Many couples dream to have their weddings in Australia: this beautiful, friendly and stress-free country. Why? So many reasons! The weather is rather comfortable most of the year and there are plenty days of sunshine, which means you can get married anytime, anywhere; indoor or outdoor. There are sunny long beaches, well-maintained parks, beautifully manicured gardens, well-serviced venues, restaurants and most notably; magnificent views. For example, the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge with the exquisite Opera House in the background, Sydney Royal Botanic Garden, Palm Beach or perhaps Watsons Bay – just to name a few.
In contrast to many other places in the world, it is relatively easy to get married ‘down under’. You can either have a civil ceremony or a religious wedding. In both cases, all you have to do is follow the local legal requirements, and in most cases, your marriage will be legally recognised in your own country. There are no government fees except for the cost of obtaining the official registered marriage certificate and an Apostille or Authentication stamp if required by your home country.
Furthermore, to get married in Australia, you do not need to be a resident, a citizen or reside here for any length of time. After your wedding, you can stay for as long as you want, or rather as long as your visa permits. And why wouldn’t you spend your honeymoon in beautiful Australia? No blood tests or any medical examinations are needed. No pre-marriage education is required. There is no need to make your intentions to get married public, like in some other countries. The dress code is entirely up to you and how you feel. You also do not need to exchange rings. And you certainly do not need to change your name. As you can see, it is quite a simple process.
The legal requirements are also quite straight forward. Interestingly, the same requirements apply for overseas couples who wish to get married in Australia, as for the local brides and grooms. According to Australian law, marriage is between a man and a woman over the age of 18 to the exclusion of all others. You both need to be free to marry; i.e. divorced, widowed and/or not married to anyone else. You also cannot be blood-related.
In terms of logistics, you will need to give at least one month notice before your wedding day by filling in the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). This form will be provided to you by your celebrant. Your valid passports are sufficient as proof of ID. Any documents in a foreign language should be translated into English; such as adoption certificates, original divorce papers, original death certificates for a former spouse as well as documentary evidence of any change of name (all of course if applicable).
There are only four documents that require your signature, which your celebrant should organise for you:
• Notice of Intended Marriage.
• Form 14 which indicates that there is no legal impediment to the marriage and your marriage certificate on the day
• The registry
• Your marriage certificate.
In summary, there are just three easy steps to follow to put you on your way to you dream wedding in Australia:
• Sign the NOIM,
• Arrive on the day with the appropriate documents and;
• Get married!!!
Post written by Orna Binder Marriage Celebrant