If you were to choose me as your marriage celebrant, these are the initial steps that you would take:
Before our first meeting
- Decide on the wedding date, if possible.
- Contact me to make an appointment.
Note: By law this appointment must be at least one (1) month before the wedding for the completion and signing of the Notice of Intended Marriage. However, if this is not possible, you may apply to a prescribed authority, ie: your local court or the Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages, for a Shortening of Time.
- Think about the style of ceremony you would like (eg: religious, non-religious, formal, semi-formal, casual, thematic, etc.).
- Locate each of your birth certificates – originals or registered copies – or passports for me to sight. (Photocopies cannot be accepted.) If either of you were born in Australia, you should be able to obtain a birth certificate by making an application to the Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages in any State or Territory of Australia and paying the appropriate fee.
If you don’t bring a passport, you will also need to bring your driver’s licence (or proof-of-age card) as photo ID.
- If either of you have been married before, I would need to sight your official divorce document (or official copy) or the original Certificate of Death (or official copy). This would preferably be at our first meeting; however if this is not possible, I would need to sight it sometime before your wedding takes place.
- Ask two people to be the official witnesses to your marriage and get their full names (including middle names), correctly spelt.
Note: both witnesses must be at least eighteen (18) years of age. It is usual, but not necessary, for the witnesses to be in your bridal party.
The first meeting
- I would sight the required documents (see points 4 & 5, above) and together we would complete the “Notice of Intended Marriage” form.
[If for some reason you were unable to meet me at least one month before the wedding, you could download the form as a PDF, fill it out and both sign it before a prescribed authority (see page 4) You could then post it to me, but in that case I would need to receive it at least one month before your wedding date.]
Hints for filling out the Notice of Intended Marriage
- We will discuss the ceremony together while looking at samples of vows, etc., or you may wish to write your own. If, from our initial contact, I have a good idea what you are after, I can provide a draft ceremony for us to work from, at our first meeting.
- You would pay me the deposit and we would make a rehearsal date, if necessary.
Application for a Marriage Certificate
- On your wedding day, you will be presented with your official Marriage Certificate for you to take home. However, in some situations you may be asked to produce a registered copy of your Marriage Certificate for the purpose of changing your name on, for example, your passport or driver’s licence. The current charge for this is $60.00, for a standard certificate, or extra for a commemorative certificate. I can apply for this on your behalf when I register the marriage, or alternatively you can apply online yourself with the NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages.