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Legal Formalities of Getting Married in Australia

Legal Wedding

Marriage is a great phase of life and a good start to it is more than just important. At Wedding Guru, we make sure that along with a stress free day with all the documents, there is an entire day filled with sentiments, emotions and an overall atmosphere of love. It is, however, very important to have an understanding of the legalities involved when you are marrying in Australia.

Hold on, and do not panic, we are here to make it easy for you! Just keep reading and you will get an idea of how to go about the Legal formalities of getting married in Australia.

Legal formalities of getting married in Australia, Check Them Out!

Before you finalise your vows, we would suggest you must finalise a celebrant and arrange relevant documents. Why do we say so? It is because a lot of things happen before marriage and we are not just talking about your wedding dress or the flowers used in decoration. We are talking about the legal formalities, go through to know more:

Getting married? Give a notice!

You must tell the authorities about your marriage for documentation purposes and yes, before your wedding guru. The first step in the legal process of getting married in Australia is submitting a “Notice of Intended Marriage” (NOIM) form.

This form must be lodged with an authorised marriage celebrant, a registered minister of religion, a registrar of births, deaths, and marriages, or a prescribed authority at least one month before the wedding. For couples planning to tie the knot, it’s crucial to note that the NOIM is valid for up to 18 months, providing flexibility in choosing the wedding date.

Proof of Identity and Citizenship

To comply with legal requirements, both parties must provide proof of identity and citizenship when submitting the NOIM.

This typically involves presenting original or certified copies of birth certificates, passports, or statutory certificates. Additionally, if either party has been previously married, evidence of the termination of the previous marriage, such as divorce or death certificates, must be provided.

Choosing an Authorised Celebrant

In Australia, couples have the option of choosing a registered marriage celebrant to officiate their wedding. Celebrants play a crucial role in the legalities of marriage, ensuring that all legal requirements are met. Couples may select a civil celebrant or a religious minister recognized under Australian law. It’s essential to engage a celebrant well in advance of the wedding date and ensure they are available on the chosen day.

Wedding Ceremony must have some specifics

The wedding ceremony itself must adhere to certain legal requirements to ensure the marriage is valid. During the ceremony, both parties must declare their willingness to enter into marriage and exchange vows. The celebrant also plays a crucial role in guiding the ceremony, ensuring that all legal elements are fulfilled, and the marriage is solemnised according to Australian law.

Make your loved ones as your witness!

Two witnesses aged 18 or over must be present at the wedding ceremony. These witnesses play a vital role in validating the marriage by signing the marriage certificate.

Their role is not just ceremonial; they attest to the fact that the marriage ceremony took place in their presence and that the parties freely entered into the union.

Marriage Certificate

After the ceremony, the celebrant, minister, or registrar will issue a marriage certificate. This certificate is a legal document confirming the marriage and is required for various purposes, including changing names on legal documents, applying for joint financial benefits, and obtaining a spouse visa for immigration purposes.

Registration of the Marriage

Following the ceremony, the marriage must be registered with the relevant state or territory authority. This is typically done by the celebrant, who submits the necessary paperwork to the registry of births, deaths, and marriages within 14 days of the wedding.

Once registered, the marriage becomes a legal record, and couples can obtain official copies of their marriage certificate if needed.


Getting married in Australia involves a series of legal formalities designed to ensure the sanctity and legality of the union. From filing the Notice of Intended Marriage to choosing an authorised celebrant, exchanging vows, and registering the marriage, each step is essential in creating a solid legal foundation for the marital journey. Understanding and adhering to these legal requirements not only ensures the validity of the marriage but also provides a framework for the rights and responsibilities that come with this significant life event. As couples embark on their matrimonial adventure in the Land Down Under, navigating these legal formalities will pave the way for a smooth and legally recognized union.

The Wedding Guru