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Legal Requirements

Australian Law defines marriage as "the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life" from The Marriage Act of 1961.

Your marriage may take place on any day, at any time, and any place in Australia, or within Australian territorial waters.

At least two people (other than the celebrant) over the age of 18 years, must be present at the marriage ceremony, to act as your witnesses.


Marriage Laws in Western Australia (extracted from Government of WA Department of the Attorney General)

A Notice of Intended Marriage - Form 13 must be completed and lodged with the person who is performing the ceremony (proposed celebrant) at least one calendar month, but no more than 18 months, before the preferred date of marriage. The notice form is obtained from the proposed celebrant.

The marriageable age in Australia is 18 years for both men and women. Marriage of somebody who is 16 years but less then 18 years is possible only if the person they are marrying is 18 years or older. In this situation, parental consent and a judge or magistrate's order are required for the minor. Two people under 18 years of age cannot marry each other.

The bride and groom must show the proposed celebrant documentary proof that they are 18 years old or older. That proof must be a birth certificate if born in Australia. If the bride or groom were not born in Australia, then the celebrant can accept a valid overseas passport in lieu of a birth certificate.

If either person has been married before, that person must show the celebrant proof that they are free to remarry. That proof is usually a decree nisi of dissolution of marriage that has become absolute or a death certificate.

If your are considering heading to the Perth Registry Office you will still need to fill out a Notice of Intended Marriage - Form 13 at least one calendar month prior. For all the details of Marriage in the Perth Registry Office, CLICK HERE for full details.


To ensure there is no last minute panic, it is a good idea to locate all documents needed, as soon as possible.


You both must sign a "Declaration" stating that you believe there is no legal impediment to your marriage. This must be done with your celebrant, just prior to the marriage.

During the ceremony, the authorised celebrant must say to the parties, in the presence of the witnesses, the words,

"My name is__(_celebrant's name_)______, and I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages in Australia, according to Australian law.

Before you are joined in marriage in my presence, and in the presence of these witnesses, I am bound to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life"

The ceremony must take place in the presence of an Authorised Celebrant. All authorised celebrants will have a registration number, are listed on the Attorney General's wesite and follow the 'Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants'.

The following vows must be exchanged during the ceremony:

"I call upon the persons here present to witness that I________ groom's name____________, take you_______ bride's name_______, to be my lawfully wedded wife.

I call upon the persons here present to witness that I_________ bride's name_______, take you_______ groom's name_____, to be my lawfully wedded husband.

The full names of the bride and groom must be mentioned here in the vows.

Both parties, the celebrant, and the two witnesses must all sign each of the three marriage certificates. The bride signs in the same name she used on the Notice of Intended Marriage form.


At the end of the wedding ceremony, the couple are presented with a 'Certificate of Marriage'. This is conclusive evidence that the marriage has taken place. It is an important document and should be kept in a safe place with other official documents. However, this certificate does not provide conclusive evidence of the identity of the couple. In some situations you may be asked to produce a registered copy of your marriage certificate, which may be obtained from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State or Territory in which you were married.


If you would like more information on Marriage, Relationships or contacts for obtaining legal documents please use the links below.




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