Frequently asked questions
What does the Celebrant do?
I attend to all your legal paperwork, assist you to write and arrange a ceremony to suit your needs and solemnise your marriage.
When do I need to book the Celebrant?
Most professional Celebrants are busy, so please book me as soon as you have decided on your date, time and venue. You are advised to book as soon as you can. Call today for an obligation-free appointment. If you would like to discuss your wedding or event.
What are our first steps?
What are the legal obligations?
What do I do if I can't find my documents?
If you were born in Australia , you can obtain a copy of your Birth Certificate (and if applicable, the Death Certificate of former spouse) from Births, Deaths & Marriages, in the state in which you were born.
The Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages in Victoria
GPO Box 4332,
Melbourne VIC 3001
Local: 1300 369 367 (from within Australia)
International: + 61 3 9613 5111 (from outside Australia only)
Customer Service Centre (CSC) Ground floor, 595 Collins Street Melbourne (near Southern Cross Station)
If you have divorced and need a copy of your Divorce Decree Absolute, then this can be obtained from the Family Law Court in the state in which the marriage was dissolved.
Where can we get married?
You can get married anywhere; a hall, a beach, your house, a garden – the choice is up to you.
We have no idea how to start writing our ceremony. Where do we begin? You're in good company - most couples are in exactly the same situation! I have compiled a helpful 27 page booklet containing a suggested format for the ceremony, Sample Ceremonies, lots of ideas for your Vows, Ring Exchange, Readings, beautiful Customs and Traditions, ways of including others (friends, family, children) in the ceremony, etc. Of course, you are not restricted to use only my suggestions - it's great if you have your own ideas. When we meet to discuss your wedding day, I will get a feel for what kind of day you are planning and, based on my experience, can make suggestions for your ceremony that will fit into your plans.
Can I Write My Own Vows?
Of course you can - in fact, you can write the entire ceremony yourself, if you wish. However, you need to be aware that some specific vows must be stated as part of the marriage vows, and you must incorporate those into your ceremony. I can provide further guidance on this.
Can we choose spiritual or religious wording for our ceremony?
Yes. You are welcome to include any wording you feel reflects your beliefs or way of life.
Do we have to attend any pre-marital courses?
No. However, all Celebrants have course information should you wish to attend. I recommend: Relationships Australia 1300 364 277
What will you wear?
Accordingly to suit the formality/informality of your wedding- Elegantly, appropriately and relatively neutral. It's your day not mine. It is my intention to compliment the bridal party.
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.
Who can I have as my witnesses?
Anyone you like providing they are over the age of 18 years. They may be from overseas.
How long will the Ceremony take?
The average time is 15 – 20 minutes but this may vary depending on how many readings/poems etc. you include.
Why do Celebrants all charge different prices for Weddings?
Our activities are regulated federally, but prices are not because of the Trade Practices Act. Each celebrant is therefore able to set their own fees and charges for the services they provide.
I need to marry quickly - do I have to wait a month?
There are some special circumstances which enable you to obtain permission to marry under the month's notice period. Contact me for further information about how to do this.
My Fiance lives overseas - What do we need to do?
If you live here, you can lodge the Notice of Intended Marriage with a registered celebrant, and your fiancé can complete the papers when he/she arrives after gaining a visa.
What happens if we need to use an interpreter?
As I only conduct ceremonies in the English language, an interpreter will be needed in situations where either the couple or their official witnesses do not speak/understand English fluently. The couple/witnesses must fully understand what is taking place in the marriage ceremony, and what they are committing themselves to by saying vows and signing papers. If they don't, the marriage could be declared invalid and the celebrant could face legal and disciplinary action. An interpreter works with the celebrant to ensure the celebrant meets his/her legal obligations in conducting a valid marriage ceremony for non-English speaking couples/witnesses. Where possible, the interpreter should be an accredited interpreter through NAATI or other official agency. Where family/friends act as interpreters, it's difficult for the celebrant to know if the interpreter is doing the job properly. Formal paperwork has to be signed by the interpreter as part of their role in the ceremony.
What Happens If You Cannot Perform Our Ceremony On The Day?
In the event that I am unable to conduct the ceremony due to illness or other circumstances, I or my family will arrange for an alternative celebrant to conduct the ceremony in my place, at my expense. The alternative celebrant will be someone who possesses a high standard of skill and presentation, who I know personally, and am confident that they will do a great job.
How Do I Change My Name After Marrying?
Although you receive a Marriage Certificate at your wedding, you CANNOT use this to change your name because it is not one of the Federal Government's approved primary identification documents. This is because only the couple's names are on the certificate, and people have been known to marry using names that are not their legal names. Therefore, you need to order a Registered Copy of the Marriage Certificate from the Registering Authority of the state/territory in which you married.
What name does the bride sign on the day of the Wedding?
Her maiden name on all documentation. What name should the bride use when booking travel/ honeymoon reservations? 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.
*Please contact me directly if you need further information or your question is not answered here.