We have to make sure your marriage is legal as well as memorable for you and your loved ones. This gives you an outline of the “legal stuff” I need to do in order for you do say I do.
Before Your Ceremony
Before you get married, we need to complete the Notice of Intended Marriage. This must be completed and lodged with your celebrant no less than 1 month and no more than 18 months prior to your wedding. I will happily assist you by providing this form and can help to complete it if you would like me to.
The Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage gets signed either at your rehearsal, or on your wedding day prior to the ceremony. This form basically asks you both to declare that you are not married to someone else, that you’re over 18, and that you’re not siblings – and by signing it (with the help of an interpreter if necessary), you’re regarded as giving consent. I complete this form for you, read it out to you, and point where to sign.
At Your Ceremony
During the ceremony on your wedding day, there are four things that must happen:
- I must introduce myself by name as an authorised celebrant;
- I must recite the Monitum;
- Both parties must recite the legal Form of Vows as laid out in the Marriage Act; and
- The couple, two witnesses over the age of 18 and I must sign three marriage certificates.
The introduction will be something like this…
My name is Shauna Farey and I am an authorised marriage celebrant. It is an honour to stand here today conducting this ceremony for <party A> and <party B>.
I must recite the following lines for your marriage to be valid.
I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
You both must say the following sentence to each other for your marriage to be valid:
I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, <party A>, take thee, <party B> to be my lawful wife (or husband, or spouse).
Or I can word it like this….
I ask everyone here today to witness that I, <party A>, take you, <party B>, to be my lawful husband (or wife, or spouse).
You can always add lovely personalised words after the legally required ones if you wish.
Witnesses must be over 18 years of age, and must be able to hear and understand the ceremony.
Hopefully this has given you some idea of the legal framework for getting married but remember that in practice a wedding ceremony doesn’t have to be staid and boring – there’s plenty of room for love and romance and a bit of fun!