WHERE CAN I GET MARRIED IN AUSTRALIA?


This one of the endless possibility of things you can do when you get married in Australia.

In simple terms, Civil Marriage Celebrants are permitted to conduct Marriage Ceremonies anywhere, and at any time, within Australia or it’s Territories and it also includes the territorial sea of Australia and the airspace over such land and sea (see Note 1 below).

Despite all the things you need to think about when planning the location of your wedding (see below).

With careful planning you can have a wonderful ceremony on land, on water, at sea or in the air.

Your marriage ceremony is more likely to go ahead as planned than not.

With a good support team and network any changes to your plan will be easily accommodated.

At the end of the day you will remember your wedding day as the day you married your soul mate and celebrated with family and friends. HAVE FUN AND ENJOY YOUR DAY WHEREVER IT TAKES YOU

2. What locations can you use for your wedding ceremony? Remember, that wherever you get married, you have to have two witnesses over 18 and all those present must be able to hear the ceremony.

2.1 ON LAND.

Anywhere you can think of: for example park, beach, beach foreshore, backyard, event venue, mountaintop, abseiling, mountain climbing, restaurant/cafe, private dwelling, giant ferris wheel, theme park, museum, art gallery, shop, ruin, national park, zoo, cave, train, river, lake, pier, etc. The list is as endless as your imagination! email me and let me know what other locations you can think of that I can add to the list, ann@annrickettscelebrant.com.au

Be aware that your preferred location might require permissions and/or permits and possibly fees.

2.2 AT SEA.

In Australian Territorial Waters you can get married in anything from a small craft to a huge ocean liner. However, most Cruise Lines only permit marriages to take place at the dock before the cruise ship sails (this effectively makes the location of the marriage “on land”).

If at sea, the captain of the vessel can confirm that the vessel is within Australian Territorial Waters and provide GPS coordinates which, when entered into Google Earth, can determine the exact location of the ceremony (when vows are spoken)

Be aware that your preferred location might require permissions and/or permits and possibly fees.

2.3 IN THE AIR.

You can get married in anything from a small aircraft to a large commercial aircraft, hot air balloon or similar. As with vessels at sea, the captain can confirm the aircraft’s location and GPS coordinates.

Be aware that your preferred location might require permissions and/or permits and possibly fees.

3. You’ve chosen your location, got all required permits/permissions and paid all fees so you’re good to go! Not quite. Let’s talk SAFETY.

As the Marriage Celebrant it is my final responsibility to decide whether a ceremony can be conducted safely, legally and professionally. This particularly applies to wild weather, locations in out of the way places on land and to all ceremonies at sea or in the air.

3.1 ON LAND.

For internal locations:

Heat - if necessary: make sure there is enough drinking water, think about providing little fans as wedding favours, open windows and doors to keep the air circulating, think about using pedestal fans or air-conditioners.

Cold & Wet – have somewhere to store umbrellas, provide warming drinks and blankets

Don’t forget it’s as important to keep the bridal party safe and comfortable as it is to keep guests safe and comfortable.

For external locations a Plan B is a MUST. To the problem of heat and cold can be added the problems of:

Sunshine – some options; adjust the ceremony space (make maximum use of shade and try and ensure no one is looking directly into the sun), provide shade for the ceremony or to one side for pre and post ceremony, provide shade hats and/or sunglasses, (individual umbrellas for guests generally, leads to limited vision for some), provide sunscreen,

Insects – use insect repellent spray, candles or flowers.

Wind – be careful of floaty dresses, make sure everything is secured (gazebos, arbours, tables, chairs, decorations etc), be aware that the wind can affect the efficiency of the PA system possibly making it difficult for everyone to hear the ceremony (as is required).

Rain – preferably use plan B (pre-plan chains of communication), have plenty of umbrellas, have head to toe rain covers for bridal party’s outfits, use garbage bags to store wet/spare clothes, think about using appropriate footwear, be aware not all marquees are completely rain proof, think about safety and accessibility for disabled/elderly guests.

Potential Storms – Use Plan B

In out of the way places on water (for marriages at sea, see below):

All previous notes apply.

Undertake a risk assessment.

Check whether there are any insurance implications.

Observe all instructions from the designated safety officer

3.2 AT SEA, generally these will be on potentially unstable platforms and in confined spaces.

Have a plan B

Undertake a risk assessment.

Check whether there are any insurance implications.

Observe all instructions from the crew

The use of some symbols might not be appropriate (animals, candles and heat, fluids etc)

Other potential hazards are excessive movement; motion sickness; balance; noise, wind, waves and rough seas; dehydration; sun, heat, cold; need for lifejackets/seatbelts; fear of water or boats by Bridal Party, witnesses or guests.

Consider having the ceremony prior to departure or in a sheltered bay.

Listen to the guidance and advice of your Celebrant.

Be flexible, have fun.

3.3 IN THE AIR., generally these will be on potentially unstable platforms and in confined spaces.

Have a plan B

Undertake a risk assessment.

Check whether there are any insurance implications.

Observe all instructions from the crew

The use of some symbols might not be appropriate (animals, candles and heat, fluids etc)

Other potential hazards are motion sickness; balance; turbulence; noise; need for seatbelts; need for headsets (small aircraft); fear of flying or aircraft by Bridal Party, witnesses or guests; impact on other passengers.

Consider having the ceremony prior to departure.

Listen to the guidance and advice of your Celebrant.

Be flexible, have fun.

NOTE 1. What does the location description actually mean?

1.1 Firstly, “within Australia or it’s Territories” means within the Commonwealth of Australia which comprises the Australian Mainland, Tasmania and the 8,221 islands within Australia’s maritime borders AND Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island.

1.2 Secondly, if you are thinking of getting married at sea don’t worry overmuch about the boundaries of the territorial sea as the captain/crew of the vessel should know exactly where they are at any given moment, so skip over the following explanation if you are not really interested in the detail.

The “territorial sea” of Australia the belt of water not exceeding 12 nautical miles in width as measured from the territorial sea baseline, which normally corresponds with the low-water line along the coast of Australia. The baseline varies around the coast of Australia where there are, for example, reefs or fringing islands (eg. Hamilton Island and the Great Barrier Reef Islands).

The approximate location of Australia’s territorial sea baselines and the outer limits of the territorial sea are shown on appropriate Australian navigational charts. These charts are sourced from either the Australian Hydrographic Service (AHS) or an AHS distributor.

12 nautical miles = 22.224 metres (1 nautical mile = 1,852 metres )

(Seas and Submerged lands Act 1973 (Cth), Interpretations Act 1901(Cth). For further information. See Geoscience Australia, Australia’s Marine Jurisdiction available at http://www.ga.gov.au/scientific-topics/marine/jurisdiction).

This varies around the coast of Australia with inlets and bays. Territorial waters are marked clearly on the all maritime charts and must be referenced to ensure compliance with Australian territory.

1.3 Lastly, the height of Australian Airspace is not really an issue, when determining whether the location for a marriage in Australia is legal, as the vertical extent of Australian Airspace goes up to 60,000 feet above the earth’s surface and all commercial aircraft operate up to 43,000 feet.

If you’re planning on getting married in a rocket you might have to rethink!

HOWEVER, the aircraft must still be over Australia or it’s Territories or over Australian Territorial waters.

Again, don’t worry as the captain/crew of the aircraft should know exactly where they are at any given moment.

References: WWW, Wikipedia, Australian Celebrations Training ACT036.

Photographs courtesy of Wix Free Images, Larsson, Grazier Photography, Sneaky Photography by Melissa Ambrose, Philip Ricketts.

#Celebrant #Marriage #Ceremony #wedding

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