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Components of the ceremony

Notice of Intended Marriage must be completed and lodged with the celebrant who is performing the ceremony at least one calendar month, but no more than 18 months, before the preferred date of marriage. The Notice of Intended Marriage form is always available from the proposed celebrant. 

The marriageable age in Australia is 18 years. Persons who wish to be married and are under 18 years of age should contact the Registry or their celebrant for further information regarding the legal requirements. The couple must show the proposed celebrant documentary proof that they are 18 years old or older. That evidence must be a birth certificate or passport. The celebrant may also need to see a driver’s licence or other identification to support the information given on the Notice of Intended Marriage form.

If either person has been married before, that person must show the celebrant proof that they are free to remarry. That proof is usually evidence of divorce or a death certificate. All documents not in English require translation into English by an accredited translator (NAATI accredited).

You have the choice of most inclusions/exclusions and structure of your ceremony, but in Australia the Marriage Act 1961prescribes certain words must be spoken for your Marriage to be Legal.

  • Your Celebrant must introduce him/herself.

  • Your full names must be spoken once during the ceremony.

  • The words of the Monitum must be said before your legal vows.



“My name is….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 witness, 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 two people, to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life.”

Very few of these words can be substituted.

Your Legal Vow must be said to each other

“I call upon the people here present to witness that I (name) take you (name) to be my lawful wedded husband/wife/spouse/partner in marriage.”  

You may omit the word lawful or wedded but not both

Your personal vows can precede or follow your legal vow.

Your personal vows must not devalue your legal vow.


If the words of the Monitum and Legal Vows are not spoken at your ceremony your marriage will not be valid.

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