Giving Notice for Marriage

Understand the procedure for giving notice and find out what you have to do in order to get married in Australia...

A Notice of Intended Marriage form must be completed. The form must be signed and witnessed but need only be lodged by one party. It should be sent to the chosen marriage celebrant at least one month and one day and no more than 18 months prior to the proposed wedding date.

Original birth certificates and proof of the dissolution of any previous marriage will be needed.

  • Forms can be obtained from the marriage celebrant or downloaded from the Attorney General's Department website: Click here

Under exceptional circumstances the notice period for marriage can be less than one month. Only prescribed authorities, usually local court or registry officials, may grant approval on medical, religious, travel or legal grounds. Documentation that supports the request should be gathered prior to approaching a prescribed authority.

There are no rules governing the fees charged by authorised marriage celebrants for their services. Fees can vary widely. Before finalising a date for the marriage the celebrant and couple should agree, and have written confirmation of, all fees and charges. Any of the fees which are refundable should be clearly outlined as should any additional costs which may be incurred.

Marriage ceremonies do not have to occur in a church or registry office. The location can be discussed with the celebrant. Some religious officials allow the couple to choose the location of the wedding.

Only one legal marriage ceremony can take place. Any further ceremony or celebration has to be a reaffirmation of vows.

Documents required

The following documents are required by both parties:

  • A birth certificate or an authorised extract of one
  • A valid ten year passport. For people born outside of Australia this can be presented instead of a birth certificate
  • Adoption certificate, if applicable
  • Change of name documentation, if applicable

If either party has been married before they will also need:

  • A death certificate in the case of widowhood or a decree absolute if they have been divorced
  • Documentary evidence of the annulment of a previous marriage

All documents must be in English or have an official translation into English. In Australia this can only be done by someone registered with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators.