Frequently Asked Questions

What do you provide as part of the service as a celebrant?

  • I will attend to all legal paperwork
  • I will provide both a hard & soft copy booklet containing sample ceremonies, sample vows and sample readings for you to create a unique ceremony
  • I will create your personalised, individual Ceremony with your consultation.
  • A wedding rehearsal at your choice of location
  • PA system which will ensure your guests hear the entire ceremony
  • Your ceremony music may be played through my PA
  • Portable table with white cloth and chair, for signing of marriage certificate and marriage register
  • I will Solemnise your marriage according to Australian Law
  • I will register your wedding with Births Deaths and Marriages
  • Complimentary commemorative Marriage Certificate
  • Personalised copy of your Ceremony
  • Order of Service booklets for your guests (additional costs apply)

 

Do we need to apply for a marriage licence?

No, the only paperwork which needs to be completed is a Notice of Intended Marriage. This must be completed at least one month prior to the wedding day and no earlier than 18 months prior to the wedding date.  Should you select me as your celebrant, I will assist you in completing this paperwork.

In order to complete this paperwork I need to sight the following:

  • Both original birth certificates if born in Australia
  • If born outside of Australia, original birth certificate or passport
  • If either party has been married before, original divorce papers or death certificate.

In special circumstances, it is possible to shorten the minimum of 1 month to less than a month. Once the Notice of Intended Marriage is completed you will need to also complete an “Application to shorten notice of intended marriage” and then approach “Births, deaths & marriages” for approval. They can shorten the period of notice if they are satisfied that certain circumstances have been met. These include the following categories:

  • Legal proceedings
  • Wedding or celebrant arrangements, religious considerations
  • Medical reasons
  • Employment or travel commitments
  • Error in lodging the original paperwork

Both individuals must be over the age of 18 and the marriage still needs to be witnessed by 2 witnesses over the age of 18.

 

What will you wear?

I will dress appropriately for the occasion wearing business attire in order to not detract from the bride or groom. If you have a theme, I will try to dress within this theme. If you have a special request, I am happy to accommodate.

 

Can we marry anywhere and at anytime in Australia?

Yes, you can choose anywhere, anytime and pretty much anything in order to get married – romantic gardens, hot air balloons, beaches, boats, zoos, stately homes, restaurants, registry office or even at your own home.

 

Can we have a strictly non religious or religious ceremony?

The choice is entirely up to you. Most brides & grooms select a celebrant because they don’t want religious references, however in some ceremonies religious elements can be important. You can include many important items in your ceremony – I will assist you in designing your ceremony exactly how you would like it!

 

We want to have the ceremony and reception on a boat, would you stay onboard afterwards?

No I would request that I am taken back to land after the ceremony.

 

What happens in the event that we have to postpone our wedding?

The Notice of Intended Marriage is valid for 18 months, I am only too happy to reschedule the wedding with you.

 

Our wedding budget is small and we are really just after a short ceremony which fulfills the legal requirements, can you help?

I am more than happy to discuss your budgetary need. Please get in contact with me to discuss this further.

 

When do we have to pay our deposit?

Without a deposit, I’ll hold the day for you for two weeks. The deposit should be paid by cheque, cash or direct deposit within two weeks.

 

What happens to our deposit if our wedding is cancelled?

Should the ceremony be cancelled by you within 7 days of the initial booking, the booking fee is fully refundable. At anytime after this you will forfeit your booking fee. Of course, if you are wanting to schedule a different date we can discuss availability.

 

When do we have to pay the balance of the fee?

The outstanding balance should be paid two weeks before the ceremony.

 

What happens to the balance of our payment if the wedding is cancelled?

Should your wedding be cancelled after your final balance is paid, please contact me to discuss your refund.

 

Can we include ours or any other children in our ceremony?

Yes, you are welcome to involve any children in the ceremony. This might be in the form of “flowergirls / pageboys / ring bearers”, asking a child to make a reading during the ceremony or involving them in the ceremony through a unity sand ceremony or a similar element.

 

Who can I have as my witnesses?

You need to have 2 witnesses over the age of 18. These witnesses can be anyone including family or friends. The only person over the age of 18 who can’t be a witness is your celebrant.

 

Can I have a friend or family member read a poem at my wedding?

Yes, readings are a lovely way of personalising your ceremony. Included in the package I provide at our first meeting is a book filled with readings and verses suitable for your ceremony.

 

How many poems/readings is the right amount?

One to two readings is a good amount, however this is once again a personal decision. Be aware when selecting your readings of how long this will make your ceremony.

 

How long will the Ceremony take?

The average time is 15 – 20 minutes but this may vary depending on how many readings/poems etc you include.

 

Do I have to be given away?

No this is a personal choice and is not a requirement.

 

Who usually gives the bride away?

