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Fabulous Facts & FAQs

1. Who can marry in Australia?

You do not have to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia to legally marry here but if you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia, you should check with authorities in your own country prior to entering into a marriage here.  Some overseas countries do not recognise a marriage entered into in Australia as valid unless other specific requirements are fulfilled. If one of you is an Australian citizen, you should obtain advice from a registered migration agent.

2. What are the legal requirements for marriage in Australia?

  • You must not be married to someone else.

  • You must not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, or sibling.

  • You must both be over 18 years of age unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between 16-18 years.

  • You need to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) with your celebrant between one month & 18 months before your wedding date.

  • You must understand what marriage means and be freely consenting to marriage.

  • There are legal words which must be said by your celebrant -this is called the ‘Monitum’ and you must say some legal wording too as part of your vows. (just a short sentence)

  • There must be two legal witnesses who are over 18 years of age to witness the ceremony and sign the pieces of legal paperwork. Yes, they can be related to you. Yes, they could be random strangers. Yes, they can be your best friends.

3. What do we need to do?

  • You need to lodge a NOIM with your celebrant (me!) between one month & 18 months before your wedding date. The one month begins when you give me the completed & signed NOIM, not when you book and pay a deposit.


NB When you’ve completed the details in the NOIM, ask one of the following to witness your signatures: a police officer (Australian Federal Police or state / territory police), a barrister or solicitor, a legally qualified medical practitioner (note: this doesn’t include a pharmacist or dentist), or a Justice of the Peace. You can then post it or email it to your me.

OR easier still, you can meet with me and get me to witness you signing the NOIM

  • You will need to supply photographic proof of your Identity and Date & Place of Birth. For most, a passport* is the way to go. (Or your Birth Certificate AND Photo ID if you do not have a passport). I need to sight these.


NB To obtain a copy of your Victorian Birth Certificate please contact the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.

* If parties born overseas do not have a passport and are unable to obtain a full birth certificate, I can prepare a statutory declaration for your execution.

* Foreign language documents must be translated into English and a NAATI accredited Translation Certificate supplied.

  • If either of you have been previously married, you will need to show proof of the dissolution of your last marriage. E.g. original Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate.  Certified copies of supporting documentation cannot be accepted.


NB If you require a copy of your Divorce Certificate or Decree Absolute, contact the Family Law Court in the state in which the marriage was dissolved.

To obtain a copy of the Victorian Death Certificate of your former spouse contact the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.

  • You need to sign the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage (DNLI) as close as possible to your wedding day. The DNLI is a legal declaration that both of you are of marriageable age, are not in a prohibited relationship, are not married to someone else, and are not aware of any other legal impediment to your marriage taking place. I will get you to sign the DNLI either at a rehearsal or catch up within the week before your wedding. It is unlawful for you to sign the DNLI after your ceremony has taken place.

4. What do I need to do if I’m living outside Australia?

If you’re living outside Australia and are planning on getting married in Australia, then when you’ve finished completing the details in the NOIM, you can either get your signatures witnessed by an Australian Consular Officer, and Australian Diplomatic Officer, a notary public, an employee of the Commonwealth authorised under paragraph 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, or an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorised under paragraph 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955.

5.  What if we wish to be married sooner than the minimum time (one month) permits?

If special circumstances exist, a Prescribed Authority may approve your application to grant a Shortening of Time.

Special circumstances are:

  • Employment related or other travel commitments.

  • Wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations.

  • Medical reasons.

  • Legal proceedings.

  • Error in giving notice

6. What do we do to apply for a Shortening of Time?

  • Check to see if I am able to conduct a ceremony at short notice.

  • Complete the NOIM and provide it to me. Make sure you do not sign the NOIM until you are in the presence of me or of an approved witness.

  • Choose a date and time for the ceremony – this can be changed, if necessary.

  • Ask me if I am willing to supply you with a letter of support stating I have received a valid NOIM from you and am available to conduct your marriage ceremony on the date and time nominated, provided the approval of shortening of time is granted.

  • Go to a Prescribed Authority to request a shortening and take the NOIM with you so that it can be signed by the Prescribed Authority. When you receive approval for the shortening, you must return the signed NOIM to your celebrant.

  • Make sure you take all documents that you would require to be married (passports, or birth certificates + driver’s licences, divorce papers/death certificates, as relevant) and documentary evidence to support your reason for applying for the shortening, such as medical reports, employer’s evidence, wedding receipts etc

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