Frequenty Asked Questions

Wedding Celebrant Frequently Asked Questions...

As you can imagine, I work with couples from all over Australia and some from overseas, who, for many reasons, have lots of questions that need to be answered as they head towards their wedding ceremony.

I have put together the most frequently asked questions, and hopefully, they will also answer any questions that you may have.

  • Who can witness the Notice of Intended Marriage?

    If you are in Australia:

    • 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 practitioner (this means a licenced practitioner with the Medical Board of Australia eg, doctor).

    This does not include registered nurses, dentists, physiotherapists or pharmacists or a member of the Australian Federal Police or the police force of a State or Territory.

    If you are overseas:

    • an Australian Diplomatic Officer
    • an Australian Consular Officer
    • a notary public
    • an employee of the Commonwealth authorized under paragraph 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955
    • an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorised under paragraph 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955.
  • What form of ID do I need to show to my celebrant?

    A celebrant needs to see each person’s driver’s licence and either their birth certificates or current passports.

    If one or both of the parties have been married before, the celebrant will need to see paperwork proving that the previous marriage no longer exists.

  • Do you have to have someone “give you away”?

    No, not at all.

    You can walk down the aisle by yourself, with your partner, or both of you can be standing with the celebrant when the ceremony begins.

  • How many witnesses do you need and who can be your witnesses?

    By law, you are required to have two witnesses, and both must be over 18 years of age.

    Your witnesses can be anyone that you choose, either from your bridal parties or any two guests.

  • Do we need to have bridal parties?

    I’m finding that many couples choose not to have bridal parties. It is really a personal choice.

  • Can our children be involved in the ceremony?

    A special part of the ceremony can talk about the family unit and how your wedding has now strengthened this unit.

    Depending on their age, the children sometimes read something that they have written, or they can be asked if they give their blessing for the marriage (don’t worry; they always say yes).

  • Do we have to write our own vows?

    No, you don’t have to write your own vows, but you are required by law to read the legal vows, which are:

    “I call upon the people here present to witness that I FULL NAME take you FULL NAME as my lawful wife/husband/spouse/partner.”

  • How do we get our Official Marriage Certificate?

    I will notify BDM that you wish to apply for the OMC.

    After they have checked all the paperwork from the ceremony, they will contact you and ask you for a payment of approximately $55.

    They will then send the certificate to your home address.

  • How do I change my surname after I’m married?

    It is just a matter of you taking the OMC to the bank, motor registration branch or passport office, wherever you want your name changed, show them the OMC, and they will change your name on your documents.

Glenys Searle - Marriage Celebrant FAQ

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