As your Civil Marriage
Celebrant, I have certain obligations under the Marriage Act 1961 which will
be explained to you at our first meeting. Other than these obligations the
contents of the marriage ceremony is totally “Your Choice”.
WHAT DO YOU WANT ON YOUR
SPECIAL DAY ?
To assist you
in planning your ceremony, a large selection of wording, vows, verse and prose
is available, and I can support you in designing all aspects of your
ceremony. Family and friends are also welcome to participate or contribute with
verse or music. (Also - "
Many couples request the performance of a ritual during their to ceremony as a
way of assisting them to move forward in their new lives. This may represent the
blending of two families, children from other relationships, closure for a
bereavement in a past relationship or even allowing a member to cast out sad
memories. Should you like a ritual added to your ceremony this can be
accommodated - See options for these at the
Some considerations to ensure
that legal aspects of the marriage are met, include:
The couple planning marriage
will need to submit formal notice to the Marriage Celebrant of that
intention. Prescribed forms are available from the Celebrant, the Registry
of Births, Deaths & Marriages or online
(Follow the download link). This
form requires information from both applicants, showing the dates & places
of birth, previous marriages, children from previous marriages, etc.
Two witnesses 18 years or over
must be present at the ceremony. Any of the attendants, relatives or guests
may act as witnesses.
Marriage is prohibited between
brother and sister, adopted siblings, half blood relationships, full blood
relationships, ancestors or descendants of the applicant.
While the minimum age for
marriage is eighteen years, special circumstances can allow nuptials where
one partner is over 18 years of age and the other over 16 years.
The celebrant will need to view
documentary evidence in support of the Notice of Intended Marriage including
birth certificates, passports, citizenship documents, statutory declarations
(as relevant) so that the Celebrant can validate the requirements under the
Marriage Act 1961.
People who have been married
previously will need to produce evidence of the death of their previous
spouse, or the dissolution of that marriage.
The Notice of Intended Marriage
must be submitted no earlier than 18 months, and no less than one month and
one day before the date of the intended marriage ceremony.
A declaration must be made in
writing on the appropriate form shortly before the ceremony where the bride
and groom state in the declaration that they are legally able to get
married, and that there is no impediment to a marriage with the intended
It has for centuries been a custom for a woman to
change her surname to her husband's surname on marriage, this however is a
matter of choice. There is no legal requirement for the female to change
surnames after marriage. In all instances, the marriage documents are signed
with the Bride's maiden name.
It is not necessary for anyone to give the Bride away,
but this feature can be included with any ceremony. Although traditionally
it is the Bride's father who gives her away, another person can fulfil this
role if it is appropriate or this feature can be removed from the ceremony.