Frequently asked questions
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO ENQUIRE ABOUT YOUR WEDDING SERVICES?
Generally speaking Weddings tend to book between 12 – 18 months in advance. However this is not always the case! Given that the Notice of Intended Marriage must be executed and received by me at least one calendar month prior to your ceremony, my minimum time in advance is one calendar month and 1 day before your proposed wedding date.
My best advice is to get in touch sooner rather than later. However always ask the question, there may be availability!
WHAT WILL YOU WEAR?
I’m a big believer in slow and sustainable fashion – less stuff, more meaning. I have a small wardrobe of high quality outfits which can fit any occasion! I will fit in with your Ceremony colours or themes if desired (matchy matchy!), shine bright like a diamond or blend into the background… The choice is yours! If I don’t have it, I will borrow it to make sure I have ‘the’ look you are after.
HOW MANY CEREMONIES DO YOU BOOK A DAY?
This depends on demand and travel! My policy and number 1 priority is that I allow and respect each couple or family I am working with the time and dedication they deserve to fulfil their ceremony. I will NEVER have to rush off, arrive ‘just in time’ or be somewhere else in my mind when with you.
WHAT DOES YOUR FEE INCLUDE?
Each Ceremony is different and priced accordingly. You can find a full overview of my services and what the fee includes here for Weddings, Funerals, Life Ceremony.
WILL YOU HELP US PLAN AND WRITE OUR CEREMONY (HELP! THE VOWS!)?
Fear not! I have a couple of super packs and databases of some fantastic, unique and inspiring ideas for traditions, rituals, readings, music and ‘how to’ guides to assist you with your creation of the Ceremony.
I’m a storyteller, so if I don’t have something that can help, I’ll find it. No one is the same as you, and nor would we want them to be. Often the advice and support I offer is informed by our conversations, where I’ve learnt about you, what you want and who you are. It’s such a creatively fulfilling process.
IF I WANT TO CHANGE MY NAME AFTER MARRIAGE, HOW DO I DO THAT?
Any couple who marry may choose to change one parties surname to both have the same. This is done as a matter of custom and not because the law demands it! So, IF you wish to take on your partner’s name in social circumstances, this IS legal via ‘name by association’ and you do not NEED to change your legal documents. It does, however, mean you will retain your original surname on all official documents throughout your future married life.
If you wish to change your name legally, you require a certificate issued by the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM) to do this – yes, this is an ADDITIONAL certificate that can only be obtained after the marriage has been solemnised.
As your celebrant, I can apply for this certificate when I lodge your wedding paper work for an additional fee of $50. You can apply for the certificate at a later date by yourself, however please note this requires a fee and you have to prove your identity all over again… it’s complicated, but essentially I can lodge the request for you when I lodge your wedding documents, which does cut out a few steps if left til later.
I can guide you through this when we meet!
WHAT ARE THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR MARRIAGE IN AUSTRALIA? WHAT ARE THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS?
This is A LOT of information to take in – hold onto your hats and know that I will guide you every step of the way!
To legally marry in Australia, the following requirements must be met:
1. Both parties must be over 18 years of age. If one person is under the age of 18, marriage is still possible by parental consent as per section 12 of the Marriage Act. If this applies to you, I can assist with further information and support on this process.
2. The Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) must be completed, signed, witnessed and lodged with me at least one calendar month prior to your Wedding ceremony. It is my job to take you through this process and prepare and witness your completion of the form. As a part of this, I need to view your original birth certificates and/or passports and photo I.D. Please note: the earliest you can submit a NOIM is 18 months before your proposed wedding date.
If either party has been previously married, I am required to sight an original Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate.
Certified copies of supporting documentation cannot be accepted. To obtain a copy of your Victorian Birth Certificate or the Victorian Death Certificate of your former spouse contact the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
If you require a copy of your Divorce Certificate or Decree Absolute, contact the Family Law Court in the state in which the marriage was dissolved. For further details visit the Federal Circuit Court of Australia website.
* If parties born overseas do not have a passport and are unable to obtain a full birth certificate, I can prepare a statutory declaration for your execution.
* Foreign language documents must be translated into English and a NAATI accredited Translation Certificate supplied.
3. In addition to the NOIM, within (approximately) the week leading up to the wedding, both parties must sign a Declaration of No Legal Impediments to Marriage (DONLIM). This document reiterates the NOIM (and states) that the couple are 18 years or more, not married to anyone else and that there is no legal reason why they should not be married.
After the ceremony there are 3 documents for the couple, two witnesses and the celebrant to sign.
a. Certificate of Marriage (forwarded to Birth, Death and Marriages (BDM) after solemnisation)
b. Marriage Certificate Register (kept by the Celebrant)
c. Commemorative Marriage Certificate (the pretty one which you keep!)
