FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Please use these FAQ's to help and guide you, however if you have a question we haven't answered for you, then please don't hesitate to pop us an email or give Ann a call directly. She's only too happy to help!
Why do we need to have a Celebrant marry us?
By law the only people allowed to perform a legally recognized marriage ceremony are
Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants (civil ceremonies)
Ministers of Religion (religious ceremonies)
State Officials (at Registry Offices)
Many people choose a Celebrant because they are not wanting a religious ceremony, or they want flexibility and their own input into their ceremony, rather than just the official legal wording read by a State Official at a Registry Office. By using a Celebrant you get to create a ceremony that will contain all the legal requirements of law, AND get to hold your ceremony in any location you like, to add in your own personal promises, themes, vows, rituals, activities etc. You can include close family and friends to be a part of the ceremony and perform readings, sing etc. You can include children that may already be a part of the union to take place in the ceremony and make it truly an unforgettable day you will always cherish. Contact Ann to discuss your wedding ceremony
What must we do to fulfil legal requirements for a civil marriage in Australia?
There are legal requirements as to age, marital status, relationship and gender. (See 04 below for further information.)
Complete and lodge Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) with your celebrant at least 1 month, but not more than 18 months before your wedding day.
Produce required identification documents (Birth Certificates, official photo ID, Death or Divorce Certificates relating to a previous marriage, Change of Name Certificates etc).
Sign the Declaration of no legal impediment to marriage (usually at your wedding rehearsal)
Sign two copies of the Official certificate of marriage (after you have been declared husband and wife)
Include in the wedding ceremony the words of the Monitum (introduction of the celebrant, the nature of marriage, minimum vows)
Have a minimum of two witnesses 18 years of age or over.
That's all you HAVE to do - the rest of the ceremony is up to you!
Contact Ann if you would like more details of the requirements and or would like a copy of the NOIM.("Notice of Intention to Marry" form)
How soon can we get married?
You are required by law to lodge the completed NOIM (Notice of Intention to Marry) with your celebrant a minimum of 1 month prior to your wedding day. You must sign the NOIM in front of your celebrant or
There is a provision in law to shorten this time but it involves application to the prescribed authority (generally Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages or local Magistrate). Approval will only be granted in a limited number of circumstances that relate to Need rather than Want.
Contact me if you feel there is a Need for shortening of time and you would like more details of the requirements.
Who can get married?
Marriages between immediate family members are prohibited.
Both parties to the marriage must be 18 years or over, although there are provisions for one party to the marriage to be 16 or over with appropriate consents and approvals.
At this stage a legal marriage constitutes the union of a man and a woman. Until laws are updated or changed, many Same Sex couples are choosing to host a Commitment Ceremony to declare their love and commitment to each other in the presence of their friends and families. This is not a legal ceremony, but for many has the effect of being able to acknowledge the love and union that exists between two people and establish themselves as a recognized couple to their community. Talk to me about celebrating your love with a Commitment Ceremony. For many people, ‘marriage’ just doesn’t suit them however this ceremony gives them the opportunity declare their love for each other without the confines of being ‘legally married’. As there are no legal obligations to fulfill, the day is completely yours to create! Be as outrageous, or as adventurous as you like!
Is there anything we can’t do or say in our wedding ceremony?
As long as you include the statutory wording (the Monitum) the rest is up to you and your celebrant.
You can include readings, poetry and music which will be covered by Copyright protection and APRA commercial music performance exemption that Ann holds as part of her membership of the Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants. You can include rituals which resonate with you and have important members of family and friends take part in the ceremony – OR NOT. Anything Goes!
Contact Ann to include personal themes in your wedding ceremony
What obligations does a Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant have to fulfil?
A Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant must comply with the Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants.
The Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants includes, but is not restricted to, provisions relating to: standards and levels of service; recognition of the significance of marriage from all aspects; legal compliance; respect; privacy & confidentiality; accuracy; knowledge and understanding of Family Relationship services; make efforts to ensure the marriage ceremony is audible to all present (using PA system if required); submit all relevant documentation to BDM (Births, Deaths and Marriages) in a timely manner.
Do I have to get married on a Saturday?
