Daydream Island, Whitsundays wedding Australia wedding on Daydream Island, Whitsundays – Image courtesy of daydreamisland.com

How to get married in Australia

Thinking of getting married in Australia? You can choose to hold your wedding ceremony on a beach, in a hotel, in a hot-air balloon, underwater or just about anywhere you want in Australia.

Australia Marriage Requirements

You don't have to be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia to get legally married in Australia.

A Civil Marriage Celebrant can marry couples anywhere, anytime. Rings are optional and you are totally free to create your own unique ceremony.

Marriage celebrants are encouraged to offer couples a choice of ceremonies and can help you write your own ceremony. You should feel comfortable with your celebrant and feel confident that he/she suits your needs and will complement your special day.

Choosing the right Marriage Celebrant will ensure that your day is a memorable one.

Residency requirements

For visitors there is a minimum of one day’s residency in Australia required prior to the ceremony. Overseas visitors can also obtain a Notice of Intention to Marry from their nearest Australian consulate.

Blood tests

Not required.

Required Documents

All documents must be in English or you must supply accredited translations if they are in another language.

Documents required for an Australian wedding, include…
  • Birth Certificate or official extract
  • Current ID with photo or Valid Passport, if not an Australian citizen
  • Original copy of your Notice of Intention to Marry
  • Decree Absolute bearing a seal of the Court of Divorce, if either party is divorced
  • Death Certificate of deceased spouse, if either party is widowed
  • Legal proof of any name changes by deed poll
  • You must be 18 years or older, unless a Magistrates Court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between 16 and 18 years old.

You need to have two witnesses (over 18 years old) present at the ceremony, but there is no rule about how long you have known them.

Notice of Intention to Marry

A Notice of Intended Marriage must be given to your marriage celebrant no later than one month prior to the wedding. This is valid for 18 months. Your celebrant can help you complete the form. The notice may be completed and witnessed outside Australia if required.

Talk to your celebrant if there is less than one month before your wedding. A prescribed government authority may approve a shorter notice time in some limited circumstances.

You will need to give your celebrant evidence of date and place of birth, identity and the end of any previous marriages for each party. Your celebrant may also ask you to complete a Statutory Declaration to support your evidence.

Church Service

Some faiths may require additional documents for a church service. You may want to check this with your Marriage Celebrant and/or local clergy.

For instance, couples of the Roman Catholic faith should allow at least three months before the planned wedding date in order to process all the necessary paperwork (certificates of baptism, dispensations, statements of freedom to marry, etc.).

The wedding ceremony of a Roman Catholic must take place in a church rather than in a resort or on a beach.

Marriage Certificate

Following the wedding ceremony, you will sign three marriage certificates. Each certificate should be signed by you, your celebrant and two witnesses. Your celebrant will give you one of the certificates as a record of your marriage.

Your celebrant must register your marriage on your behalf with the registry of births, deaths and marriages in the state or territory it took place within 14 days.

Your registered celebrant or registered minister of religion must record your marriage with the registry of births, deaths and marriages in the state or territory it took place within 14 days.

The state registry offices do not automatically send a certificate when a marriage is registered. You need to apply and buy one. Allow five days for processing and additional time for Australia Post to deliver.

A standard Marriage Certificate can be used for official purposes and proof of change of name. You can also use your standard Marriage Certificate when applying to government agencies and banks.

Fees

Standard Marriage Certificate – AUD$46.60 (standard postage included) Cost may vary between states.

Authorised marriage celebrants are entitled to charge for any services they provide. Fees for weddings are not fixed and may vary from one marriage celebrant to another.

Make sure you reach an agreement in writing on the fees before asking the celebrant to hold the date. Make sure you understand what charges are non-refundable.

Marriage Celebrants

Under Australian law, only an authorised celebrant can legally solemnise marriages within Australia.

To find an authorised Marriage Celebrant visit the Register of Marriage Celebrants, which lists all authorised marriage celebrants in Australia. This list incorporates Ministers of Religion of a recognised denomination, registered celebrants who conduct civil ceremonies or religious ceremonies for independent religious organisations.

For more information: You may download all the relevant marriage forms from the Australian Government website, including Marriage forms, Notice of Intended Marriage, Declaration of No Legal Impediment and the Official Certificate of Marriage – the latter is usually provided by the Marriage Celebrant.

To contact the Marriage Law and Celebrants Section of the Australian Government Tel: 1800-550-343, Outside Australia: +61 2 6141-3111, Fax: 02 6141-3246, email: marriagecelebrantssection@ag.gov.au.


Please note: while accurate at time of publication this information is for guidance purposes only and liable to change without notice. Please check with your wedding planner at your resort of choice or the relevant embassy of the country in which you intend to marry for up-to-date details before your wedding.

Latest update How to get married in Australia: 18 November, 2018


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