Marriage

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Your wedding day is very special. It is a milestone in your life like no other. A legal and binding lifelong partnership based on love, trust and friendship.

Marriage is a big commitment. The marriage papers you sign on your wedding day, are probably the most important and binding legal documents you will sign through out your lives.

Having decided to marry, you are now realizing there is so much to organize. It can get really busy deciding on all the plans, details, arrangements and costs.

So it is really important to remember the ultimate moment of your wedding day is your ceremony. The marriage vows that you will say to one another and the symbols you gather in the words, poems, readings, music, rituals and colours represent the promise you will say to each other about the life you want to share and sustain together.

I will help you organise your unique, personalised, memorable and meaningful ceremony. Read More

  • What you need read about getting married
  • What you need to know about your Celebrant

Contact me and discuss a Marriage and how you want it to be special.

Contact me and discuss a Marriage and how you want it to be special.

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Weekday and Winter Wedding

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A Weekday Wedding is a marriage ceremony that offers choices from a range of standard (registry style) services that are meaningful and memorable. Whether this is your first or second marriage, some couples on a budget, want to reduce the expenses associated with marrying, by having weekday marriage, held on a (Monday-Thursday).

A Winter Wedding is a marriage ceremony that is the same as a Weekday Wedding, but is held in the off- peak season on a weekday or weekend during June-August. Having a winter marriage is a good idea because it can take advantage of the availability of venues, and discounted accommodation, travel prices and honeymoon destinations to warmer climates.
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Read More

  • What you need read about getting married
  • What you need to know about your Celebrant

Contact me and discuss a Weekday and Winter (registry style) Wedding

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Commitment

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A commitment ceremony is very similar to a wedding in its format and can be formal or relaxed.  The difference is that the ceremony does not include the legal vows or documentation requirements, and as such, is not a legally binding marriage.

Couples choose a commitment ceremony to express a public affirmation in the presence of their family and friends of their deep commitment to one another and to their on-going relationship.

I will help you organise your unique, personalised, memorable and meaningful ceremony.

Read More

  • What you need to know about your Celebrant

Contact me and discuss a Commitment Ceremony and how you want it to be special.

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Same-Sex Relationship Commitment

Same-sex-relationship-Commitment

Australian law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Same-sex marriages entered into in other countries are not recognised as legal marriages in Australia. Some state and territory governments allow people to register their same-sex relationship. You can find out more information from state and territory registries of births, deaths and marriages.

While marriages between couples other than a man and a woman are not legally recognised in Australia, a commitment ceremony for same sex couples expresses the same sentiment of union to each other.

A commitment ceremony is very similar to a wedding in its format and can be formal or relaxed.  The difference is that the ceremony does not include the legal vows or documentation requirements, and as such, is not a legally binding marriage.

I will help you organise your unique, personalised, memorable and meaningful ceremony.  Read More

  • What you need to know about your Celebrant

Contact me and discuss a Commitment Ceremony and how you want it to be special.

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Renewal of Vows

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Couples have many reasons for renewing or reaffirming their marriage vows:

  • A significant event has occurred in their marriage such as a reunion after a separation
  • Couples want to commemorate a special anniversary milestone
  • Couples want to declare their continuing love and commitment to each other and their friends
  • Their marriage occurred overseas or interstate and they want to celebrate their marriage with family and friends

A renewal or reaffirmation can be formal or relaxed and is a wonderful way to deepen the commitment to one another. The ceremony is personalised with vows (excluding legal vows) as the couple are already married. It is very meaningful and symbolic, conveying the important sentiments of a couple’s relationship between each another.

Couples often feel more relaxed and want to consider fun and playful options.

There are many ways to plan a renewal or reaffirmation of vows and as such you can have fun and be creative:

  • Theme based – you can wear what you like
  • Guest size very small to very large
  • Weather, season and time of year can be important and meaningful
  • Location – held in café’s, on boats, trams, at a beach, park or special location, anywhere really
  • Special interest/hobby/activity – dress up and location such as medieval, handfasting
  • Special date or event – held on Melbourne festival, race day, public holiday or other calendar event.
  • Surprise – for guests or for each other.

I can help you organise your unique, personalised, memorable and meaningful ceremony.  Read More

  • What you need to know about your Celebrant

Contact me and discuss a Renewal or Reaffirmation Ceremony and how you want it to be special.

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What you need to read about getting married

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  • The Legalities
  • Steps to be Legally Married
  • Structure of a Marriage Ceremony
  • Relationship Education Services
  • Important Links

Legalities

To be legally married in Australia, a man and woman must:

  • not be married to someone else
  • not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister
  • be at least eighteen years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between sixteen and eighteen years old
  • understand what marriage means and freely consent to becoming husband and wife
  • use specific words during the ceremony
  • give written notice of their intention to marry to their authorised celebrant.

