WE ARE A SAME SEX COUPLE SO WHEN CAN WE GET MARRIED?

We have been advised that the first same sex wedding could take place on 9th January 2018.  To be married on this date you will have had to lodge your notice of intent to marry by 9th December 2017 with your celebrant.  See below for more on the notice of intent to marry.

How do we choose the right Celebrant?

Your wedding day is a once in a lifetime moment - you want it to be perfect, and finding the right celebrant that fits your vision for the ceremony is crucial.  The only way to find the perfect celebrant is to contact them and meet with them in person, starting with celebrants that have websites, media and recommendations that resonate with you

How far in advance can we / should we book a Celebrant?

 By law, the latest you lodge your intention to marry is one calendar month before your wedding.   Two months prior to your wedding date is the recommended minimum time to book your celebrant. Book as early as you're able to allow the celebrant plenty time to ensure they create the right ceremony for you.

What paperwork do we need to lodge for our wedding?

In terms of legal documentation for your marriage, you will need to fill out a Notice of Intended Marriage Form. This can be officially lodged with your celebrant no earlier than 18 months and no later than one month before the date of the marriage.  You also need to provide proof of identification and address (e.g passport and driving license).  If either of you have been previously married you'll need to provide proof you are divorced and therefore legally able to marry.

What if my identification documents are not in English? 

If any of your documents are not in English, you will be required to have them translated by a NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters) accredited translator.  In the event that a translator needs to be present at any meetings and even the wedding ceremony, again, only a NAATI accredited translator can be used. 

When and where we can a couple marry?

A marriage occurring in Australia may be solemnised on any day, at any time, and at any place.  The marriage must be registered in the State or Territory where the marriage was solemnised.  

Are you prepared to travel for our wedding?

I predominately service the Melbourne metropolitan area, however I am more than happy to travel to your preferred location in Australia.  A travel fee will apply dependent on the distance I will need to travel the availability of transport to the location of your wedding .

How much input can we have for our ceremony?

The Australian Marriage Act 1961 has a few legal requirements that must be said in the ceremony, but other than this, your celebrant will work with you to co-create the ceremony you want.

What if we don’t know what we want in our ceremony?

It's your celebrant's job to guide you and provide ideas and suggestions.

Should we have a rehearsal?

I recommend a rehearsal preferably 1-2 weeks from the ceremony.  A rehearsal will help to ensure your actual wedding day is as stress free and enjoyable as possible.  Your celebrant should attend the rehearsal as part of their standard fee.  A rehearsal allows everyone involved in the wedding ceremony to run through the placement and roles of people and to go through the ceremony to get a feel for how long it will take.  The rehearsal also provides the ideal time for the couple to sign a Statutory Declaration confirming that there is no legal impediment to your marriage, another piece of the required paperwork.  

What time will you arrive on the day?

I will arrive at least 45 minutes before the scheduled start time.  This allows plenty of time to make sure everything is as it needs to be.

What happens in the event that we have to postpone or change the date of our wedding?

The Notice of Intended Marriage document is valid for 18 months from the date it is lodged.  Your celebrant should be happy to postpone or reschedule your wedding with you as long as the one month minimum time requirement has been fulfilled and they're not already booked out on your alternate date.

What would happen if you were to get sick?

 In the event that I cannot physically be there, not this has ever happened,  I have a network of certified celebrants who I can call to perform your ceremony.  Your celebrant should give you due notice if this circumstance arises.

How long does the ceremony take?

Most are around 20 to 25 minutes long.  However, it can be as short or as long as you like depending on what you would like to include, as long as the minimum legal requirements are covered.   The legal minimum requirements could be covered in just a few minutes.

How many witnesses do we need?

You will need to have two witnesses who are 18 years or over and understand English. You may want to ask someone to be your witness that you could not include in the bridal party. This way they still play a role in your wedding. They will be required to sign the marriage certificate on the day. 

Do you have a PA System?

A PA system can be arranged if one is not available at the venue.

Can you play our choice of music?

Your choice of music, whether live or recorded, can all be included as part of the ceremony

What will you wear during the ceremony?

Your celebrant should wear appropriate attire to suit the formality or informality of your wedding. If your wedding is to be themed in a special way I would dress accordingly.

What paperwork do we need to handle after the ceremony? 

Please note that on your wedding day your celebrant will supply you with an official Certificate of Marriage from the Australian Government.  This certificate confirms that you legal status has changed, and that you are now married.  After your wedding day, your celebrant will also register your marriage online with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the relevant state or territory.  

Will my name be automatically changed after I get married? 

No. On your wedding day, your celebrant will supply you with a Certificate of Marriage, however this is not a document that many institutions recognise for legal changes of names.  You will need to apply for an Official Marriage Certificate from your local Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. 

Will our wedding in Australia be recognised worldwide?

Yes!  All  marriages conducted by an authorised civil celebrant are recognised by law in Australia, and in most circumstances recognised by law around the world.  However, there are some countries that require specific religious rituals and authorities to be observed during weddings, which your celebrant may not be authorised to deliver.

If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to ask your celebrant.