Once you have selected your Celebrant, there is a legal obligation to provide One Month’s Notice of your intention to marry by lodgement of the NOTICE of Intended Marriage no earlier than 18 months and no later than one month before the date of the marriage (if a NOIM is given on the 2 January, the first day the marriage can be solemnised is the 2 February).
Within Australia, qualified persons able to witness a party’s signature on the NOTICE are:
- An authorised celebrant
- A commissioner for declarations under the Statutory Declarations Act1959
- A justice of the peace
- A barrister or solicitor
- A legally qualified medical practitioner, or
- A member of the Australian Federal Police or the police force of a state or territory
Should parties reside overseas, the NOTICE must then be signed by that party in the presence of anyone of the following:
- An Australian diplomatic officer
- An Australian consular officer
- A notary public
- An employee of the commonwealth authorised under paragraph 3C of the Consular Fees Act 1955, or
- An employee of the Australian Trade Commission
In all cases, marrying couples are required to produce other supporting documentation such as the following:
Either an official birth certificate or an official extract of birth certificate showing the date and place of birth of the party must be produced. This is mandatory for persons born in Australia.
If a party is born overseas and cannot produce a birth certificate, they can produce a passport issued by a government of an overseas country, showing the date and place of birth of the party. This passport may be expired but NOT cancelled. A cancelled passport is not acceptable under any circumstances.
If a person born overseas cannot produce a birth certificate or an overseas passport, there is an option for the celebrant to take a Statutory Declaration as to birth details. Important:This mainly concerns persons born in war – torn countries or countries where civil records were not maintained or were destroyed. The party to the marriage must attempt to obtain a birth certificate or overseas passport and a statutory declaration as the last resort. For instance, countries such as England, New Zealand, the United States, Canada and most European countries do not present problems in obtaining such certificates; your party must make that effort and a statutory declaration would not be accepted.
If divorced, a Certificate of Divorce needs to be provided.
If the previous marriage was annulled, in all cases the the certificate(s) of nullity (or court order) must be produced. In various countries, a marriage may have been annulled by a court of law for legal reasons other than divorce.
In the circumstances of death, a death certificate of the former spouse must be provided.
If a party to an intended marriage is not of marriageable age, which is 18 years, consents or dispensations will be required under the Marriage Act 1961 before proceeding.
Many couples travel to Australia from overseas to get married. If either party is in the process of applying for a Prospective Spouse or Fiance’ Visa, a celebrant can provide the necessary documentation for immigration purposes to assist with the individual’s application.