Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How much do you charge for a wedding?

A. I will discuss fees when I first speak to you, either by phone or in person at our first interview. Service for fees will be itemised so there will be no surprises.

Q. We just want a very simple wedding ceremony. Will your fee be the same?

A. In most cases, yes. The time spent preparing the legal paperwork is the same regardless of the format of the wedding. A small wedding takes about the same time as a large one to prepare and my overheads are the same no matter how many guests you have. If you decide to do away with an on-site rehearsal because the service is going to be very simple, a lower fee could be negotiated.

Q. What sort of notice do I need to give you for a wedding?

A. The process of getting married starts with the couple completing and lodging a Notice Of Intended Marriage( Form 13) with the celebrant. This must be done no earlier than 18 months ahead of the proposed wedding date and no later than one month ahead of the proposed wedding date.

Q.What official documents do I need to bring with me when we meet you?

A. For a Wedding you will need;

  • If born in Australia, an official certificate of birth or extract of entry of birth showing date and place of birth
  • If born overseas I will need to see your original birth certificate or a passport from the country of your birth.
  • Certificate of divorce (or decree absolute) or certificate of nullity if previously married
  • Certificate of death if previous spouse is deceased
  • If one of you is under the age of 18, a court order permitting the marriage and a consent form signed by the parents of the person under 18
  • Any documents not in English will require an official translation
  • If you have changed your name from the one that appears on your birth certificate, a Change Of Name Certificate for the name change to be verified .

Q. Where can we hold our ceremony?

A. Just about anywhere. Beaches, Reserves, Wedding Reception Restaurants. Keep in mind the weather. If you choose an outdoor venue ensure you have an indoor backup just in case of bad weather on the day. Check with the appropriate council if ceremonies are permitted in the area you choose.

Q. What if my fiancé is coming from overseas?

A. This makes things a bit more complex so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to organise things. I will tell you more about getting your Notice Of Intended Marriage( Form 13) filled out overseas and the relevant authorities who can witness this.

The same legal requirements apply for tourists or non resident Australians as for resident Australians. A marriage celebrant has no legal role as regards immigration matters. If immigration issues affect you and/or your fiancé, it’s a good idea to talk to a Migration Agent. Also to visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.

Q. Do we get a certificate on the day?

A. For Naming Days you will receive a beautiful certificate to keep. On your wedding day I will give you a presentation Certificate of Marriage (Form 15). It is important to note that many Government Departments won’t accept the Form 15 so it’s a good idea shortly after your marriage to apply for a Certificate of Marriage from the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages. I will supply the application form to you.

Q. Can we have a surprise wedding?

A. Yes, provided, the only people who are going to be surprised are the guests. Both parties must know they are getting married; you both must have filled out your Notice Of Intended Marriage (Form 13) in the allotted time and organised two witnesses over 18 to hear your vows and sign the official documents

Q. What about the witnesses.

A. The two witnesses play an important legal role in the ceremony. They are there to hear the celebrant declare their authority and the couple state their legal vows and sign the official marriage paperwork. They must be over 18 and, they need to know the couple.

Q. Do we need a rehearsal?

A. Not if you feel you are comfortable without one. I prefer to have an on-site rehearsal, except for the very simplest ceremonies. My years in the media have taught me that ‘Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance.” You want everything to go right on your day. A rehearsal will help this eventuate. Besides, it’s included in my fee if the venue falls within a designated area. As mentioned earlier, a lower fee may be negotiated in the case of a simple ceremony that doesn’t require an on-site rehearsal.

Q. Can we write our own vows?

A. Yes. As a matter of fact I think it really personalises the ceremony. Remember though, the celebrant and the Bride and Groom must say some specific words as part of their marriage vows in accordance with Section 45(2) of the Marriage Act 1961. All couples must state within their wedding ceremony the following vows:

“I call upon the persons here present to witness

That I, A B,

Take you, C D

To be my lawful wedded (husband/wife).”

 

Full names of the Bride and Groom must be used in the ceremony before the Vows.

Some minor changes can be accepted. Couples can choose to say anything else they like to supplement these vows, but the legal vows as worded above must be stated by each party to the marriage. This is vital.

Q. On the day what do you supply and what is our responsibility?

A. I will supply all the relevant documents for the legalities, A Watermark of Paris fountain pen for the signing, a state of the art sound system including headphone microphone for myself and remote microphone and stand for others. You should provide seating for your guests, music live or recorded and anything else you deem necessary for the service.

Q. Can we include religious and spiritual aspects in our ceremony?

A. Of course. I am happy to include prayers, blessings etc or you may like a family member or friend to be involved in this aspect of the ceremony.