Frequently Asked Questions

Getting married in Australia – the legal stuff!

Joyful Occasions is happy to answer your wedding ceremony questions confidentially.

Here’s some of the frequently asked wedding ceremony questions.

I live overseas – can I marry in Australia?

Yes! You don’t have to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to legally marry in Australia. If both parties live overseas, I will discuss options to complete the legal requirements and make the process as easy as possible for you.

Can I live in Australia after I marry?

You can find marriage visa information on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

How do we start the Wedding Ceremony process?

The first step is complete a Notice of Intended Marriage form. You can partially complete the form online, print the form and complete it by hand, or provide me the details to complete an e-copy for you ready to sign. What’s the Notice of Intended Marriage Form?

The Notice of Intended Marriage form is a legal document that must be lodged with a celebrant at least one month before the wedding. It is valid or 18 months so you can plan ahead!

We want to marry in less than one month –can we?

Talk to me if there is less than one month before your wedding. A prescribed authority may approve a shorter notice time in limited circumstances, such a medical conditions and overseas deployment.

What do we need to provide to complete the Notice of Intended Marriage Form?

You will need to show evidence of date and place of birth, identity and the end of any previous marriages for each party. I must sight original documents before your wedding – for example, birth certificates, passports, death and/or divorce certificates.

If you do not have these documents, talk with me and I’ll advise on how you can progress your wedding plans.

I may ask you to complete a statutory declaration to support your evidence.

What do we sign at our wedding ceremony?

At your ceremony, you will sign three marriage certificates. Each certificate will be signed by you, your celebrant and two witnesses who are 18 years of age or older. I will give you a certificate as a record of your marriage.

When will our marriage be registered with a registry of births, deaths and marriages?

If your wedding is in NSW, I usually register your wedding on-line that day and send you an SMS or email to confirm your registration number. If your wedding is in another state or territory, registration is lodged asap after your ceremony. Legally, weddings must be registered within 14 days.

When can I get the official Marriage Certificate issued by a registry?

The certificate issued by the registry of births, deaths and marriages is required for many official purposes. In NSW, I can apply for a certificate on your behalf to save you time and paperwork. It is generally received within 2-10 working days after on-line registration. Alternatively you can apply to the registry after your wedding.

Can we have a surprise wedding? (Don’t believe what you ‘see’ on TV!)

You may invite guests to your event and keep it a surprise that you are marrying. However, the bride and groom must sign the Notice of Intended Marriage form at least one month before plus the declaration of no legal impediment form closer to your wedding – so no, you can’t surprise your partner on the day with a wedding.


Do you have another wedding ceremony question? Contact Joyful Occasions for a prompt and confidential  answer.