You've made the decision to love, support and commit to each other as life long partners. Now to plan your wedding. But it's not simply about the venue, caterers, musicians, invitations, bridal dresses, groom suits and wedding attendants...
There are legal steps that must be followed for a marriage to be solemnised according to Australian law. That's where the celebrant steps in. Apart from creating a ceremony tailored to your needs, it is my role and responsibility to ensure all processes are implemented for a marriage to be valid.
Here is a brief overview on planning your marriage ceremony.
After our initial contact, you've chosen me as your celebrant. Hooray! In preparation for the next meeting, I will outline information you will need to provide beforehand and bring along on the day. Such information will include proof of identity, date and place of birth, etc. If you don't have some documents immediately on hand, I can advise you on steps to take to access these.
At the meeting, we will be signing a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). A NOIM can be lodged at a minimum of one month or a maximum of 18 months prior to the proposed marriage date. In amongst this will be cups of tea, getting to know more about each other, your story, and your ceremony ideas and plans so far. If you are stumped for ideas, not to worry. That's what I'm here for - to help you. I will be providing you with an information kit which has lots of tips and advice on planning your ceremony. Depending on timeline, you'll usually receive this kit prior to the day upon securing our booking.
Upon consultation, I will compose your ceremony. Throughout this period of creative process, there will opportunity to consult by email or phone to discuss any changes required. As a guide, your final ceremony script is complete a couple of weeks before the wedding.
Now is the time we meet again to discuss the ceremony and ensure everything is on track, regarding both the creative and logistical elements of the day.
You will also be required to complete a Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage prior to the wedding date. This form is a component of the official Certificate of Marriage.
Many couples choose to have a rehearsal before the wedding date. This is optional and may depend on how simple or intricate you wish your ceremony to be. The ceremony is not performed at this time. It is simply a chance for all members of the wedding party to know their roles, places and the order of events that will occur on the day.
This is your big day where you are publicly declaring your love and life long commitment to one another. There are two legal components – the Monitum and the Vows – which must be incorporated into the ceremony to solemnise a marriage according to Australian law. Beyond these requirements, you have had the freedom to make the ceremony uniquely personal, expressive and representative of whom you are as a couple. The final seal (along with a kiss) is to sign the marriage certificates with your two chosen witnesses. Now to celebrate your new unity and rejoice with family and friends.
Every couple is different. Ceremony fees can vary and are influenced by many factors such as: specific needs; budget; how intricate the ceremony will be; and the time involved to consult, plan, write and perform a ceremony or celebration. These factors are taken into consideration at the start, ensuring there will be no hidden extra charges beyond the agreed booking fee.
Registry style weddings are available to those who simply want a no fuss, short and sweet ceremony. This type of ceremony held on a weekday can be a very economical option.