Judy Spencer's Celebrant Services

Weddings - Faqs

We have decided to get married. What’s the first thing we need to do for the ceremony?

The first thing I suggest you do is decide on your date and book your celebrant. We are busy people and there are times across the year where weddings are very popular events as are other ceremonies too, so it is better to make sure your celebrant of choice is available.

Then you need to complete a Notice of Intention to Marry (a NOIM). This legal form needs to be done at least one month before you get married and no earlier than 18 months before you get married. Generally Celebrants will complete it with you and that’s something I provide and do with you at the first meeting.

As part of completing the NOIM you must show me your original birth certificate or Australian passport if you were born in Australia. So if you don’t have your birth certificate handy you will need to get it from the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages in the state you were born.

If you were born overseas and do not have an original birth certificate, then a current overseas passport will be accepted. Certificates of Australian Citizenship or Australian passports are not sufficient. If you do not have either an overseas passport or a birth certificate, despite every effort to either find or obtain them, then we can complete a Statutory Declaration.

What happens if I have been married before?

For people who are divorced, I need to see the original Decree Absolute before you can get married again.

If your former wife or husband has died then I need to see the original death certificate, again before I can legally marry you.

What legal things have to happen?

  • You must be 18 or over to get married. (If you are under 18 and are wanting to get married there is a legal and court process required before it may be possible).
  • Two witnesses who are also 18 or over are needed.
  • You are required to give one month and one day's notice before you get married.
  • The celebrant needs to see your original birth certificate if you are Australian, an overseas passport or original birth certificate if you were born overseas.
  • You need to complete a NOIM and three certificates of marriage.
  • The Celebrant must send the Marriage Certificate to the local Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages within 14 days of you being married.
  • The Celebrant must also keep a Marriage Certificate for their records.
  • If you have been married before an original Decree Absolute is needed.
  • If you have been married before and your partner has died, the Celebrant needs to see the original Death Certificate.

Should we have a rehearsal?

In short, the answer is yes! I really encourage couples to have a rehearsal to iron out any last minute changes to the ceremony, where you will stand etc and importantly to complete most of the forms prior to the wedding.

I also like to have my payment finalised at that time. The rehearsal is included in my costs.

What are the costs?

Weddings are generally around $550 to $650 and that includes all costs: all preparation (remember, I pride myself on writing every ceremony from scratch) all communication, all meetings, the rehearsal, use of my PA system if required, book of readings and possible vows, forms including the presentation certificate and copy of the wedding ceremony and usually all travel and parking.

If you are looking for something really simple that just involves you and two witnesses then my costs will be less and I would be happy to talk that through with you.

Last Updated: 23/04/2015