You might remember years ago I hosted the world’s first Twitter wedding. Well Ikea have stepped up the game and have launched the extremely gimmicky, but a little bit cool and futuristic ‘Wedding Online‘. It’s all in Swedish, as is the video below.
I’m betting on this remaining a gimmick for 2015, but it won’t be long until a) the government needs to clarify ‘presence’ and b) this is a service offered by a non-furniture store. More on that below.
Can you host a wedding online?
The Commonwealth Marriage Act of 1961 states that ” A marriage shall be solemnised by or in the presence of an authorised celebrant who is authorised to solemnise marriages at the place where the marriage takes place” and that “A marriage shall not be solemnised unless at least 2 persons who are, or appear to the person solemnising the marriage to be, over the age of 18 years are present as witnesses.” There is other important stuff about the celebrant explaining what marriage is, and legal vows, but a marriage ceremony can happen at any time, in any place in Australia as long as notice has been given.
But as far as physical location goes, a marriage celebrant in Australia has the authority to marry on Australian land, territories, sea and air.
And as far as presence goes, I was “present” in a court recently over the telephone. The Australian justice system sees many people ‘present’ every day via video link and phone link.
I’m not going to argue this one too hard, you’re going to need a lawyer, but maybe an Australian legal marriage ceremony could include a bride, groom, two witnesses, and a celebrant that were all present, but not physically. I’ll leave that one for my legal friends. I couldn’t find a strict definition of present or presence in the Marriage Act of 1961 or in the Guidelines of the Marriage Act of 1961. If you have a clarification please email me and I’ll update this post!