Legal Requirements

Deborah Power

There are set legal requirements for weddings.

Some of these relate to documents which either you or the celebrant must complete, and others relate to the content of your wedding ceremony. The following gives you valuable information which you need to know.

Note: Where stated, all documents must be originals. Copies or certified copies are not acceptable.

This is a legal document that must be completed and signed by at least one of the parties one month before the wedding date. Both parties must sign the form prior to the wedding taking place.

When I send you an email to confirm our meeting time and place, I will also list all documents and information you will need to bring with you.

Under most circumstances, you can provide your passport as your identification document, along with your driver’s license.

If you have been previously married and are now divorced, you must provide the ORIGINAL Divorce Certificate.

If your previous spouse is deceased, you must provide their ORIGINAL Death Certificate.

If so, you must provide the ORIGINAL Change of Name Certificate/s.

You must provide the full names of your two witnesses. Your witnesses must be over the age of 18, attending the ceremony, and be prepared to sign the wedding documents as witnesses.

Additionally, your witnesses must be able to understand the legal components of the marriage clearly, therefore if either of your witnesses is deaf or does not understand English, you will need to arrange for an interpreter.

We can talk further about this during our first meeting to ensure you are clear on the legal requirements.

If you require a translator or an interpreter, you should source one through NAATI.

The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (trading as NAATI) is the national Standards and accreditation body for translators and interpreters in Australia. It is the only agency that issues accreditations for practitioners who wish to work in these professions in Australia.

There are two sections of a legal wedding that have specific wording which can not be changed.

The first is where I introduce myself as your celebrant and confirm I am duly authorised by law to carry out the marriage ceremony.

The second is mandatory wording for your vows, which is
“I call upon the persons here present to witness that I (name of person 1) take you (name of person 2) to be my lawful wedded (wife/husband/partner).”

You have great flexibility in the remainder of the ceremony, and we will discuss this during our first meeting.

The Declaration is a legal document which you sign, and I witness, and this must be completed before your marriage can take place.

The declaration states that there is no legal impediment to your marriage (i.e. there is no reason you cannot marry each other).