The Process and Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Australia.

Let John Middleton MC Celebrant lead you through the process of the legal requirements for getting married in Australia and preparing for your big day. With unwavering support and expertise, John ensures all legal requirements are taken care of, providing you with 24/7 assistance. Rest easy, John’s got your back and will take care of all legal documents and requirements.

Welcome to the exciting journey of getting married in Australia! John’s here to make sure your experience is smooth, stress-free, and filled with joy.

Recently there has been important updates to the Marriage Act of 1961. Over the past months, the Australian Government has been progressing a bill before parliament to update, clarify, and improve the intended operation of legislation administered by the Attorney-General, including the Marriage Act 1961. The changes seek to clarify and improve the operation of the Marriage Celebrants Program and include a new requirement for celebrants to meet separately and in person to ensure safeguards for real consent to a marriage are maintained, and the ability to witness the signing of NOIMs in Australia on line.

The Attorney-General’s Portfolio Miscellaneous Measures Bill 2023 received Royal Assent on 11 June 2024 and became law on 12 June 2024.

Let’s walk through the essential steps together and undertsnad the legal requirements for getting married in Australia:

Initial Meeting

John will clarify your eligibilty for marriage in accordance with the Marriage Act 1961 and Marriage Regulations 2017, who set the rules for getting married in Australia.

The initial meeting with a couple getting married is a pivotal moment in crafting your dream wedding with John Middleton.This gathering is not just about exchanging pleasantries, but delving deep into the essence of your relationship, understanding your unique vibe, needs, and preferred style for their special day. It’s a collaborative exploration where we listen attentively to your visions, aspirations, and desires, ensuring that every detail reflects your personalities and love story.

From the ambiance they envision to the intricate details of your ceremony, we strive to capture the essence of your love and translate it into a memorable celebration. With open communication, creativity, and personalised attention, we embark on a journey to create a wedding day that truly encapsulates the magic of their union.

Separate Meetings

The Marriage Act will require an authorised celebrant to meet separately and in person with each party to the marriage before the marriage is solemnised. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure that each party is freely and voluntarily consenting to the marriage.

A separate meeting needs to occur in the absence of the other party to the marriage and in a culturally safe environment – but this does not mean your celebrant is to meet alone with a party. Other persons can attend with the party’s permission.

The timing of the separate meetings is at the discretion of the celebrant and the couple. It can occur at any time up to and including the day of the marriage, providing it occurs before the marriage is solemnised.

John will provide you with a Consent and Separate Meeting Confirmation Form for you both to sign. You are required to sign the form stating that you both confirm that you have met separately and in person with the Authorised Marriage Celebrant, as required under the updated Marriage Act 1961. You also confirm that the meeting took place in a culturally safe environment and that you were able to have other persons present with your permission.

Declaration of Free and Voluntary Consent

You must also, declare that you are both freely and voluntarily consenting to the marriage. This form will be kept on file and for office use only!

Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)

To comply with the legal requirements in Australia, it’s crucial that we complete and submit the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form. John will supply a link for you to fill out electronically in your own time.

The NOIM form serves as an official declaration of your intention to marry and includes some key information such as personal details, dates of birth, current addresses, and the planned date and location of your wedding ceremony. To avoid any hiccups, it’s essential that we lodge the completed NOIM form with the relevant authorities no greater than 18 months and no later than one month before your wedding date.

Additionally, it confirms the couple’s intention to marry each other and ensures compliance with legal requirements. Once the NOIM is lodged, John can proceed with the necessary legal formalities for the marriage to take place. This includes conducting a marriage ceremony that adheres to Australian laws and regulations, ensuring the marriage is legally valid and recognised.

Both you and your partner will need to fill out the NOIM form, and once that’s done, we can arrange a fun and friendly in-person meeting at our office to sign it. 

Documentation you will need to bring along when signing your NOIM

To ensure everything goes smoothly, we’ll need some essential documents for identity verification, Remember, each of you will need to provide two forms of identification.

Acceptable forms of identification include;

  • Birth Certificate – an official birth certificate or extract that shows your date and place of birth.
  • Australian or overseas Passport.
  • Driver’s License, proof of age/photo card, or Certificate of Australian Citizenship.
  • If you’ve had any name changes, we’ll need documentation for those too (if applicable).
  • If you’ve been previously married, we’ll need proof of divorce or death of a spouse (if applicable).

Evidence of Date and Place of Birth

The amendments re-order the acceptable evidence of date and place of birth under paragraph 42(1)(b) of the Marriage Act. They clarify that where it is impracticable (practically impossible) for the party to the marriage to obtain a certificate or official extract of an entry in an official register and they do not have a passport, only then should they rely on a statutory declaration to declare to the best of their knowledge, their date and place of birth.

