Frequently Asked Questions

What is a ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’ (NOIM) form?

If you decide to engage me as your celebrant, we will need to complete a “Notice of Intended Marriage” form, otherwise referred to as a NOIM, together at a meeting.

It is a four-page official form that you complete with your celebrant and it requires you both, as the bride and groom, to give personal details and states your intention to enter into marriage. This form is sent to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages after your marriage and the Registrar will use the information in the form to register your marriage.

Download the NOIM form here

What documents and proof of identity do I need at this meeting?
If you were born in Australia, you must provide an official birth certificate or an official extract from an official register (ie, not a copy. You can obtain an official birth certificate from the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State or Territory in which you were born.

If you were born overseas, you must produce a valid passport or birth certificate issued by the government of an overseas country, showing the date and place of your birth.

It is also advisable that you both bring along another form of identification, and the most suitable form of photo ID is your current driver’s licence.

If either of you has been married before, I will need to see evidence of how your most recent marriage ended. If you are a widow or widower, an original or certified copy of the Death Certificate of your spouse must be presented. In the case of divorce, I must see the Decree Absolute or Certificate of Divorce of your most recent marriage.

You should be aware that, under Australian law, I am not permitted to perform your marriage until I have sighted your original documents.

How much notice do we need to give before we get married?
You must complete the ‘Notice of Intended Marriage’ form no earlier than 18 months before your proposed wedding date and no later than one month and one day before the date of marriage. A shortening of time may be granted, under exceptional circumstances, but it is not automatic.
What happens in the event that we have to postpone our wedding?
The Notice of Intended Marriage is valid for 18 months, I am only too happy to reschedule the wedding with you.
Does a civil marriage ceremony have any religious content?
Usually not, but it’s entirely up to you as to what is included in your ceremony, so if it is important to you or someone in your family, then I would suggest incorporating a religious element such as a reading from the bible or a prayer into your ceremony.
Can I have a friend or family member read a poem at my wedding?
Yes, I would encourage this as it adds dimension to your Ceremony ensuring that your ceremony is personalised and unique to you and your partner.
How many poems or readings is the right amount?
This is personal, 1- 2 is appropriate and ensures that the Ceremony is not too long.
Can we include pieces of music?
Of course you can, music is a very strong, emotional “painter of the theme” for your day, and strongly encourage you to have music, either live or pre-recorded included in your special ceremony.

I am happy to assist you with music selections and I would suggest that you choose one piece for the processional or Bride’s entrance, one or two pieces to be played during the signing of the wedding certificates and a further piece for the celebration or recessional part of the ceremony.

How long will the Ceremony take?
The average time is 20-30 minutes but this may vary depending on how many readings/poems etc. you include.
Can we write our own vows?
Most definitely, I can assist you with these and, on the day, we will have them prepared on a small laminated card for you to read from (good idea, particularly if you are nervous)
How many witnesses do we need and how old must they be?
You need two witnesses, both 18 years of age or over, present at your wedding ceremony to sign the official documents. Although this role is open to anyone 18 or over, most couples choose their Bridesmaid and Best Man to act as witnesses.
What would happen if you were to get sick?
Unless I am on deaths door, I will attend to your Ceremony. In the event that I am too ill, I have a wonderful group of celebrants I can call on who would perform your ceremony.
What name does the bride sign on the day of the Wedding?
The Bride signs her maiden name on all documentation.
What name should the bride use when booking travel/ honeymoon reservations?
The Bride should use her maiden name as this is her legal name until after the Wedding day, once the Marriage has been registered with Births Deaths and Marriages.
How do I change my name after the marriage ceremony?

A bride can assume her husband’s name by marriage and does not require a formal application or process to do this.

On your wedding day, you will receive a certificate known as the ‘couple’s certificate’. This certificate is a keepsake document for your own records and may not be accepted as proof of marriage for official purposes, such as updating your driver licence, bank account or passport to your married name.

If you need a certificate as official proof of marriage, you can apply for a standard marriage certificate online visiting online.justice.vic.gov.au. Application fees apply.