Legal information

Marriage has legal consequences that need your careful consideration and attention

  • You must both be over the age of 18 years. If one party is between 16 and 18 years old, you are required to obtain both parental consent on the required form and a court order under Section 12 of the Marriage Act.
  • You must provide a signed Notice of Intended Marriage a minimum of one month prior to the ceremony. This is valid for 18 months. Your signatures must be witnessed by your marriage celebrant or if signed overseas, it must be signed at the Australian consulate.
  • You must provide evidence of your age by producing Birth Certificates or a passport. All certificates MUST be original. Photo-copied or certified copies are not acceptable.
  • All documents need to be in English or have an official translation of the document into English. If you require documents to be translated then visit
  • If there has been a previous marriage(s) you must evidence your divorce papers (Divorce certificate) or, if applicable, Death Certificate of a former spouse.
  • If either party have changed their name, the official ‘change of name’ document must be produced.
  • At your wedding, you must have two witnesses both 18 years or older. These names need to be provided prior to your ceremony
  • You both agree freely to the marriage
  • You must sign a document stating that you know of no reason why you cannot marry each other (that you are not related by blood or adoption, already married or under 18 years)
  • Both the bride and groom and witnesses (2) must be able to speak and understand English otherwise an official interpreter must be present
  • Three compulsory components must be included in the ceremony. The monitum, declaration & vows.
  • The Marriage Register must be signed and witnessed

Shortening of time

In special circumstances, it is possible to shorten the minimum of 1 month to less than a month. Once the Notice of Intended Marriage is completed you will need to approach “Births, deaths & marriages” for approval. They can shorten the period of notice if they are satisfied that certain circumstances have been met.

These include the following categories:

  • Legal proceedings
  • Wedding or celebrant arrangements, religious considerations
  • Medical reasons
  • Employment or travel commitments
  • Error in lodging the original paperwork

Both individuals must be over the age of 18 and the marriage still needs to be witnessed by 2 witnesses over the age of 18.

At your wedding ceremony you will be required to sign 3 pieces of documentation:

  • An official certificate which will be sent to the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages
  • A duplicate which is kept with the celebrant as a record of the marriage
  • A keepsake certificate which is given to the bride and groom on the day of the wedding.

Marrying in Australia is a simple process and you do not need:

  • To be a citizen of Australia
  • To remain in Australia once you have married
  • To reside in Australia before your marriage
  • To pay Government fees (except for obtaining the registered, stamped copy of your marriage certificate approx. $35 AUS)
  • To arrange the details in person it can be done via email, phone and fax
  • To have a license or medical certificates
  • To make your wedding plans public


If you are overseas, then your signatures need to be witnessed by an Australian Consulate Officer or an Australian Diplomatic Officer. Visit Australian Embassy for their locations.