Please note: The ceremony must be witnessed by an additional two people alongside myself who are of sound mind and over the age of eighteen years. They must also provide their full and proper names as recorded on their Birth Certificates.
4. The Marriage Act 1961 requires that certain statements are included in your ceremony. These are:
- As the celebrant I must introduce myself at the beginning of the ceremony
- I must say the Monitum before the exchange of vows – word for word.
- And the couple must say: ‘I ask everyone here to witness that I, ABC, take you, XYZ, to be my wedded wife/husband/spouse’.
If you are planning to marry interstate, you can lodge your completed and signed/witnessed Notice of Intended Marriage with your celebrant via email or post. It is acceptable for a celebrant to witness I.D via a video conference call, however I also advise that you bring your I.D documents with you to the wedding so I can view them before we begin to ensure we have 100% met all the legal requirements.
If one of the couple lives overseas and is waiting on an Immigration Visa
It is possible for one party to the marriage to complete, sign and lodge the Notice of Intended Marriage with a celebrant. This must be signed, witnessed and I.D. produced before the wedding is solemnised.
I can then provide a letter to the embassy of the country where the overseas person resides which states I have accepted to solemnise the marriage between the couple and I have lodged the NOIM.
Information for persons living overseas who wish to be married in Australia
As a couple marrying in Australia you will need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) within the period between of 18 months and 1 calendar month prior to the wedding. It must still be witnessed in person before it can be lodged. In the case where the Celebrant is in another country, there are other categories of persons authorised under the Marriage Act to witness a NOIM, which are stated on the Attorney General’s website. section 4.9.2 Who may witness a NOIM signed outside Australia?
HOW GOOD IS YOUR PA SYSTEM?
My PA system is a Bose S1 and the absolute BOMB!! Bose are renowned for their high quality sound and this impressive set up, surprisingly small packs a mighty punch!
It’s wireless (Occupational Health and Safety, tick), has a mic and headset (multiple users, tick), can bluetooth (plays music, tick), 11 hours battery life (even if I forget to charge will still work, tick (not that I will forget FYI!)), Built-in ToneMatch processing helps microphones and guitars sound natural, while Auto EQ adjusts the system tone automatically for great sound in any position (can be used for live musicians and Celebrant at the one wedding, tick), Place it on the ground, on its side, tilted back or elevated. Built-in sensors, Auto EQ and a unique multi-position design make sure the music sounds full and balanced = A mighty sound. Crystal clear. Compact. Contained sound. WIN WIN!
WHAT IF I WANT TO GET MARRIED SOONER THAN THE 1 CALENDAR MONTH REQUIREMENT?
There are situations that require a quick wedding ceremony which doesn’t leave room for the 1 calendar month Notice of Intent to Marry lodgement.
In the instance of special requirements, a Prescribed Authority may approve your Application to Shorten Period of Notice of Intent to Marry.
To give you an idea, special circumstances could be:
Employment related or travel commitments.
Wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations.
Error in giving notice.
Please note, to apply for a shortened time period, you must supply all supporting evidence with your request. Your completed NOIM, copies of your supporting identity documents and a letter from your Celebrant should also be included.
ARE 'PRE MARRIAGE' COURSES A THING? DO WE HAVE TO DO ONE?
Yes , they are! But no, you do not. However, you may wish to consider with your partner how you will continue to look after yourselves and your relationship in the years to come. I will provide you with a brochure from the government ‘Happily Ever… Before and After’ as well as my own ‘Relationship Brochure’. Both have excellent ideas and numbers for the ‘just in case’ moments in life.
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT A SURPRISE WEDDING?!
A surprise wedding is where the guests (by and large) don’t know they are attending a wedding. They are invited under the guise of another engagement (party, birthday, an actual engagement party etc etc!) and are ‘surprised’ by a Wedding! It is not possible (or legal) for 1 partner to ‘surprise’ the other partner in the couple with a ‘Wedding’. Both parties must be willing and aware of the commitment they are making and have signed the Notice of Intent to Marry form in advance.
DO YOU HAVE A BUCKET LIST OF PLACES YOU WOULD 'LIKE TO MARRY' A COUPLE?
Why yes, I do! Thanks for asking! I’m all about adventure! I’m up for marrying you in weird and wonderful places, especially if the location holds a special place to you. Some that pop to mind are: the top of a Lighthouse, in a row boat, on a tree top walk, under a waterfall, anywhere of natural beauty… Just don’t ask me to jump out of a plane…!