The term impracticable does not mean inconvenient. For example, it is not impracticable for a person born in Australia to apply to the state or territory Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages for a copy of their birth certificate, or except in special circumstances, for overseas born persons to apply to the appropriate authorities in their country of birth.

Remote Witnessing

The Marriage Act has been amended to permanently provide couples with the option to have their Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) witnessed remotely, via audio-visual link, as well as in person.

NOTE: The requirements for authorised witnesses will remain unchanged and location-dependent. If the couple is in Australia then the person remotely witnessing the NOIM (which can include an authorised celebrant) must also be in Australia. If the couple is outside Australia, the authorised witness (which cannot be a celebrant) must also be outside Australia. To be clear, John Middleton cannot witness online a NOIM for a person or couple outside Australia.

Transfer of the NOIM

The amendments also clarify the circumstances when a NOIM can be transferred to another authorised celebrant include at the request of the marrying couple. This is in addition to transfers due to the death, absence or illness of the celebrant or where it is otherwise impracticable for a celebrant to solemnise the marriage.

Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage

In Australia, the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage form serves as a crucial document in the process of getting married. It is typically signed by both parties closer to the ceremony date, usually about one week before. This declaration essentially states that there are no legal barriers or impediments that would prevent the couple from getting married. It’s a formal affirmation that both individuals are entering into the marriage of their own free will and that there are no legal issues, such as being already married to someone else or being underaged, that would invalidate the marriage. Essentially, it ensures that the marriage is legally valid and can proceed without any legal hindrances.

Information for Couples Planning to Marry

As your celebrant, it’s John’s legal obligation to provide you with the “Happily Ever…Before and After” brochure, which outlines essential information to help you plan your wedding and navigate life together afterward. This brochure covers everything from the importance of marriage to practical details like changing your name, understanding citizenship, and handling taxes after tying the knot. It also delves into topics like health benefits and making a will. Plus, it offers insights on strengthening your relationship through counselling both before and after the big day. Think of it as your go-to guide for all things marriage related, ensuring you’re well prepared for this exciting journey ahead. If you have any questions or need further clarification, feel free to ask. I’m here to help every step of the way.

Planning commences with your exclusive Online Planning Portal

Prepare for your special day effortlessly with John Middleton’s exclusive online wedding planning portal. This sophisticated platform offers a suite of features designed to facilitate seamless coordination, ensuring a stress-free path to your dream celebration. Stay on schedule with the countdown clock, monitoring it on your dedicated portal to ensure thorough preparation for your wedding day. Craft your perfect day with speeches, forms, and timelines, organising everything from your central online hub. With John Middleton, planning your dream wedding has never been smoother or more stress-free. Choose the perfect style and genre for your celebration with our comprehensive music planning experience, exploring our online music sample database and customising your playlist effortlessly.

Engage your guests with the pre-wedding request system, inviting them to be part of the musical journey from anywhere in the world. Maintain seamless communication with vendor contacts, keeping all information in one place for streamlined coordination. Share event details in real-time through your online portal to ensure everyone involved is on the same page, and enjoy effortless payments and transparent communication throughout the planning process. Experience the perfect vibe with John Middleton, where your vision comes to life!

Finalisation of Ceremony Elements

It’s time to add your personal touch! Finalise your vows, music, readings, poems, and scripts, and submit your details for scripting at least four weeks before the big day.

Communication and Collaboration

We believe in a structured process to ensure your ceremony is exactly how you envision it. We’ll confirm the script and ensure everything is outlined perfectly.

Finalisation and Payment

Any last-minute changes? No problem! Just let us know via email. And don’t forget about the final payment and balance due.


Final Confirmation

It’s almost time! Attend the rehearsal to confirm all the details and ensure a seamless celebration. We’re here to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.

We’re thrilled to be a part of your special day and can’t wait to help you create memories that will last a lifetime! If you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Registering your Marriage

After your wedding ceremony officiated by John in Australia, John is responsible for registering your marriage with the relevant authorities. This process involves the celebrant completing and submitting the necessary paperwork to ensure that your marriage is legally recognised. Typically, the celebrant will lodge the paperwork with the state or territory’s Births, Deaths, and Marriages office within a specified timeframe after the wedding. Once the paperwork is processed and approved, you can then go online and apply for your marriage certificate, which serves as official proof of your marriage. This certificate is an important document that you may need for various purposes, such as changing your name or applying for spousal benefits. Rest assured, John will guide you through the registration process to ensure everything is done correctly and efficiently. If you have any questions or concerns about the process, John will be there to assist you every step of the way.