Legal Requirements for Marriage
Civil Marriage Celebrants are governed by a strict Code of Practice as set down in the Marriage Act 1961. There are numerous legal requirements which must be met both in preparation for and after completion of your ceremony. The laws of the Commonwealth and State or Territory in which the marriage is being solemnised must also be observed. Once all the legal requirements are met the rest is up to you.
Definition of Marriage in Australia
The law of marriage in Australia is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
To marry in Australia persons your Civil Marriage Celebrant must be sure that you and your partner are of the opposite sex and 18 years of age or over. If one of you is between the ages of 16 and 18 years old and the other person is 18 years old or over, and you have parents consent plus an order of the court, a marriage may be solemnised.
As a Civil Marriage Celebrant, ensuring privacy of your personal information is not only federal law, but part of the celebrant Code of Practice. It is my responsibility to maintain your records in a secure and private location. It is against the law to resell or pass on your information to other providers. I also have to ensure that the data is backed up regularly and is safe from hackers/viruses or other threats. Should you have further questions regarding the Privacy Act in terms of my role as a Marriage Celebrant please do not hesitate to contact me.
A couple needs to show their Civil Marriage Celebrant a birth certificate (if born overseas, a foreign passport) and if anyone was previously married and divorced, a decree absolute of the divorce is needed. If divorced in Australia, this can easily be obtained from the Family Court of Australia. If previously married but widowed, a death certificate must be presented.
Notice of Intended Marriage
You must also complete a “Notice of Intended Marriage” at least one month and 1 day and no longer than 18 months before the wedding ceremony is to take place.
Certificate of Marriage
The official certificate of marriage is finalised as part of the wedding ceremony. After solemnization the Civil Marriage Celebrant sends it to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to officially register the marriage. Another signed and witnessed certificate is kept by your Civil marriage Celebrant and a third certificate is given to the couple as their record.
Under the Marriage Act 1961 your Civil Marriage must provide you with a document outlining the obligations and consequences of marriage and stating the availability of relationship education. This is a legal requirement put in place to provide you the couple with guidance as to the meaning and binding nature of marriage to which you are entering into. In fulfilling this obligation I will give you a brochure called “Happily Ever … Before and After”.