All the questions you may have about your civil wedding ceremony
How long before the wedding ceremony should we book a civil marriage celebrant?
I recommend you contact a civil marriage celebrant at least 6 months before your wedding day, particularly during the summer season as experienced civil wedding celebrants get booked out. On the admin side of things, a Notice of Intended Marriage MUST be delivered to your civil marriage celebrant at least 30 days before your wedding ceremony.
My partner is overseas and not arriving until the wedding ceremony. Is that a problem?
Not a problem. By law a civil marriage celebrant must witness at least one member of the engaged couple’s signature 30 days prior to the wedding ceremony. The other partner’s signature can be obtained on the day of the wedding ceremony at the latest.
What identification do we need to provide in preparation for the civil marriage ceremony?
Both of you will need to provide EITHER your passports or your birth certificate translated in English. You will need to also provide divorce papers if appropriate. You can send me these documents by scan, email or even send me a screen shot if that’s easier. As an authorised civil wedding celebrant, I must visually witness the original documents at some stage before the wedding ceremony.
What paperwork do we need to complete prior to the civil marriage ceremony?
The wedding celebrant will help you complete the Notice of Intended Marriage and The Declaration documents.
On the wedding day, you will only have to sign the Certificate of Marriage.
How many witnesses do we need for a civil wedding ceremony? And who can be a witness?
The Bride and Groom both need ONE witness each for the civil wedding ceremony to be binding. And you can choose anyone who actually knows you and who is over the age of 18 years. They do not have to be Australian citizens.
How many times will we meet before the wedding ceremony?
In general, I meet with couple about 4 times.
During our very first meet and greet, we will discuss your wedding ceremony wishes and how a civil marriage is officated.
We will meet a second time to sign the Notice of Intended Marriage.
We will then meet a third time to do a wedding ceremony rehearsal if you wish to.
And lastly we will meet on the Big Day.
Can we write our own wedding vows?
Of course! There is one line by Australian law that each person must recite during the civil marriage ceremony.
The rest of the wedding vows can be written by you or if you are not feeling poetic, you can leave it all to me.
Your wedding vows can be the same as each other or you can email me privately your own vows to surprise your future spouse on the big day.
We are living overseas but would love to get married in Sydney. Is that possible?
This is a great idea! Sydney is quite a popular wedding destination for Europeans, Americans and Chinese couples who want to get married in Australia. The good news is anyone can marry in Australia, whether you were born here or in another country. You do not have to be an Australian citizen nor do you need to live here as long as you are both over 18 years old.
As a civil marriage celebrant, I will be able to help you prepare for your wedding ceremony in Sydney. All the necessary arrangements prior to your wedding ceremony can be arranged via email, phone, or Skype from your home country.
You will have to check with your local authorities for the full details of recognition of marriage in your home country. Some countries require a special stamp which needs to be obtained at your country’s Consulate in Sydney, before you leave Australia – it cannot be done when you arrive home.
What is included in your marriage celebrant fee?
My basic fee includes :
Unlimited conversations via phone or e-mail
Travel to & from the ceremony venue for 1 rehearsal and on the day within 45 kilometres of my home
Creation and performance of a personalised and unique civil marriage ceremony with a personalised wedding ceremony script
- Advice on readings, commitment vows, wedding vows, etc
Advice, research and performance of rituals and traditions
Wedding ceremony rehearsal (if you wish to)
Use of my ‘signing’ table, white fitted tablecloth and 2 white chairs (if requested) and my PA system
All guidance throughout the ceremony process
- A commemorative Marriage Certificate (signed on the day)
A ceremony beautifully delivered with elegance and articulation. It is my passion to engage everyone at your ceremony and not simply read from a piece of paper.
Lodgement of all legal documentation with the Department of Births, Deaths & Marriages of NSW
and of course professionalism and high quality attire, appropriate to your wedding ceremony and your preference
*Please note my fee does not include the application for the Official Marriage Certificate from the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
How long before the wedding ceremony will you arrive?
I generally arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the wedding ceremony to allow time to set up equipment but more importantly to ease the nerves of the bride and groom separately. I usually stay with the bride until she is ready to enter!
Can we organise a wedding ceremony rehearsal?
Of course…I usually advise we organise a wedding ceremony rehearsal a week before the wedding day so the ceremony is fresh in everyone's mind. This also allows for interstate bridal party guests to be present at the rehearsal.
Do you use a PA system?
Yes, I have a state of the art PA system that is loud enough to be heard with at least 150 guests in attendance. Using my PA system you can use your ipod / iphone / ipad (creating a wedding playlist with all songs labeled clearly) or you can burn music onto a CD.
And I can personally man the music for you should you wish to.
Where in Sydney do you officiate civil wedding ceremonies?
I conduct civil marriage ceremonies, commitment ceremonies, naming day ceremonies, renewal of vows ceremonies and funeral ceremonies across metropolitan Sydney including: Sydney city, the inner west, eastern suburbs, north shore, northern beaches and western suburbs. If your wedding ceremony is located 45 minutes away from Sydney CBD, I may add a slight travel charge to my fee if travel is over 45 minutes.
As a Sydney local, I am conveniently located for couples living in Manly, Palm Beach, Curl Curl, Dee Why, Collaroy, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, Warriewood, Newport and Avalon. I can also travel to Hornsby, Killara, Lindfield, Turramurra, Wahroonga, Pymble, Roseville, St Ives, Artarmon, Cammeray, Castle Cove, Castlecrag, Chatswood, Cremorne, Crows Nest, Willoughby, Hunters Hill, Kirribilli, Lane Cove, Lavender Bay, McMahons Point, Middle Cove, Milsons Point, Mosman, Naremburn, Neutral Bay, North Sydney, Northbridge, Northwood, Riverview, St Leonards, Greenwich, Waverton, Willoughby, Balmoral, Beauty Point, Blues Point, Clifton Gardens and The Spit.
How long after the wedding ceremony will we be able to get an OFFICIAL marriage certificate?
I will lodge your marriage paperwork with the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages generally a day after your wedding ceremony.
And usually you can apply online for the Official Marriage Certificate approx 2 weeks after the wedding ceremony.
If you need a marriage certificate urgently, you can visit the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages located in Chippendale or Parramatta. An additional fee is required to get a sped up Certificate.