Legal Requirements for Marriage

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Robyn Nicolle, Brisbane marriage celebrant - Legal requirements for marriage
Legal requirements and documentation

There are certain legal requirements for marriage that must be met in order for an authorised marriage celebrant to legally conduct a civil ceremony in Australia.

There is compulsory wording that must be spoken by the celebrant and the couple according to the Marriage Act 1961 to legally solemnise a marriage. This wording will be incorporated into your ceremony.

The marrying couple must provide the following documentation, completed in the English language or have a fully certified English translation attached:

  • original Birth Certificates or Passport;
  • a form of photo identity (e.g.) driver license or passport;
  • full names of two people over the age of eighteen who will act as official witnesses and sign the legal documents for marriage;
  • Divorce Certificate if either or both the bride and/or groom have been previously married and divorced;
  • Death Certificate if either or both the bride and/or groom have been widowed; and/or
  • re-issued Birth Certificate or Deed Poll of change of name if applicable.
  • Overseas couples getting married in Australia or those marrying under a Prospective Marriage Visa (PMV300) are subject to the same legal requirements.

If you were born outside of Australia and are unable to produce a birth certificate, an original passport showing your date and place of birth must be produced. A statutory declaration may be required declaring the correct details of your parents’ names in full and your place of birth. Each case is different and Robyn will discuss this with you.

Age requirements

Australian law does not permit a marriage if both parties are under the age of eighteen. If one party is not yet eighteen, but is sixteen years of age or older, permission may be granted with written parental consent on an official form AND a Court Order under Sec. 12 of the Marriage Act. Please contact me to discuss your specific situation.

Notice of intended marriage

A Notice of Intended Marriage must be completed and lodged not less than one clear calendar month and one day prior, and not more than eighteen months prior, to the ceremony date. There are circumstances whereby the marrying couple can apply to the prescribed authority to have the period of not less than one month and one day shortened. Please download the Notice of Intended Marriage or I can supply a copy to you. For further information regarding marrying overseas, marrying a relative, making a complaint and/or further explanation of legal requirements for marriage you may want to contact the Attorney General’s Department – Marriage Section.

Document lodgement

I will ensure the experience is as stress free as possible by helping you with, and guiding you through, the paperwork required. I will lodge your completed paperwork with the Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages.

I am a fully qualified Commissioner of Declarations, and can help with the witnessing of your legal documentation.