Legal FAQs – at the Wedding

Location

The wedding may take place anywhere in Australia or within Australian territorial waters or airspace.

 

Witnesses

You will need at least 2 people over the age of 18yrs at your marriage ceremony to act as your witnesses.

Your witnesses must also be able to speak and understand English, and be able to hear adequately. If a witness is deaf, or does not understand English, an interpreter must be present for them to be eligible to act as a witness.

 

Is there any particular wording a civil wedding ceremony must contain?

The Marriage Act dictates the use of certain wording at some point within the ceremony. But this is not something you need to worry about. This will be taken care of by the celebrant.

Your vows must contain your names and your intention – for example:
Groom: “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, Joe, take you, Sheila to be my lawful wedded wife.”
Bride: “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, Sheila, take you, Joe to be my lawful wedded husband.”

. . . or words to that effect.

Other words, which indicate how you feel about each other, may also be spoken either before or after the specific words shown above.

 

Signing the Register

The marriage register must be signed by both parties (bride and groom), the two witnesses and the celebrant.

 

How do we get copies of our Marriage Certificate?

After the celebrant has registered the marriage with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State or Territory where the marriage took place, you may obtain a copy of the official Marriage Certificate by making an application to the Registry and paying the appropriate fee.

In Queensland go to http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/justice-services/births-deaths-and-marriages/marriages/marriage-certificate.

In New South Wales go to http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/PDF%20forms/02-Marriage-0313.pdf.

 

Do we need permission to have our ceremony at the beach or in a local park?

Yes, you must seek permission from the local council. This can be done online.

The link for Gold Coast City Council is http://www.gcparks.com.au/parks.aspx?page=323.

The link for Tweed Shire Council is http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/Controls/Forms/Documents/Casual%20Park%20Hire_W.pdf.

 

Do all celebrants need to have particular qualifications?

All civil celebrants in Australia are registered with the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants in the Federal Attorney-General’s Department, Canberra, ACT.

You can check that your celebrant is registered by asking to see his/her Registration Certificate or by going online to the Attorney – General’s Department Website.

 

And finally, there are legal considerations for AFTER THE WEDDING, as you head into your new lives together.

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