Weddings

No doubt you have many questions about what constitutes a legal wedding in Australia and what role I play in your special day. Allow me to start at the very beginning.

What is a Celebrant?

Birth of the Australian Civil Celebrant:

Prior to 1973, anyone in Australia wishing to have a non-denominational (non-religious) wedding would go to the local Registry office, fill in a form, pay the required fees, say "I do" to a question, and get a marriage certificate. A most impersonal way to mark a most important day.

In 1973 the Australian Labor government appointed certain trusted citizens to conduct civil marriages. Thus was born the "Civil Marriage Celebrant". Benefits to couples opting for a civil ceremony are several. Most notably, freedom of choice and style:

  • The couple can pick the Celebrant of their choosing;
  • They can write their own ceremony and vows with help from the celebrant;
  • The ceremony can be held anywhere – a garden, park, beach, hotel, function centre, restaurant, the couple's home, the Celebrant's home, etc.
  • Those divorced and unable to re-marry in their church, are given the opportunity to participate in a dignified and meaningful service.

By 2014, more than 75% of Australian couples opted for civil ceremonies


What does a Celebrant do?

As a Celebrant, I take care of all your paperwork from start to finish. I will ensure that all formalities are complied with and that your marriage is registered according to Australian Law.

I help you to compose your own personal ceremony to reflect your wishes and can include cultural traditions and languages. I have included such linguistic touches in Spanish, Italian, Hindi and French. The initial meeting is obligation-free; we get to know one another and you can ask me any questions you wish. If you are happy with everything you may lodge the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)with me and book my services. And this bring me to….


Legal Requirements

  • It is imperative that you book a Celebrant as soon as you have booked your venue, as good professional celebrants are booked out as much as 12 - 18 months ahead.
  • A Notice of Intended Marriage Form (NOIM) can be downloaded here: NIM. This form must be lodged with me a minimum of one month and a day prior to the wedding date and it remainis valid up to 18 months.
  • For those born overseas a foreign passport is acceptable in lieu of birth certificate. Australian passports are not accepted – if you were born in Australia you must have an Australian Birth Certificate.
  • In the case of a previous marriage, you will also need to furnish documentary evidence of how the marriage terminated.
  • It is not mandatory to have the abovementioned documents at the time of booking your celebrant, however they must be shown to the Celebrant before the wedding can take place.
  • If born overseas and your birth documents have been lost or destroyed, I can help you with a Statutory Declaration.
  • A non-refundable deposit will be required at the time of lodgement, which will secure your booking date and time.

Your Ceremony

This can be in any form you wish, provided the dignity and legality of the marriage are observed. However, this does not mean you have to be stiff and formal – how will you remember your wedding day if you don’t enjoy it? Relax, have fun and let the ceremony flow.

I take particular pleasure in working with a couple, taking their own ideas and personal choices and help them to achieve the perfect format. I lend you my own personal Ceremony Guide which gives ample choice for all parts of the ceremony, and together we will compose a ceremony tailored just for you.

From the "Welcoming Address" to the "Final Presentation", you have the choice on everything that you wish to include. We will review every single word together. And… you may breathe easy, for there is nothing to memorise. Based on my experience, I will offer suggestions and options to guide you through the creation of your ceremony step by step. People often love my ceremonies exactly as presented, some add sentiments and ideas of their own and I encourage that.

If you would like to incorporate any cultural aspects, I will be more than happy to oblige. I can include Alternative Ceremonies such as Candle, Rose and Wine Ceremonies, Breaking of the Glass, Tea Ceremonies, etc., lending a cultural touch to your special day.

If there are family members who do not understand English, I am happy to address a few words in their language. Although I do not speak all languages, I have the ability to phonetically "speak" any language. I have added such linguistic touches in Italian, Spanish, Hindi & French.

Once you book me as your celebrant, I will follow up on all your legalities to completion. If you wish to know more about legal requirements, please visit www.bdm.nsw.gov.au

Whether a small informal function or a large gathering with all the pomp and grandeur - I would love to make it "special" for you.


Overseas Couples

If you are visiting our shores and wish to take advantage of your holiday by marrying in Sydney, I will be only too pleased to be of help not just with a wedding ceremony but with advice relating to other requirements such as wedding coordinator, accommodation, photographer, videographer, florist, Sydney Harbour cruise, etc.

I have married couples from many parts of the world - New Zealand, Japan, Greece, Korea, China, India, USA, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, France, Germany, Belgium, South America Switzerland and many other countries. And they have happily agreed to provide references.

The legal formalities are the same as for Australian couples, but we communicate via e-mails. However, this will not be a problem as I correspond with many couples who come from overseas and by the time we meet in person we feel we already know one another!


Visas & Immigration

For the purpose of bringing partners to Australia on a fiancé visa, you will need to have a meeting with me where I will complete the NOIM with you and provide you with a letter stating your intention to marry which you will take with you to the Department of Immigration.

At this meeting, only one person needs to provide the necessary documentation and sign the NOIM. However, before the wedding takes place, I will need to see both sets of documents.

You will need to pay a deposit at this meeting which covers the cost of the letter as well as the cost of the completing the NOIM.

Please note that the law requires that you have met your partner as an adult prior to the wedding taking place and that the wedding takes place within nine months of the partner's arrival in Australia.

After the wedding has taken place I will guide you on procedures to make the Australian Marriage certificate recognised in your country