia, the parties to the marriage must:
Not be married to someone else.
Not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister.
There is a legal document called the NOIM (Notice of Intended Marriage) that needs to be completed in the
presence of the Celebrant, no later than (1) calendar month prior to the wedding date and no earlier than
18 months before the wedding. (e.g.: if you lodge your NOIM on the 12 February then you can marry on or
after the 13 March).
To be married in Australia you must be 18 years or over. A person under the age of 16 cannot legally marry
in Australia under any circumstances. Two people under the age of 18 also cannot marry under any circumstance.
It is only under exceptional circumstances that a person aged between 16-18 may marry someone who is aged
18 years and over. However, in order to do so there are requirements that need to be satisfied:
An order has been made by a judge or magistrate, and
Consents usually by the parents have been given
For an order to be authorised by a judge or magistrate, he or she must be satisfied of two things; the person applying
for the order is at least 16 years, and the circumstances for which the order is being sought is extremely exceptional and
unusual for the application to be justified.
If you are born in Australia I must sight your birth certificate or if born outside of Australia then
your passport must be presented for sighting.
If either of you have been married before, then you must supply your Final Divorce Papers (decree absolute)
or Death Certificate if widowed. If any of the documents are not in English, you will need to have them translated
Under section 44, a marriage may not be solemnised unless there are two witnesses over the age of 18 years,
they can be family or friends but must be over 18 years as they will be signing official documents. The purpose of witnesses,
is that their evidence will be available, if ever the occasion arises, to establish the identity of the parties or to testify as
to the circumstance in which there ceremony was performed.
It is therefore imperative that the witnesses should be persons who know the parties to the marriage. This is the
responsibility of the parties to the marriage.
Marriage is regulated by the Marriage Act 1961, it is there the parties to the marriage fully understand the steps to take
and what marriage means and freely consent to becoming husband and wife.
Be aware that there is specific legal wording used during the ceremony.
As your celebrant, I will help you understand these requirements. You don't have to be an Australian Citizen
or a permanent resident of Australia to be married here. If you hope to live in Australia after your marriage,
you may wish to see the marriage visa information on the department of immigration and citizenship website.
Should one or both of the parties to the marriage reside overseas, the NOIM must be signed by the party/ies in the presence
of any of the following:-
An Australian Diplomatic Officer
An Australian Consular Officer
A Notary Public
An Employee of the Commonwealth authorised under paragraph 3C of the Consular Fees Act 1955, or
An Employee of the Australian Trade Commission
More information can be found at the following website.
http:/www.immi.gov.au/migrants/partners/prospective/300/Statutory Declaration form
"A marriage celebrant must prevent and avoid unlawful discrimination in the provision of Marriage Celebrancy Services"
In keeping with the Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants (Copy provided) it is my duty to uphold this to the best of
Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants Regulation 37L Marriage Regulations 1963 Para 39 (1) (b) Marriage Act 1961
Ceremony: Legal Requirements
Under Australia law the marriage ceremony must include certain parts including certain formal words. These are the
Monitum and the Vows, and the signing and witnessing of the certificates.
I as the Civil Marriage Celebrant, and no other person in the ceremony, am obligated to say these certain words:
Monitum spoken before the Vows: (As at 9th December 2017)
"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 you are now about to enter.
Marriage according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others
voluntarily entered into for life.
Vows spoken by the parties:
Section 45(2) sets out the minimum words which must be used by the parties for a non religious ceremony to be a
marriage ceremony. Each party must say to the other, in the presence of myself the celebrant and the witnesses
"I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take
thee, C.D. (or A.B.) to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)
The ceremony can be worked around these minimum requirements according to your wishes and any other suggestions