Beyond the flowers, dresses and finding an affordable reception venue, there is a very important aspect to your wedding day and that is the marriage. Obviously that’s the part where I carry most of the responsibility. The Attorney General’s office has just released some updated guidelines for civil celebrants like myself and I wanted to share a few points from these documents on the blog.

  • One of the more boring aspects prior to your wedding day is this guideline “It is critical to your role to make sure that everything is done according to the Marriage Act and the Marriage Regulations and take all necessary steps to make sure the marriage will be valid.”. That’s why I’ll ask you some questions when we first meet like your age and if you’ve been married before.
  • “The Marriage Act defines marriage as ‘the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life’”. So despite anyone’s personal views on same-sex marriage, the law today states it is between a man and a woman. A worthwhile note here is that the law does not exclude people of other nationalities, as long as you meet the Marriage Act 1961 requirements you can be married in Australia.
  • The guidelines also state that if you’re unhappy with my service you can make a complaint to the Attorney General’s office here http://www.ag.gov.au
  • All Commonwealth-registered celebrant’s like myself must undergo at least 5 hours of ongoing professional development each year, so you know that we’re always learning and always striving to make your wedding day better!
  • Notice of a wedding must be given at least one month before the wedding day to your celebrant. This is the law in relation to submitting a NOIM form but you shouldn’t assume that you can leave the wedding planning too late!
    • In special circumstances the one month notice can be wavered, for example if the couple had employment related or other travel commitments, wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations, medical reasons, legal proceedings, or an error in giving notice.
    • And just to prove that the government is up with the times I cannot receive an NOIM via “Skype or an iPad” lol
  • The Marriage Act allows other people to run a ceremony under my supervision, but I do not have to accept this situation and the validity of the marriage is my responsibility. So basically, if your unregistered Uncle who used to be a priest wants to marry you but he isn’t authorised by law, I can let him run the ceremony with my supervision.

There’s plenty more but I thought I’d just share a few points to let you know about the behind-the-scenes legislation in your marriage! For more info go straight to the source. http://www.ag.gov.au/celebrants