The Legal Stuff

What is the legal part of getting married?

This is the least fun part for couples, but also the essential part, because without it you won’t be legally married.

No cause for stress though as this is what you have employed your celebrant to know and take care of.

The first legal form that needs to be completed is a Notice of Intended Marriage, commonly referred to as the NOIM.

This has to lodged (which means completed, signed and with the celebrant) no earlier than 18 months and no later than one month before the date of the marriage.

To complete the NOIM, both parties need to provide the following documents to the celebrant, evidence of:

  • date and place of birth – an official (original) certificate of birth, or an official extract of an entry in an official register showing the date and place of birth of the party, or a passport issued by the Australian government or a government of an overseas country showing the date and place of birth of the party.
  • identity – at least one of the following documents with photo identification as evidence of your identity: a driver’s licence, a proof of age/photo card, an Australian or overseas passport, or a Certificate of Australian Citizenship along with another form of photographic evidence
  • the termination of any previous marriage, where relevant – if a widow or widower, a death certificate. If divorced, the actual certificate of divorce, decree absolute or overseas issued equivalent. An annulment, a decree of nullity is an order from the court (NOT a church annulment) stating that there is no legal marriage between the parties, even though a marriage ceremony may have taken place.

Sounds complicated but it isn’t really if you have your paperwork. Your celebrant is there to do it for you, you just need to bring the documentation.

Once the NOIM is completed signed and with your celebrant you can sit back and relax, well as far as the legal paperwork is concerned!


A week or so before the wedding  we then do to the next legal step, the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage. This is signed usually at the rehearsal, if there is one, if not at a meeting with your celebrant as close as possible to the wedding. This is to legally declare your conjugal status and that there is no legal reason you can’t get married. Both parties have to sign this with your celebrant as witness.


During the ceremony there are 126 legally required words to be said by the celebrant, the Monitum and the Legal Vows.

These can’t be changed or omitted.

You can write your own vows to say as well, but the words that have to be said are “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take thee, C.D. (or A.B.), to be my lawful wedded wife (husband or spouse)”…


At the ceremony there will be 3 certificates to sign. Two Official Certificates of Marriage, 1 for the celebrant to keep and 1 to send to Births, Deaths and Marriages, along with the NOIM and Declaration, and the Certificate of Marriage which is the pretty presentation certificate for you to keep.


Your celebrant will then send all the required forms to Births, Deaths and Marriages within 14 days of your wedding.