The Wedding Process

There is a process to make sure your wedding runs smoothly and is recognised by Australian Law. There are four main parts to this process including the initial meeting, planning and documentation, rehearsal, and the wedding day.

To find a Celebrant you may have to do some research and make calls to find a one that is available for your wedding date. After you’ve found a Celebrant who is available and seems like a fit the process begins with an initial meeting.

Initial meeting

The initial meeting with me is a free, no obligation meeting that allows you to see whether my personality and professionalism matches what you are looking for.

Choosing the right Celebrant for your ceremony is important for peace of mind and they will keep the ceremony running smoothly and make sure all the paperwork is dealt with so that your marriage is legal.

In this meeting you will talk a bit about your lives together and hopes for the future, as well as specific requirements you have for the ceremony. This could include a sand ceremony, hand fasting, time capsule creation or Auslan for the Deaf.

The Celebrant will give you a quote for the ceremony. You will need to sign a contract and pay a booking fee or lodgement fee up front to make sure they book your wedding date. Contracts and booking fees are a normal part of doing business with any professional.

*You may be asked to pay the entire amount upfront if the ceremony is booked at the last minute e.g. one month out from the wedding
It is usual for the contract to dictate the balance of the Celebrant’s fee will need to be paid one month prior to the wedding date.

Planning and Documentation

After you have made the decision to book me as your Celebrant, I will give you a form called Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). This form must be completed between 1 month and 18 months of the wedding.

*There are exceptional circumstances where NOIM applications can be made less than a month in advance.

For this meeting you will need to bring identification, including:

Proof of date and place of birth to prove you exist:

This can be a passport, an official birth certificate, or an official extract of an entry in an official register which must show date and place of birth. These documents may be Australian or international.

You may also use a statutory declaration made by the party or a parent of the party stating that, for reasons specified in the declaration, it is impracticable to obtain such a certification or extract and stating, to the best of the declarant’s knowledge and belief and as accurately as the declarant has been able to ascertain, when and where the party was born.

Proof of identification

The marriage act states that your marriage Celebrant should not solemnise a marriage until he or she is satisfied that both parties are who they claim to be.

I may need to certify your identity, in which case the following proof of identification will suffice. A driver’s licence, proof of age/photo card, passport, and Australian citizenship certificate along with another form of photographic evidence.

Proof that you are not already validly married

If you have already been married, evidence of death, nullity or dissolution will need to be provided to the Celebrant.

Proof that you are able to be married under Australian Law.

I may also need to verify to my satisfaction that:

  • You, the parties to the ceremony (the couple) are not related
  • You, both parties are over 18, or if not, parental or court consent has been received

I will then talk with you about your history and dreams for the future, which can be done at the same time as the Notice of Intended Marriage.

I will need to know the date, time, and location of the wedding.

Who will be involved in the wedding?

Will the either partner be given away?

Will there be a specific ritual involved? (e.g. hand fasting, candle ceremony, sand ceremony, readings, music)

Who will act as your legal witnesses? (they must be over 18 and it’s better if they are known to you)

You’ll be given a questionnaire to complete. This helps me understand how you both met, your experiences as a couple getting to know each other, how well you get on etc, and your dreams for the future. The questions are detailed, but essential for them to get to know you and tailor your ceremony just for you. The more details you include, the more personalised ceremony and service you’ll receive.

I will liaise with you as much as it takes to ensure the script for the ceremony is exactly what you want. You will need to give your approval of the script prior to the marriage ceremony itself.

The Rehearsal

The rehearsal is a really important part of the process because everyone needs to understand how, where, and why things will happen on the big day.

It’s better to know in advance that aunty Marj will walk the groom down the aisle and then step to the left instead of the right for example: or that little Jenny, the ring bearer, will need to have the rings tied to the cushion with a ribbon so that they don’t slide off and get lost in the bushes. Attending the rehearsal is a part of the my service and doesn’t have any additional cost. It is usually held within two weeks of the wedding date.

At the rehearsal I will get you to sign the Declaration of No Legal Impediment form. Under the marriage act 1961, prior to the marriage both parties are required to sign a declaration stating that they believe there is no legal impediment to the marriage between each other.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage”
— LAO TZU

The Wedding

On your special day I will arrive one hour before the agreed upon time and set up my PA equipment. I will meet you and other attendants on arrival and conduct the ceremony.

When the ceremony is complete, the certificate and marriage register will be signed by you and your two selected witnesses. You can then rest assured that I will forward the marriage documentation to the Birth Deaths and Marriages office in the state in which the marriage occurred to be registered.

You will then be able to apply for a copy of your Marriage Certificate once the registration is processed.

You’re welcome to retain my details as you may wish to re-engage me for other life ceremonies, such as renewal of vows, naming ceremonies, and graduations.