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Information, what you need to know

Information and what you need to know – everyone is full of questions when they are planning their wedding but at the same time, they are not sure what questions to ask. I have put together a list of what you need to know to give you some starting points.


What do I provide as part of the service as a Melbourne Wedding Celebrant?

•I will attend to all legal paperwork.

•I will provide sample ceremonies, sample vows and sample readings

•I will create your personalised, individual Ceremony with your consultation.

•A wedding rehearsal

•PA system – ensuring every word is heard by your guests.

•Music may be played through my PA.

•Portable table and chair with white cloth, 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.

•Extra travel expenses may be incurred if travelling over ½ hour.

What do I wear?

I will dress appropriately for the occasion. If it is a themed wedding I will dress appropriate to the theme. I do however try to dress neutrally, to compliment the bride and groom. If required I would be open to any special wardrobe requests.

We want to have the ceremony and reception on a boat. Would I stay on board 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.

Who can I have as my witnesses?

Anyone you like providing they are over the age of 18 years. You must have at least 2 witnesses. They may be from overseas.

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

Yes, I would encourage this as it personalises the ceremony. I have plenty of readings which I can recommend for all occasions.

How many poems/readings is the right amount?

This is personal choice, 1- 2 is appropriate and ensures that the Ceremony is not too long.

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?

This is personal decision and it can be anyone you like.

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

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

Is it fashionable for the bride to be late?

No, is not fashionable to be late anymore. If the Ceremony starts late so does everything else.

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?

Yes, chairs are a good idea, approx 12 chairs will suffice and be used mostly for the elderly and family. Unless you have the exact amount of chairs as people, most people prefer to stand.

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

No I will leave soon after the ceremony, quietly and discreetly, occasionally staying for a drink.

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

In the event that I am too ill, I have a group of celebrants I can call on who would perform your ceremony.

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

The appropriate thing to do would be to 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 as this is her legal name until after the Wedding day, once the Marriage has been registered with Births Deaths and Marriages.

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

Her maiden name as this is her legal name until after the Wedding day, once the Marriage has been registered with Births Deaths and Marriages.

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

As long as I am free on the required date we could perform the ceremony but if it is before the legal requirement of 1 month and 1 day, you would not be legally married 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.

Your choice of music is a very personal choice and would need to be provided by yourself.

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 or both 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 and 1 day. (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 Intention to Marry from you at least 1 month and 1 day before the wedding. To be on the safe side, send it early.

Will the marriage be recognised in my own country?

Yes. You should confirm this with your own government agency which records marriages in your country.

Can I marry anywhere in Australia?

Yes. An Authorised Civil Marriage Celebrant is permitted to perform a wedding ceremony anywhere in Australia, this includes Australia’s remote islands, rainforests, aeroplanes, boats, hot air balloons, at sea within 12 nautical miles etc. Please be aware that if the Celebrant has to travel the intended bride and groom must pay for the travel costs and in some instances the accommodation.

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?

YES. Same sex marriages can be performed in Australia.

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 change my name?

On your wedding day, you will receive from me a commemorative certificate which is a numbered legal document. To obtain an official marriage certificate, you need to apply to Births Deaths and Marriages in Victoria for the official copy. You can use this certificate to change your licence, passports, bank details etc.

How do I change my name if it is not mine or my husbands name already (ie make a family name)?

On your wedding day, you will receive from me a commemorative certificate which is a numbered legal document. To obtain an official marriage certificate, you need to apply to Births Deaths and Marriages in Victoria for the official copy. If you wish to use a different name then you would have to have an official change of name and Births, Deaths and Marriages will be able to assist.

How do I find a translator in Australia?

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

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