FAQ

How do make a booking/ inquire about availability?

Call, text or email me. Here’s my contact page.

What do civil marriage celebrants do?

Civil marriage celebrants officiate over wedding ceremonies, but are not ministers of religion. The job involves: planning your ceremony, helping you with the forms, being there on the day, then doing a bit more behind-the-scenes paperwork.

Is this your full-time job?

No, I also work in the environmental field.

How much do you charge?

Please see information on fees here.

Are you a wedding planner and do you hire equipment?

No, sorry.

 

What about the signing table?

If you need one, I provide a signing table and tablecloth, free of charge.

 

Do we need to do pre-marriage counselling?

No, that is not required. However, it is worth considering!

When can we get married?

One month is the minimum time between lodging the paperwork and the wedding ceremony.

But we need to get married now.

Under exceptional and highly specific circumstances listed in the Marriage Act 1961, waiting time may sometimes be shortened. You need to apply to the prescribed authority. It’s not up to the celebrant.

What paperwork is required?

Most important: lodge a Notice of Intent To Marry form with your celebrant at least one month before your wedding day. You can download a copy of the NOIM , or I can post one to you. I can help you fill out the form and will legally witness your signature. You need to show your celebrant some supporting documents when you lodge the form:

  • proof of ID (e.g. driver’s licence)
  • proof of birth date and place (birth certificate or passport)

and

  • if you are divorced, proof of divorce, (document from the court)
  • if you are widowed,proof of previous spouses’ death (death certificate)

I inspect, but do not keep your ID documents.

What is the statutory declaration?

Before the wedding, you need to sign a form declaring that you are not currently married, and there is no other legal impediment. The wording is supplied, you just need to read and sign it.

What do we need to say/do in our ceremony?

Your ceremony can be long or short, but legally needs to include:

CELEBRANT: I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.

GROOM: I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [Groom with last name], take you, [Bride with last name], to be my lawful wedded wife*.

BRIDE: I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [Bride with last name], take you, [Groom with last name], to be my lawful wedded husband.*

And that’s it! The rest of the ceremony is put together with your input, according to your preferences.

[ *Some minor vow variations are permitted. ‘Thee’ can be substituted for ‘you’, ‘spouse’ can be substituted for ‘bride’ or ‘groom’ etc]

Who signs the certificates?

After the ceremony, bride, groom, celebrant and two witnesses sign the official marriage certificates. They are often the best man and bridesmaid, but can be anyone at the ceremony who is 18+ years old.

How do we get our certificate(s) of marriage?

At the ceremony, you receive a presentation copy of your marriage certificate. This is an important legal document, please store it somewhere safe. Other paperwork from the day is taken care of by your celebrant.

It’s a good idea to get a second marriage certificate officially issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages. In particular, you will need the BDM certificate if you want to change your surname.

My friends X and Y did this cool thing at their wedding. Can we do that too?

Sure! Let me know what would work for you.

Can our ceremony have religious aspects like a prayer or blessing?

Of course.

We’re not religious.

That’s also fine. In fact, that’s the reason why civil celebrants exist. Celebrants are also a good choice for mixed-faith couples.

What side do the brides’/ grooms’ guests sit on?

Where ever you like. Most couples prefer not to specify.

Can we write our own vows?

Yes, just include the legal minimum vow mentioned earlier.

How do I change my name?

You can change your surname or keep your old one. Changing your surname is not automatic and not part of the wedding. If you decide to change your surname, have a look at this information from Births, Deaths and Marriages

What about rings and ” I do” ?

Exchanging rings and saying ”I do” are not legally required. They are beautiful traditions, but you need not include them in your wedding, unless you want to.

Do you need to be qualified to be a celebrant?

Yes. We undergo Cert IV training and also do yearly ongoing professional development. After training, marriage celebrants must be registered with the Commonwealth. Which I am, of course! You can find me, Katherine Taylor, on the register of Western Australian celebrants.

I have a legal question.

Look at the Australian Attorney General Department’s page on marriage in Australia for official, up-to-date information on marriage. There is also a link to the formal complaints procedure.

If you need further legal advice, please contact a suitably qualified person.