It can be anyone you like including your mother & father, a grandparent, children or you and your fiance can give yourselves to each other.

 

We want to arrive at the ceremony together, is this suitable?

Of course, it is your day, and your choice.

 

Is it OK for the bride to be late?

If the bride arrives late to the ceremony, this encroaches on the time you have available for other important tasks such as photography and can even make your reception start late. A good idea is to invite your guests 15 minutes prior to your planned arrival time so that all guests have arrived and taken their place before you arrive. You can then arrive on time and it still appear as if you were a couple of minutes late (as per the tradition).

 

What happens if there are people around where we plan to hold the Ceremony?

Providing you have written approval from the relevant Council to hold the Ceremony, you have the right to ask them to move. I am happy to do this on your behalf.

 

Should we have some chairs for our guests – how many is the right amount?

Having chairs for a number of guests is a great idea. You would usually cater for around half of your guests.  It is not a good idea to provide chairs for the exact number of guests you invite as if uninvited guests attend the ceremony there will be a few people who miss out on chairs.

 

What happens after the Ceremony – do you stay for the reception?

No I will leave soon after the ceremony.

 

What would happen if you were to ill to attend the ceremony?

Being involved in a professional group, I have celebrants I can call on who would perform your ceremony. This celebrant will be just as qualified as myself and will conduct the ceremony as we have discussed.

 

What do we do if you were involved in a traffic jam or accident and can’t get to the Ceremony on time?

In the unlikely event that this should happen and I am unable to get another celebrant to attend, you should continue on with the photographs and then onto the Reception venue. We could perform the ceremony at the reception once I arrive.

 

What name does the bride sign on the day of the Wedding?

Her maiden name on all documentation.

 

What name should the bride use when booking travel/ honeymoon reservations?

The Bride’s maiden name as this is her legal name until after the Wedding day. Although you do receive a “Certificate of Marriage” on the day of your wedding, a certified copy of the official certificate will need to be purchased from the office of Births, Deaths & Marriages  five working after the celebrant has lodged the paperwork with the registry. This document is required to change your name with organisations as evidence of the marriage. Victorian Births, Deaths & Marriages can be contacted here.

 

I have some visitors coming from overseas and would prefer to be married whilst they are here. Is this possible?

As long as you have still provided the legal requirement of 1 month and 1 days notice this is fine. Should the wedding need to occur before this time it would not be legal until we repeat the process after the required time period. Your legal wedding date would be the later ceremony and this would be recorded on all documentation.

 

Can I play music during the ceremony?

Yes, you can play music as part of the ceremony as it does not infringe on any copyrights. If you would like to play music before or after the ceremony you would need to check that it does not infringe on any copyright laws.

Music forms a very important part of your ceremony and can reflect you feelings on the day of your wedding. You can also use songs which mean a lot to yourselves and your family.  I am more than happy to assist you with selecting the music for your ceremony.

 

Can we have drinks before the ceremony?

No drinking during or before the ceremony. Drinks may be served whilst you are signing the documents, although permission should be sought from relevant Council, if at a public venue.

 

Do you need to be an Australian Citizen to marry in Australia?

No. Anyone may marry in Australia providing you are both over the age of 18 and not legally married. If one of you is between 16 and 18, additional requirements must be met.

 

How much ‘Notice’ must be given to be married in Australia?

At least 1 month. (In exceptional circumstances the Registrar may approve a shortening of time for the ‘Notice’)

 

Do we need to be in Australia a certain time before we can marry?

No. You can marry the day that you arrive from overseas if you wish. However, by law I must receive the Notice of Intended Marriage from you at least 1 month before the wedding day.  Your original documents can be sighted by a consular official in the country in which you are residing in order to complete the Notice of Intended Marriage.

 

Will the marriage be recognised in my own country?

Yes, however you should confirm this with your own government agency which records marriages in your country.

 

Where is an Australian Embassy?

For Australian Embassies, Consulates and Missions around the world click here

 

Can we re-marry in Australia after being married in another country?

No. The only type of ceremony you would be able to have would be either a Renewal Ceremony or a Commitment Ceremony.

 

Can two people of the same sex marry?

No. Same sex marriages are not performed in Australia. However, I can perform a Commitment Ceremony for you to express your feelings for one another.

 

How many witnesses do we need and can they be related to us?

You need two witnesses present at your Marriage Ceremony who are over the age of 18. Any person can act as a witness, even your parents. The Celebrant, however, cannot act as a witness.

 

Can I use photo copies and certified copies of my legal documents?

No, all documents must be originals

 

Can we use legal paperwork that is in another language?

No, before you can submit it, your paperwork will need to be translated into the English language by a recognised/registered translator.

 

How do I find a translator in Australia?

If you require a translator or interpreter within Australia, please visit
NAATI Website