Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need a Marriage License?

Marriage Licenses are not required in Australia.

What legal requirements do I need to know before I can be married?

Official Notice of Intended Marriage

Both parties (bride and groom) and the wedding celebrant must complete and sign the Notice of Intended Marriage form at least 1 calendar month before the wedding date and not more than 18 months before the wedding date.

Copies of the Notice of Intended Marriage can be obtained from celebrants or from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in each State or Territory. A copy can be downloaded from the Attorney – General’s Department Website HYPERLINK “http://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarriage/Marriage/Documents/NoticeofIntendedMarriageForm.pdf” http://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarriage/Marriage/Documents/NoticeofIntendedMarriageForm.pdf

Information required for the completion of the Notice of Intended Marriage –
Both parties must provide an original copy of each person’s birth certificate if born in Australia
Overseas passport if born overseas, Birth Certificate from country of origin (translated if necessary)
Original proof of divorce/death of previous spouse (if applicable)

Where do I get an original copy of my birth certificate?

From the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the Australian state or territory where you were born.


Australian law defines marriage as the voluntary and full commitment of a man to a woman and a woman to a man. It is made in the deepest sense to the exclusion of all others and is entered into with the desire, the hope and the firm intention that it will last for life.

The marriage must take place in the presence of a Registered Celebrant.
At least 2 people over the age of 18yrs must be present at your marriage ceremony and act as your witnesses.


If you wish to marry, you and your partner must be at least 18 years old. A person aged 16 or 17 yrs must obtain parental consent and an Order from a Judge or Magistrate for the marriage to take place.


The marriage can take place anywhere in Australia or within Australian territorial waters or airspace.


At least 2 people over the age of 18yrs must be present at your marriage ceremony and act as your witnesses.

What wording must a civil wedding ceremony contain?

Appropriate wording will be spoken by the Celebrant according to the Marriage Act.

Your vows must contain your full names and your intention –
Groom: “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B., take thee, C.D. to be my lawful wedded wife”
Bride: “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, C.D., take thee, A.B., to be my lawful wedded husband”
The marriage register must be signed by both parties (bride and groom), the two witnesses and the celebrant.

How do I get a copy of our Marriage Certificate?

After the celebrant has registered the marriage with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State or Territory where the marriage took place, you may obtain a copy of the official Marriage Certificate by making an application to the Registry and paying the appropriate fee.

The link for a marriage performed in QLD is

HYPERLINK “http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/justice-services/births-deaths-and-marriages/marriages/marriage-certificate” \l “Applying for a marriage certificate” http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/justice-services/births-deaths-and-marriages/marriages/marriage-certificate#Applying for a marriage certificate

The link for a marriage performed in NSW is

HYPERLINK “http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/PDF%20forms/02-Marriage-0313.pdf” http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/PDF%20forms/02-Marriage-0313.pdf

Do I have to Change My Name?

It is not a legal requirement for brides to change their name after marriage.

Do I need permission to have our ceremony at the beach or in a local park?

Yes, you must seek permission from the local council. This can be done on line.
The link for Gold Coast City Council is
HYPERLINK “http://www.goldcoastcity.com.au/attachment/forms/fm604_temporary_parkland_access.pdf” http://www.goldcoastcity.com.au/attachment/forms/fm604_temporary_parkland_access.pdf

The link for Tweed Shire Council is

HYPERLINK “http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/Forms/pdfs/CasualParkHire.aspx” http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/Forms/pdfs/CasualParkHire.aspx

How many meetings do we need to have with our Wedding Celebrant?

The number of meeting depends on you and your celebrant. Most celebrants will offer 2-3 meetings and a rehearsal which usually takes place the day prior to the ceremony.

What qualifications does a celebrant need?

All Civil Celebrants in Australia are registered by the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants, Attorney-General’s Department, Canberra. You can check that your celebrant is registered by asking to see his/her Registration Certificate or by going online to the Attorney – General’s Department Website.

Do all celebrants charge the same fee?

No, a celebrant is free to charge the fee which he or her feels is most appropriate for the service given. You should discuss this with your celebrant.

How do I choose a celebrant?

Ask your friends, search the net, check the yellow pages, attend Bridal Expos, call one or two celebrants and ask to meet them.

The most important thing is to choose someone with whom you both feel comfortable, who is a good source of knowledge and ideas and who listens to what type of ceremony you and your partner want on this, your very special day.

Do I need to invite the celebrant to the wedding?

No, only if you want to.

When do I pay the celebrant?

You should pay the celebrant a deposit when you sign the Notice of Intended Marriage. This fee is usually non refundable.

The balance of the fees should be paid at least 7 days before the wedding date. You should check with your celebrant to see what are his or her requirements.