You don’t have to be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia to legally marry in Australia. You can find marriage visa information on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website, if you hope to live in Australia after your marriage.

Important Documents you need to get married:

When booking your marriage at our first meeting, you will lodge your Notice of Intended Marriage Form(NOIM) no less than one month prior to your intended date of marriage and no more than 18 months in advance.

You will need to give evidence of the date and place of your birth, identity and the end of any previous marriages for each party and if relevant, documentation of widowhood such as a death certificate before a marriage is solemnized.

Have a look at the NOIM online and ring me on 0412 635087 if you are not sure about what to bring to this meeting. Typically it includes:

  • An official (original) birth certificate of birth (is only accepted)
  • Passport issued by the Australian government or a government of an overseas country showing the date and place of birth
  • Divorce Certificate, where there was a previous marriage
  • Death Certificate if widow or widowed
  • Court issued decree of nullity, or an annulment

If the document is written in another language or alphabet, you will need a translation of the document by an accredited translator. You can organize this through the National Accreditation Authority for Translators & Interpreters Ltd -NAATIthat has a list of translators.

Witnesses:

You must have two adult witness, (both 18 years of age or older), who can speak and understand English, present on the day to witness the ceremony and sign the marriage certificates. Witnesses may be a family member of friend.

Interpreter:

Your marriage is conducted in English. If either the bride or groom do not speak English, you will need to provide your own interpreter. An interpreter cannot be a family member of the bride or groom. You can contact the Translating and Interpreter Service TIS, if you need help finding an interpreter. Please discuss booking the interpreter with me for the ceremony.  Interpreters will need to complete a statutory declaration (declaring they speak both English and the bride or groom’s language) on the day of the ceremony. If an interpreter is required and not present on the day, the ceremony will not go ahead

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Steps to be legally married

You will obtain a Wedding Information Kit on the detailed steps given below when you book your wedding. The steps typically include:

1 Decide on your wedding date
2 Choose your celebrant – Introductory Consultation
3 First Meeting – Book your Ceremony
4 Second Meeting- Confirm your Ceremony ideas
5 Final Ceremony Draft
6 Rehearsal
7 Ceremony Day
8 Legal Documentation registered with Births, Deaths & Marriages

 

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Structure of a Marriage Ceremony


Welcome by Celebrant
Procession (music)
Opening – ritual, poem, reading
Introduction on the meaning of marriage
Giving Away
The couple’s story
Sub-ceremony (ritual, music)
Reading(s)
Monitum***
The Asking
Vows official ***and personal vows
Rings exchange
Reading (optional)
Declaration of Marriage
The kiss
Signing of Certificates (music)
Announcement
Presentation of Certificate
Recessional (music)

The sections marked *** are for legal marriages and are officially required by the Marriage Act 1961. Variations are made to the traditional structure, depending on the type of ceremony (marriage, commitment, renewal) you wish to plan. A commitment ceremony does not include the official Monitum and Vows of a legal marriage.

Couples should explore the exciting range of ceremonies to choose from, such as handfasting, celtic or themed weddings.

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Relationship Education Services

Even though this is a busy time for you, relationship education could be the best investment you make for a successful marriage/commitment.

The Melbourne Wedding Celebrant Cost of a wedding/commitment is a fraction of what might be gained from a very small investment in relationship education, to learn more about each other and gain skills that will enhance your relationship and reduce the likelihood and pain of separation or divorce in the future.

Understanding your differences can give insights to some of the challenges that you may face in your marriage or commitment and to have a plan on how to manage these differences such as cultural background, religious beliefs, moral and ethnical values and expectations in your relationship.

Relationship education is

  • an investment that will  help couples navigate changing life stages, solve problems, make life decisions and grow together
  • gives couples the space they need to develop knowledge and understandings about each other

What ever your situation, whether this is your first or second time in a marriage or commitment, or you are bringing together a blended family, you need to decide what might be the best program for both of you before and after your marriage or commitment.

