Getting married in Australia …the legal requirements made simple

Getting married in Australia the legal requirements

Australia is a popular destination for people wanting to get married, whether it be a local resident or a foreigner. If you are getting married in Australia, here are the key things you need to know about the legal requirements. Here are the key things you need to know about the legal requirements. These elements are the same in legals only/paperwork weddings, elopements or an all the bells and whistles wedding ceremony.

Legal Age Requirements When Getting married in Australia

When getting married in Australia, the legal age to get married is 18 years old. However, if you are 16 or 17 years old, you can still get married with parental consent and a court order. It’s important to note that same-sex marriages are also recognized and legalized in Australia.

Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)

Before getting married in Australia, both parties need to submit a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form to an authorized marriage celebrant at least one month before the wedding date. This can be done in person or through mail if you are not in Australia. I’d encourage you to discus this with an authorized marriage celebrant who can help you.

Required Documents When Getting Married in Australia

When submitting the NOIM, both parties will need to provide certain documents. These include proof of identity such as a birth certificate and driver’s license or passport. If applicable, you need to provide evidence of divorce or death of a previous spouse. These documents must be translated into English if they are in another language.


During the wedding ceremony, you will need two witnesses over the age of 18 to sign the marriage certificate. They can be family members or friends, and they do not necessarily have to be Australian residents.

Marriage Celebrant

Sydney Wedding Celebrant Michael JanzWhen getting married in Australia, only authorized marriage celebrants can perform legal weddings. These include religious ministers (who are authorised to marry), civil marriage celebrants, and some state-registered officers. Make sure to choose an authorised celebrant and confirm their availability for your desired wedding date.

Shortening of Time

In certain circumstances, couples can apply for a “Shortening of Time” to waive the standard one-month notice period for the wedding. To qualify, applicants must demonstrate exceptional circumstances such as employment-related or health reasons, wedding or celebration arrangements that cannot be changed, or legal matters. Approval is at the discretion of the prescribed authority and requires providing comprehensive evidence to support the request. You will need the assistance of an authorised Celebrant to apply for a “Shortening of Time”.

Registration of Marriage

After the wedding ceremony, your marriage celebrant will provide you with a “ ceremonial” certificate of marriage, This needs to be signed by both parties, the celebrant, and the witnesses. This certificate does not satisfy all aspects of legal proof of your marriage. Your authorised celebrant will register your marriage with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your State. Your celebrant can advise you or assist in applying for an “official” marriage certificate that can then be used as proof of marriage.

Changing Your Name

In Australia, there is no legal requirement for a person to change their last name after getting married. However, if you choose to do so, you can use your “official” marriage certificate as evidence to change your name on official documents such as your driver’s license, passport, and bank accounts.

Conclusion When Getting Married in Australia

Getting married in Australia is a simple process with the right paperwork and planning. Remember to start the process early by submitting the NOIM at least one month before your desired wedding date. Most importantly, enjoy this special moment with your partner and loved ones.  So, make sure to choose a celebrant who shares your vision for the ceremony and can help make it memorable for you and your guests.