Wedding Ceremony Questions
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What forms are signed before the wedding
A. The Notice of Intention to Marry – (Formerly Form 13) (NOIM) is signed in front of your celebrant at any time between 18 months and 1 month before the ceremony date. (see below if unable to sign in front of celebrant)
The Declaration – (Formerly Form 14) is signed before the Ceremony, and as close to the ceremony as possible. It is declaring that the couple are willingly entering a marriage which is true and correct. Best time to sign the declaration is at the rehearsal.
Q What documentation do I need for the Notice of Intention to Marry
(a) evidence of the date and place of birth of bride and groom (this may be a birth certificate or your passport, Australian passports are now accepted)
(b) if a party is a divorced person or a widow or widower—evidence of that party’s divorce, or of the death of that party’s spouse. If a party has been divorced in Australia, the authorised celebrant should sight court evidence of the decree upon dissolution of marriage.
(c) you will also need to show the Celebrant photographic evidence of identity. E.g. Drivers Licence or Current poof of age cared or Current identification card displaying the cardholders photograph. If you are using your passport this will be enough.
Q. What if I live too far away for the Celebrant to sign my NOIM
A. The notice must be signed by each of the parties in the presence of an authorised celebrant, a Commissioner for Declarations under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959, a justice of the peace, a barrister or solicitor, a legally qualified medical pratitioner or a member of the Australian Federal Police or the police force of a State or Territory. You can then scan and email or fax the signed NOIM , to arrive to your celebrant one month before the marriage ceremony date. The Celebrant will need to see the original before the ceremony can take place.
Q. What if I live overseas, how do I get the NOIM signed
A. The notice must be signed by each of the parties in the presence of an Australian Diplomatic Officer, an Australian Consular Officer, an employee of the Commonwealth authorised under paragraph 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1055, an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorised under paragraph 3 (d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, or a notary public. You then post it to the Celebrant, preferably registered post, to arrive one month before the marriage ceremony date. The Celebrant will need to see the original before the ceremony can take place.
Q. What forms are signed on the day
A. 3 Forms are signed on the day. The Bride the Groom, the 2 witness (both 18 years or over) and the celebrant sign the Presentation Certificate (Form 15) as well as the Celebrants Marriage Register (Formerly Form 16) and the 2nd Certificate of Marriage (Formerly Form 16) on the back of the Declaration (Formerly Form 14)
Q. What certificates do the Bride and Groom get
A. Marriage Certificate – Form 15 is a Presentation Certificate, these days all numbered on the back, is given to you to keep on the day of the ceremony. Your celebrant can apply for your Marriages certificate online (Births Deaths and Marriages) once they have registered your marriage (this is the easiest way to get certificate). The cost of this application is currently $53. Once you receive this certificate you can go to places like Medicare and RTA to change your name. Medicare and RTA won't generally accept the Presentation Certificate (form 15) you receive at the ceremony they will want the certificate from Births Deaths and Marriages.
Check if the cost for the certificate is in the Celebrant fee or if you have to pay extra.
Q. How does the Marriage become registered
A. In NSW the celebrant can register your marriage online, (secure sight) after the ceremony. I still send in the original forms to Births Deaths and Marriages ie the NOIM, Declaration and the Certificate of Marriage (Formerly Form 16).
Q. On the wedding day do I sign my Maiden name or marriage name
A. Maiden name
Q. What happens to the NOIM once it’s signed
A. The NOIM stays with the celebrant and your celebrant uses the information on the NOIM to generate the rest of the Legal documents. Once the marriage has been registered the celebrant can scan it and keep it in their possession for 7 years or as I do send original to Births Deaths and Marriages.
Q. Does the Celebrant come to the reception
A. General rule is no, their role on the wedding day is complete once the ceremony is over.
Just a little something to remember, before you get to walk down the aisle or get to the reception something is very likely to go wrong at some point. Everyone has a story of something that went wrong at some pont in their wedding but the only things your guests will notice are the things you point out to them as wrong. If you keep smiling and act like you meant to have those blue bali flags (instead of the white ones) or the red cake with hundeds and thousands (instead of the white layer cake), if your guests don't know about it they won't be worried, and neither should you. Don’t let something small get in the way of remembering why you are there, to get married and have a wonderful memorable day. Enjoy every bit of it.