Frequently Asked Questions about Weddings in Australia

Can we alter the ceremony in any way? 

Yes, together we can make your ceremony unique and personal; however there are a few things which must legally remain within the ceremony. I will encourage and assist you to create your own personal and special moment, which is a true reflection of your relationship and your own personalities, a moment which you will be able to reflect on in the years to come as your perfect moment.

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What information do we need to supply?

There are some legal documents which I need to see before the wedding: Birth Certificates if you were born in Australia, Foreign Passports if you were born overseas and Final Divorce Papers or Death Certificates if you have been married before.

Additionally, the more personal information you can give me about yourselves and your relationship, the more personal and intimate we can make your ceremony.

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How much notice must we give? 

You need to lodge your paperwork "NOIM" (Notice of Intended Marriage) with a celebrant, no later than 1 month before the chosen day for your wedding. It is possible to apply for a shortening of time, but this is only granted in extreme circumstances. This paperwork is valid for 18 months from the date lodged, so you can lodge it earlier. (Download NOIM PDF)

If you are having a Civil Partnership Ceremony, the paperwork must be lodged with a CPN and BDM no later than 10 days before the ceremony, but can be lodged up to 12 months before. (Download NOICP PDF)

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Do we require witnesses? 

You will require two witnesses to marry, these people must both be over 18 years of age and must be able to understand English as well as the concept of the ceremony. 

If you are having a Civil Partnership Ceremony, you will require 1 witness, this person must both be over 18 years of age and must be able to understand English as well as the concept of the ceremony.

If you are eloping, then I can assist in finding witnesses for you.

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Do we receive a certificate on the day? 

Yes you will receive a certificate on the day; this is now referred to as "The Keepsake Certificate". You will then need to apply to BDM for a government issued certificate, this is what you will use for proof of marriage with government organisations and banks.

If you are having a Civil Partnership Ceremony, you will receive a certificate on the day; this is referred to as "The Keepsake Certificate". You will then need to apply to BDM for a government issued certificate, this is what you will use for proof of your partnership with government organisations and banks.

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We are visiting from overseas, can we marry whilst on holiday? 

Yes you can marry whilst on holiday from another country as long as you give one month notice. Most countries will recognise an Australian Marriage from the government issued certificate; however in some cases you will need to have your certificate stamped with an Apostille from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, which I can assist with. 

If you are planning a Civil Partnership ceremony whilst on holiday, this will unfortunately not be possible, as one of you must be resident in Queensland in order to be eligible to register your partnership in Queensland.

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Can I organise a surprise wedding for my fiance? 

To surprise your fiance with a wonderful wedding, seems like a fabulous idea and this is a common question; but the simple answer is No.

The Attorney Generals office states that both parties must be aware of the proposed marriage, it is considered as a duress situation to surprise someone and the surprised party may feel obliged to participate when they ultimately may not wish to. 

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Do you perform ceremonies outside the Port Douglas area?

Yes I am happy to perform ceremonies anywhere between Cairns and Cape Tribulation or inland to Atherton at no extra charge. I also perform ceremonies further afield; however large distances are subject to expenses and travelling costs.

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How long will the ceremony be? 

That is up to you, your wedding ceremony can be long or short, it all depends on you. The typical ceremony is between 30 and 40 minutes long, anything less than 20 minutes and you may feel that it was all over too quickly.

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Can you organise other services for us?

I can give advice and information on local services to assist you in creating your perfect day; however in accordance with legislation from the Attorney Generals office I am not permitted to make any bookings for you.

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Does the ceremony have to be performed by an authorised marriage celebrant? 

Only an authorised Marriage Celebrant can solemnise a civil marriage ceremony; however it is possible for you to include members of your family or friends in the ceremony in many other ways.

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Are same sex weddings permitted in Australia? 

Unfortunately, same sex marriages are not yet legal in Australia. Currently it is possible to declare your union at a commitment ceremony. This is a ceremony which has all the intimacy and love as a civil marriage ceremony.

Queensland legislation has recently changed to recognise same sex unions, which means that your union can be registered with BDM Queensland as a legal partnership. This means that, as long as one of you lives in Queensland, you can have a Same Sex Civil Partnership Ceremony and have it registered with Births Deaths and Marriages.This change in legislation is a small but significant step along the road, which will ultimately lead to the inclusion and equality of same sex marriages into the marriage act of Australia.

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How many ceremonies do you perform each day? 

I only ever perform one ceremony per day, this allows me complete flexibility for you on your special day and you will know that I have only your requirements to think about. In addition, you will not have to concern yourself that I might be delayed somewhere else or if unforseen circumstances arise, I will not have to depart.

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How old do we have to be to marry? 

At least one of you must be 18 or over. If either of you are under 18 then you must apply for special permission to marry from a judge or magistrate.

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Are there any location restrictions in Port Douglas? 

You can marry in most locations in Port Douglas, venues and locations indoors are not subject to any restrictions as long as you have permission from the owner. Outside locations may be subject to permit requirements, for example beaches, foreshores and parks. There are only a couple of locations which are not eligible for permits and are non permissible as ceremony locations.