NO! Absolutely not! In fact many couples are choosing weekdays, evenings or even booking out an entire week at a holiday destination with their family and friends to celebrate. Weddings these days are often on any day of week. As popular venues are booked sometimes years in advance, or venues offer cheaper packages for ‘through the week’ weddings, it’s become quite normal to choose a day that suits you. As long as you have a celebrant and at least 2 witnesses you can get married 24/7, 365 days a year (366 in a leap year).
Contact Ann if you are looking for someone who can officiate your marriage at a time you choose.
We want a civil ceremony in Australia. Where can we get married?
Just think of a place and, with the appropriate permits etc, providing it is in Australian Territorial Waters or Australian Airspace, you can probably have your ceremony there. For instance; in or around an entertainment venue; in a private chapel; in a religious building (if you have the required permissions); in or around a private venue; a marquee in a formal garden; in your own house or backyard; the beach or beachfront; in the bush, forest, paddock, public park or formal gardens; in the air: plane, hot air balloon; on the water (wouldn’t you love to have your wedding on a cruise ship – I can be there for you); how about halfway down a cliff? (abseiling) – I can help with that.
What other fun locations can you think of?
Contact Ann to discuss your ceremony venue, from the usual to adventurous. Ann is based on Brisbane's Northside, primarily serving Brisbane, Gold & Sunshine Coasts but is am happy to discuss other locations within Australia.
How do I apply for my Marriage Certificate?
Your official marriage certificate must be applied for after your marriage, from the Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (BDM) in the State in which your wedding ceremony took place. In Queensland you need to complete the application on-line, print it and send it with appropriate identity documents (JP certified copies) to the BDM with the relevant fee. Ann's happy to help you with this and submit the application with the marriage documentation that has to be sent to BDM.
What are your Fees?
As each ceremony is unique and also locations, themes, and requirements change with each individual couple’s desires, Ann prefers to meet with you, discuss your needs and provide you with a fully comprehensive quote. This first meeting is FREE! Or just need to start to budget? give Ann a call to let her know what sort of ceremony you are looking for and she can give you a verbal estimate.
In common with most other celebrants, a $100 non-refundable booking fee is required to secure your booking, with the balance payable 2 weeks before the wedding.
What is included in your Fees?
There will be no unexpected add-ons to Ann's fee as all non-inclusive items will be agreed up-front.
Ann's fee is includes:
As many meetings/phone calls/ emails as required.
Help to write your vows if needed.
Help to personalize your wedding and give ideas.
Personally crafted ceremony scripting to include the legal obligations as well as your own personal requirements.
Any rituals you would like to include: eg. Candle lighting, balloons, hand-fasting, exchange of flowers (roses) or gifts etc. I CAN also provide some items needed for these rituals (eg candle holders, candles, ribbons).
A rehearsal at the venue or other convenient location (venue is preferred).
Travel time/costs up to 100km for each round trip (I may charge for excess mileage but this will be agreed upfront).
All paperwork requirements to ensure you meet all the legal requirements.
Signing table decoration.
Signing table & chairs if required.
A presentation Marriage Certificate.
A copy of the script for your ceremony.
Submission of all documentation to BDM.
Assistance in applying for your Marriage Certificate with BDM and lodging the application with the documentation that has to be submitted by your celebrant to register your wedding.
Any other help or guidance you may need or want.
Copyright protection and APRA commercial music performance exemption.
Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance cover.
What is NOT included in your Fees?
Generally, costume hire for fancy dress/themed weddings.
Usually (although there are some items that Ann will provide which can be discussed at your meeting) items for any special rituals, eg balloons, love letter boxes, padlocks, flowers, gifts, butterflies, doves etc.
Venue costs, Park Permits
Floral Archways, Flags, Balloons, ‘Red Carpet’ style aisle, Shade covers.
Cost of special activities such as Abseiling etc.
Order of ceremony leaflets for guests.
Generally, travel costs over 100km for each round trip (In some circumstances these may be included in your fee as discussed).
Generally, Interstate travel & accommodation costs (In some circumstances I will include these costs in your fee which will be discussed with you).
Fee for your official marriage certificate from BDM.
What happens now?
How about getting together with Ann for a cuppa and chat... Just give Ann a call to set up your free first meeting on 0459 739 450