WHAT ARE THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS...
There are five things that must occur during a wedding ceremony for the marriage to be legally solemnised;
The celebrant must introduce themselves.
Your names must be said in full at least once during the ceremony (yes, even your embarrassing middle name).
The celebrant must say ‘The Monitum’ from the Marriage Act (1961). The Monitum is an excerpt from the Marriage Act (1961) that must be read before you take your marriage vows and reads; I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
You must exchange legal vows as a minimum. These must be said by you, out loud and they are ‘I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, party 1 full name, take you, party 2 full name , to be my lawful wedded wife (or spouse, or partner in marriage).’ and vice versa.
Two witnesses over the age of 18 must be present and see and hear the ceremony and sign the relevant legal documentation.
WHERE CAN WE BE MARRIED...
My quoted prices includes anywhere within a 5km radius of beautiful Manly, just a short ferry ride from the city. You can choose to be married in a park, by the beach (there are many) in a café or restaurant, under a tree, really, wherever you like as long as it is easily accessible.
If you decide to be married outside of the Manly area (I can’t imagine why) then I certainly can travel to other areas but this may incur a travel cost. Price on application, depending on the destination.
WHAT TIMES ARE BEST TO BE MARRIED?
You can check on my schedule here and book in a time and day that suits your requirements. If you are hoping for a weekend marriage, you will need to contact me for price and availability.
WHO CAN BE A WITNESS?
The only legally requirement is that your two witnesses are over the age of 18.
You can supply the witnesses or if need be, I can arrange for two witnesses to be present and this will incur a $100 fee.
CAN WE WRITE OUR OWN PERSONAL VOWS?
Yes of course you can. These personalised vows should be words you want to say to your loved one on the day you marry them. They don’t need to be memorized and you can read them to each other at the relevant time in the ceremony.
HOW DO WR APPLY FOR NAME CHANGE?
The certificate I give you on the day is a ‘commemorative’ certificate and has no legal standing. For purposes of name change etc. you will need to apply for your Marriage Certificate from the Department of Births, Deaths & Marriages. To simplify the process, I can apply for this certificate on your behalf. Please note that fees apply.
HOW MANY GUESTS CAN BE PRESENT?
For my standard Elopement package it can be just the two of you and two witnesses (I can also supply the witnesses if needed) and you can also have upto 8 guests.
DO WE NEED TO EXCHANGE RINGS?
Although it is a great excuse to get a shiny bit of bling, you don’t have to exchange rings. Some people also decide to only exchange one ring and that’s also ok. Party one can say ‘I give you this ring’ and party 2 can say ‘I accept this ring’.
HOW SOON CAN WE BE MARRIED?
Once you have lodged your Notice of Intended Marriage with me, you can be married one month from that date and the notice will remain valid for 18 months.
Under extenuating circumstances you may be able to apply for a shortening of time but I would need to discuss this option with you and, if you proceed this will incur a fee. There are only a few options available for the shortening of time and these are as follows:
Employment related or other travel commitments (evidence of the date on which the applicant was informed of this commitment as opposed to the date on which the commitment will commence will need to be provided);
Wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations (receipts for payments or evidence of the date wedding invitations were sent will need to be produced);
Medical reasons (a letter from a medical practitioner will be required);
Legal proceedings; evidence will be required.
An error in giving notice (on the part of the authorised celebrant, not the couple.)
WHAT FORM OF ID ARE REQUIRED?
All parties will be required to provide a Birth Certificate or current Passport along with your driver’s licences. If either party has been previously married you must provide original copies of divorce (or death) papers before you can be married.
If these documents are in another language, you will be required to have them translated by a NAATI authorised translator.
HOW LONG DO THE CEREMONIES TAKE?
The legals only weddings only take about 8-10 minutes start to finish, elopements 10 - 15 minutes. Of course, if you write your own vows it could be slightly longer.
DO I NEED TO BE AN AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN TO MARRY IN AUSTRALIA?
No you do not need to be an Austrailian Citizen to be married here in Australia.
This is where my elopement package comes in for many international couples who wish to be legally married in Sydney. You will of course need to check and see if your marriage will be recognised in you home country. If you need an apostille stamp I can give you advice on this.
WHAT ARE VISA APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS?
A condition of your Fiancé Visa application or Prospective Marriage Visa you will be required to provide a Celebrant Letter, also referred to as an Evidence of Notice Letter, as part of your application.
For this to occur the following steps must be taken:
Complete a Notice of Intended Marriage form and have it witnessed by myself or a valid signatory (listed on page 4 of the notice).
Pay the allocated fee.
The Notice of Intended Marriage form will then be lodged, by me, with the Department of Births, Deaths & Marriages.
Within 48 hours of receipt of the Notice of Intended Marriage form, I issue you with your certified Evidence of Notice Letter to be added to your visa application.
CAN YOU OFFER LEGAL ADVICE WITH REGARDS TO OUR VISA APPLICATION?
In a word ‘NO’. I don’t offer any legal advice whatsoever. Any legal advice you require must be asked to the relevant authorities.