Getting Married? Some FAQ

Thank you for coming to my web page.  I have retired as a Marriage Celebrant.

What are the legal obligations for marriage?

o You both must be over 18 years.
o Prior to the day of marriage, you need to complete the Notice of Intended Marriage form (supplied by me) at least 1 month and not more than 18 months prior to your wedding. This normally occurs at the first meeting. Bring along your Birth Certificates if born in Australia or your Passport if born overseas.
o If either of you has been previously married, bring along your Certificate of Divorce / Decree Absolute papers.  If  your spouse is deceased, you will need the Death Certificate.
o Bring along photocopies of these documents so they can be kept on record.                        o The Declaration stating that you have no legal impediment to your marriage needs to be signed before your marriage ceremony.
o On the day of your marriage you need two witnesses over the age of 18 years.

Some other things you need to know:

Changing your family name once married: Brides in Australia have traditionally changed their family name to that of their husband.  It is, however, not compulsory.  A bride is not legally required to change her family name and many women continue to use their own family name after they are married.

If you decide not to change your family name: You simply continue using your family name – just the way you did before you were married.

  • It is advisable however, to apply for a certified copy of your Marriage Certificate once you are married.  Most Government agencies and businesses require you to present a copy of a certified copy of your marriage certificate.  These are issued by Births Deaths and Marriages.  As your celebrant I can assist you with this.  Your application and payment for the certificate copy can be included with the marriages papers I send to Births Deaths and Marriages soon after your marriage.  If done this way, you do not need to supply those 100 points required for proof of identify.  The application form can be accessed from: http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/7517/BDM-form-Marriage-Cert-Extract.pdf
  • The certificate of marriage presented to you on your wedding day is usually not accepted by Government agencies and business as it does not provide proof that your marriage has been registered by Births Deaths and Marriages.

If you decide to change your family name to that of your husband: You will need to apply for a certified copy of your Marriage Certificate once you are married.

  • Most Government agencies and businesses require you to present a copy of a certified copy of your marriage certificate.  These are issued by Births Deaths and Marriages.  As your celebrant I can assist you with this.  Your application and payment for the certificate copy can be included with the marriages papers I send to Births Deaths and Marriages soon after your marriage.  If done this way, you do not need to supply those 100 points required for proof of identify.  The application form can be accessed from: http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/7517/BDM-form-Marriage-Cert-Extract.pdf
  • The certificate of marriage presented to you on your wedding day is usually not accepted by Government agencies and business as it does not provide proof that your marriage has been registered by Births Deaths and Marriages.

If you need to contact Births Deaths and Marriages in Brisbane, here are their details:

The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
110 George Street
Brisbane QLD 4000
(Office hours: 8.30am-4.30pm Monday-Friday)

Postal address:
PO Box 15188
City East QLD 4002

Phone: 1300 366 430 or +61 7 3035 1000 (international enquiries)

Taxation after marriage: When you marry the taxation amount you pay may change.  It is a good idea to contact the Australian Taxation Office (http://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/content.aspx?doc=/content/12450.htm), tax agent or an accountant before you marry to find out whether your tax will change and to answer any questions you may have.

Making a will: If you are married and die without a will, your spouse inherits all or some of your property.  If you already have a will before you marry, the marriage usually means that this will no longer apply.  It is possible to make a will before you marry which continues to apply after you marry.  A solicitor can help you with this and other questions you may have.

