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Legal Requirements for Marriage


 What paperwork is required?


1    You need a birth certificate if you are an Australian citizen. If you are an overseas citizen your passport will be needed. If it is impossible to obtain your birth certificate, you may sign a statutory declaration stating your date and place of birth and your parents full names. You will also need to explain why you cannot obtain your birth certificate.

Be aware that if you are using a name that is different from that on your birth certificate, you will be asked to show evidence of that legal change.


2   If you have been married previously, you will need evidence of the end of that marriage- either a death certificate or a divorce certificate. If you have been married more than once before, only the end of the last marriage is required.


When do I need to fill in the paperwork?


The Notice of Intended Marriage needs to be filled in and witnessed one month or more before the wedding takes place. You can download a copy from the Attorney- General's website- but usually the celebrant you choose will have their own copy to fill in when you attend your first meeting.

If you are interstate and organising your wedding by internet, you still need to have this Notice filled in and signed and witnessed by a JP, a barrister or solicitor, a medical practitioner or a member of the police force.  This notice is sent to the person who is your celebrant by the due date.

If you are organising the wedding from overseas it can be witnessed by and official from the Australian consulate or a Notary Public and then sent to your celebrant by the due date.


What sort of ceremony is legal?


If you are being married by a church official, you will need to follow their requirements for the ceremony. If you are being married by a civial celebrant you have quite a bit of freedom to choose your wording, music and venue. There are just three legal aspects that must be included-

1  The celebrant must announce who they are, that they are legally able to marry the couple and repeat the legal definition of marriage before the actual vows are taken.

2  The vows must include specific words which the witnesses must be able to hear. Most people also add their own words to the vow.

3  The wedding certificates must be signed by the Groom, the Bride (using her name prior to the marriage), two witnesses and the celebrant.


How do I change my name and is this compulsory?


Your name remains the same unless you choose to change it. For this you will need a copy of your official Marriage Certificate. This is not the presentation certificate given to you by the celebrant, but the one that is registered with Births, Deaths and Marriages. You can apply for this online, via the post or go in person to Births, Deaths and Marriages. Using this official certificate you can then change your name. You will need to contact each organisation separately to do this, showing them a copy of your official certificate.





Wedding Ceremony Music


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Your choice of music makes your ceremony unique and reflects your personalities. Often


couples have music that has been special to them as a couple that they want to use in their


ceremony. This may be recorded on a CD or ipod, or you may hire a musician such as a harp



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a string ensemble,

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a guitar,

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or a piper.

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There are son many types of music to choose from. You may prefer classical music such as


Pachelbel's Canon in D, Beethoven's Ode To Joy, Bach's Air on a G String or the beautiful


Ave Maria.


If you love some music from the movies, some choices may include As Time Goes By from


Casablanca, My Heart Will Go On from Titanic or maybe A Thousand Years from The


Twilight Movie.


Some other popular choices are Elvis singing The Hawaiian Wedding Song or Love Me


Tender, many of the songs from Eva Cassidy such as Over The Rainbow or Songbird, or


many other songs by performers from Beyonce to Billy Idol.


The song you choose for your processional will be the most important, as the guests are


quiet and focused on you.


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Music while you are signing the official papers is also recommended.


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Finally music for when your guests come to congratulate you can be bright, and signal that


it's time for the celebrations to begin.


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So, when planning your ceremony, pay attention to the music you select. It can make your day


even more special.




Including children in a wedding


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Yes, they are cute and funny and can really make your wedding special! They are important in


your life and so it is right to share the day with them.


There are some things to consider when you are deciding how to make them a part of your


special day.


Their age will definitely be a factor in what part they will be able to play. Remember that the


atmosphere and crowds can often be ovewhelming, even for a confident child.


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It is a good idea to give them a job, such as giving out bubbles to blow at the end of the



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A page boy who is confident can be your ring bearer.

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You may give them the job of scattering the petals in the pathway of the bride.

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Remember that, if the children are very young, it is imporant to have someone they know well


who can look after them if they become fractious or upset, as many little ones do.


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Most of all, don't be afraid to include little ones in some way if they are important in your life,


after all, they make your day special!







Garden Weddings


There are some beautiful outdoor garden settings to explore in most areas. Look around in


Botanic Gardens and other outdoor parks. Most councils will have a list of these.


Pick a beautiful spot.


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Make sure there is shade so you will not be squinting in your photos


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Sometimes it is wonderful to be among the garden plants.


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Find a beautiful feature such as a pegola to frame your photo,



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If there is no path create one for the bride to walk on.


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Check councils' regulations to see if you can use the park and what constraints they may have over what you may do there.




Beach Weddings


Summer is here and it's time to organise your beach wedding!


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A beautiful beach is a perfect back drop for your wedding memories, but you must be organised.


Wear shoes that don't fill with sand.


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Have shelter of some sort so you are not squinting in your photos


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Have fly spray and sunscreen for your guests.


Check the tide times.


Be prepared for bad weather.

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