As a Melbourne celebrant I have some useful answers to questions you may have:

1. First Contact – Obligation Free

Contact me to catch up for an obligation free chat to discuss your wedding ceremony requirements. I am happy to communicate in person, over the phone or via email.

2. Second Contact – Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)

If you decide to choose me as your celebrant, we will meet up again soon after our first catch up to fill out the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). This is where your ID and birth certificates/passports are required. We can further chat about your thoughts and expectations for your ceremony.

3. Your Story

I will also email you some questions to answer together with your partner so that I can tell your story, in your words at the ceremony.

4. Wedding Rehearsal

We meet again at the wedding rehearsal (highly recommended and at no extra cost) where we will run through the ceremony and music. I believe it’s important to have as many of the bridal party at the rehearsal as you can, so please organise the date/time early with your wedding party and venue. At the rehearsal I will also have you read over and sign a statutory declaration (declares that neither you or your partner believe there is any Impediment to your Marriage).

5. Your Wedding Day!

Firstly, your full names must be included somewhere in the ceremony and your celebrant must identify themself.

There is also an extract from The Marriage Act called “the Monitum” that must be read:

“Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are about to enter. Marriage according to law in Australia is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

Your vows must include the words “I call upon the people here present to witness that I (your name) take you (partners name) to be my lawful wedded wife/husband. You must have two witnesses over the age of 18.

The following forms must be signed during the ceremony:

•  Form 14: Each party to an intended marriage must make a declaration before the authorised celebrant as to their conjugal status and belief that there is no legal impediment to the marriage.

•  Form 15: Certificate of marriage given to the bride and groom.

•  Form 16: Marriage certificate for the Births, Deaths and Marriages registry.

You must both be over the age of 18.

The Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) must be filled out no later than 1 month prior to your ceremony.

Prior to the day of your marriage ceremony, you will need to produce to me photo ID, and either your birth certificates or passports.

If either of you have previously been married, you must produce your Divorce Decree Absolute papers. If either of your spouses is deceased, you must produce the Death Certificate.

If you were born in Australia, you can obtain a copy of your birth certificate from the Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages, in the state in which you were born.   If divorced, you can obtain a copy of your Divorce Order from the Family Law Court in the state in which your marriage was dissolved.

If you were not born in Australia, and do not have your original required paperwork, please contact me and we can discuss your circumstances.

Anywhere between 10-30 minutes usually. It depends what you would like to include in the ceremony, some want a bare basics ceremony, other couples include readings, music and/or rituals.

No problem, when we catch up we can have a chat and I will make suggestions dependent on your personalities, the ceremony location, your guests and bridal party, and cultural backgrounds.

You can be married almost anywhere. Some locations require a permit, but we can discuss that in further detail when we catch up.

Of course, in fact, I recommend it! If you are stuck, you can always google “personal wedding vows”, there are many to choose from.

Legally you must say “I call upon the people here present to witness that I (bride’s name/groom’s name), take you, (groom’s name/bride’s name) to be my wedded (husband/wife)” and vice versa.

All ceremonies I create are individual, however the most popular order would be:

•  Processional (Entrance of the wedding party)

•  Welcome and introduction

•  Couple’s story (how you met, your experiences together, your plans for the future etc)

•  Poem/Reading/Ritual/Prayer etc

•  The asking (eg do you take Sarah to be your wife?)

•  Ring ceremony (exchange of wedding rings)

•  The Monitum

•  The vows (the legal vows and optional personal vows)

•  Conclusion and Declaration (“I now pronounce you husband and wife!”)

•  Signing the legal documents

•  Presentation of the newlyweds

•  Recessional