Health and welfare benefits: If you receive health or welfare benefits, you will need to contact organisations and institutions such as Health Insurance Funds and Centrelink to tell them you have married.  When you marry, the money or benefits you receive can change.  Centrelink’s link is:  http://www.humanservices.gov.au/spw/customer/forms/resources/sc279-1206en.pdf

A useful website from the Australian Government The website of the Australian Government Attorney General’s Department has valuable information for you.  It’s called Getting Married in Australia & covers aspects such as legal requirements, finding a civil marriage celebrant, finding information to help you with a marriage visa through the Department of Immigration & Citizenship, registering a marriage, the code of practice for marriage celebrants and same sex relationships.  The web address is: http://www.ag.gov.au/Marriage/Gettingmarried/Pages/default.aspx

There are certain conditions you need to know if you are planning to marry overseas. For example, civil marriage celebrants authorised by the Australian Government are authorised to perform legal marriages only within Australia.  An overseas marriage cannot be registered in Australia.  http://www.ag.gov.au/Marriage/Pages/Gettingmarriedoverseas.aspx

The Department of Immigration has information about how to apply for a prospective marriage visa.  When you apply for the visa, the Australian Embassy in the country where your fiance lives needs a letter from your celebrant.  This letter must contatin the date of lodgement of your Notice of Intended Marriage as well as the intended time, date & venue of your wedding ceremony.  We can write this letter & provide a copy of the Notice of Intended Marriage.

The Department of Immigration’s website has useful information.  http://www.immi.gov.au/migrants/partners/prospective/300/

To find the Australian Embassy in your country, go to the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website at www.dfat.gov.au

There are a number of translating services if you have documents that need translating into English.  The National Accreditation Authority for Translators & Interpreters (NAATI) is one to consider.  Their office is in Woolloongabba, Brisbane & their contact number is 07 33931 358. www.meaningfulexchange.com.au.

The register of marriage celebrants is available on

http://marriage.ag.gov.au/internet/marriagecelebrants.nsf/publicViewRegisteredCelebrants?OpenView

 

Marriage Ceremony Package: Personally Tailored Ceremony:  Written in consultation with you, your ceremony will reflect your personalities, needs, hopes & heritage.  The ceremony wording & choreography will be woven together to include a variety of highly effective vignettes for maximum effect for your photographs of the day.  The package includes:

o A Ceremony Guide CD to help you make your choices about ceremony ideas & readings;
o Two consultations *;
Your personally designed ceremony;
o Your Marriage Certificate;
o All stationery costs;
o All legal paperwork prior to & after your marriage;
o PA system you can use for the ceremony.

* There can be two consultations.  At the first one, we’ll complete the Notice of Intended Marriage & start to design your marriage ceremony.  At the second consultation we could refine & finalise details …. or we could rehearse the ceremony.  The choice is yours.

Travel beyond 60 kilometers return journey & associated travel time may incur an additional charge.  A non-refundable booking fee (which is part of the total cost) is payable when you complete the Notice of Intended Marriage with us.  Any fee remaining is paid at our second consultation which usually occurs a week or two one before the wedding.

Where can you get married?

You can be married anywhere – your home, garden, beach, park, function venue or a place of special significance.  It’s your choice!

Can we choose spiritual or religions wording for our ceremony?

Yes.  You are welcome to include any wording you feel reflects your beliefs & way of life.

Do we have to attend any pre-marital courses?

No.  However, I have course information should you wish to attend.  Two organisations that provide relationship education courses & councelling in Queensland are Relationships Australia & Kinections.  They are listed on the Relationship Education page.

When do I need to book the Celebrant?

It is advisable that you book your celebrant, venue and time of ceremony as soon as you have determined these details.

Where to from here?

Spend some time reading the stories & looking at the photographs on this website.  There’s information here to help you make the next few steps towards your wedding day.

Contact us for your complementary obligation-free consultation on 043232 0584 or email altheahurwood@hotmail.com so we can talk about your ultimate wedding ceremony experience …just the way you want it to be.

A Gift for You – The Big Day Pack: ideas & helpful hints for your wedding ceremony: As a client, you will also receive the beautiful Big Day Pack which includes the very popular ’24 Tips to Help Keep Your Costs Under Control‘, the ’12 Tips to Help Plan Your Outdoor Wedding Ceremony’ & the ’20 Point Wedding Ceremony Checklist’.

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