I can provide couples with brochures on a range of relationship education services available at not-for-profit, community and private providers for:

  • Pre-marriage individual couple programs
  • Group programs, or
  • Relationship counselling

Relationship Organisations to Contact

(collect a brochure from your celebrant)
Lifeworks Relationshipswww.lifeworks.com.auTelephone: 1300 543 396

Relationships Australia Victoriawww.relationshipsvictoria.com.auTelephone: 1300 364 277

Human Needwww.humaneed.com.auTelephone: 1300 486 263

Drummond Street Services – Step familieswww.ds.org.auTelephone: (03) 9663 6733

Relatewell Family Relationship Institute Incwww.relatewell.org.auTelephone: (03) 9287 5504

Marriage and Relationship Education Association of Australia (MAREAA) have a range of excellent books and resources that can be recommended: http://www.mareaa.asn.au/members/resources-books

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Links

Getting Married in Australia – Attorney General Department

Births, Deaths and Marriages (Victoria)

Translating and Interpreter Service (TIS)

Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Permission to publish form

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What you need to know about your Celebrant

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Celebrant approach

When you talk to your celebrant, it is important that you ask questions about their service approach.  The approach I adopt is to:

  • Give an obligation- free introductory consultation meeting
  • For marriage – provide all the legally required documentation and relationship education service information
  • Provide a celebrant agreement for a booked ceremony
  • Meet face to face (this is no less than two meetings -depending on the ceremony)
  • Offer to come to you for the second meeting at a mutual venue arrangement
  • For marriage – conduct a rehearsal (on site) or at my home for weekday/winter marriages.
  • Use mobile, phone or email to stay in touch
  • Provide you with ideas and resources for ceremony
  • Listen and be highly focused on what you want by exploring your style and theme
  • Offer suggestions of traditional and cultural rituals and symbolism elements
  • Research the location, setting and preparations needed
  • Rehearse, recommend and give direction in order to choreograph what is necessary
  • Prepare speakers in your ceremony
  • Provide a draft and final copy of your ceremony and running order

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Celebrant standard of service

There are few occasions you may make use of a celebrant, so it is important to know what standard of service you might expect.  My professional celebrant standards are to:

  • Arrive 60 minutes early to set up and prepare the ceremonial space
  • Liaise with others (musician, photographer, venue, sound technicians)
  • Be professionally groomed to deliver your ceremony
  • Provide a professional Public Address system (if required) for everyone to hear
  • Make time for a rehearsal to help you feel prepared and relaxed
  • Present professional standard certificates, ceremonial gifts and letters
  • Process official documentation
  • Follow up with an evaluation
  • Invite testimonials and use of images to share online
  • Allow 30 minutes after the ceremony to be with your guests
  • Commence pack up after this time (unless required by the venue)

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Celebrant Agreement, Terms & Conditions

Your celebrant fee is discussed at the introductory meeting and is made up of:

Part A Professional services or fixed fee for Weekday/Winter Weddings

Part B Extra (optional) services

All services in the Celebrant Agreement cover:

  • Commonwealth Attorney General Department –Registration and Code of Practice Standards as a Civil Celebrants
  • Public Liability
  • Copyright License
  • Relationship Education Service information and pamphlets
  • Unlimited contact by phone and email
  • Use of my PA system
  • Signing table with chairs, tablecloth, ring plate
  • Ceremony program
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Administration of legal documents and handling (legal marriages)

Contact me to arrange an introductory meeting and you will obtain a detailed copy of the services included in the celebrant agreement for marriages, weekday or winter weddings, commitments and renewals .

Ceremony Gift Card
Your family, friends and guests can help you pay for your ceremony by choosing to make the ceremony their gift. It’s the perfect gift giving option. Similar to a gift registry, they choose how much they wish to gift. Gift cards for you to use are available upon request.

Terms and Conditions

Booking Deposit 50% of total fee (paid at the first meeting)

Balance 50% (paid 30 days before ceremony date)

Refund of Booking Deposit is only available up to 5 working days from payment at the first meeting due to cancellation. After this, there is no refund of the booking deposit.

Cancellation Policy

Your ceremony may be cancelled anytime before 30 calendar days from your ceremony date and no balance will be required.

If you cancel anytime 30 days before your ceremony date, you will be required to pay the balance in full.

Method of Payment

Payment is made in cash or as a direct bank deposit

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Privacy Policy

  • Respect for the confidentiality and privacy of all parties.
  • Personal information will not be used for any other purpose than to complete the necessary paperwork and certificates for your ceremony.
  • I do not pass on or sell any information collected, or disclose the contents to any other person, use it for any purpose.
  • In the event of my illness, the ceremony will be conducted by another registered civil celebrant for marriages to ensure your wedding takes place on the day.
  • I maintain appropriate facilities to interview parties and provide office facilities, including facilities for the secure storage of your legal paperwork and ceremony details.
  • I do not keep originals or copies of identifying documentation
  • I keep electronic records and backups secure behind password protect and internet security.
  • I destroy paper records securely using a shedder.
  • I do not leave clients documents in open view when transporting them to and from the ceremony.

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