Frequently Asked Questions
How much notice do we need to give to get married?
Minimum: One month.
Maximum: No more than 18 months prior to your ceremony.
For example, if you wish to marry on the 7th March, you must lodge your Notice of Intended Marriage with your celebrant no later than the 7th February.
However, if there is an urgent reason for getting married (such as terminal illness of one of the parities), a “shortening of time” can be requested through the courts which may or may not be granted. This may incur a small extra fee.
When should we book our celebrant?
Celebrants are in high demand, so the earliest you book the better!
What paperwork is involved?
There are several forms you will need to fill out. But that’s what I’m here for!
Please refer to my step by step process.
What documentation do we need to show you?
- Your original Full Birth Certificates or current Australian passport (or overseas passports if born overseas) for evidence of age and place of birth.
- If an overseas Birth Certificate is used, it must be in English or a NAATI accredited translation must be provided as well as the original Birth Certificate – I can organise this for you, but it will incur an extra fee.
- Evidence of how any previous marriage/s ended (Certificate of Divorce or Death Certificate) if applicable
- Some type of photo ID with signature – current Driver’s License, Fork Lift License, Boating license, Working With Children card, or some other government issued ID
Where can I obtain a birth, marriage or death certificate?
In Australia at the Registry Office – Births, Deaths & Marriages in the relevant State or Territory. If overseas at the relevant authority in that Country.
Can a person sign/lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage while still waiting for a divorce?
A Notice of Intended Marriage can be signed and lodged before the divorce order has been made, or decree has been pronounced, however, they cannot marry until it becomes final and absolute.
How long after a Divorce Order (Decree Nisi) can a person marry?
In Australia, usually a decree becomes final and absolute, one day and one month after the court order. It is possible, in some cases, to apply to the court for a shortening of time.
If a divorce took place overseas what documents do you need to sight?
You must supply the original divorce documents (translated if necessary) and the details are recorded to identify the date, place and any reference numbers of the divorce.
Do we need to have witnesses?
Yes, you need to have 2 witnesses who must be 18 years of age or over. You can have whoever you wish, provided they meet the age criteria. Most people pick someone significant to them as their signature will be on the Commemorative Certificate.
Your witnesses must be prepared to write their FULL name (including any middle names) on the Official Wedding Certificate that gets submitted to the Offices of Births, Deaths and Marriage and my Marriage register.
How old do I need to be to get married?
In Australia, you must be over the age of 18 to be married.
There is an exception in limited circumstances where there is one party who is between 16 and 18 years old and wishes to marry a person over 18. In this instance, the underage person must have the permission of a Judge or Magistrate as well as parental consent.
What name does the bride sign on the day of the Wedding?
The bride usually signs with her maiden name on all documentation. There may be some exceptions.
When and where can we be married?
Anywhere in Australia, at a time and place negotiated with your celebrant, and with permission from relevant authorities (such as the local Council for beaches / parks etc) necessary.
How long does the ceremony take?
The ceremony usually takes 20-30 minutes, depending on how many components you include, how many people participate, and whether you include a ritual within the ceremony, such as a Unity Candle Ceremony, Sand Blending Ceremony or Handfasting Ritual etc.
Can others take part in the ceremony?
Absolutely! If you have someone special you’d like to honour or ask to participate then by all means. Or perhaps you have children you’d like to involve – anything is possible!!
I’m entirely flexible and I’m here to make the Ceremony exactly the way you want it.
If you want to have a “Bridesman” or “Groomswoman” then have them!
If you have uneven numbers in your Bridal party – it doesn’t matter!
If you want your fur-child in the wedding – why not? Refer to my Marry Me Helley – Pets for Weddings Page.
Flexibility is the key!!
Don’t forget it’s YOUR ceremony and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.
Can we write our own vows?
This is really a personal choice. Some people prefer to just to say the legal vows necessary for the ceremony. Others, are happy to tell the world how much they love their partner – it’s entirely your choice!
Whatever your choice, I have many examples of other vows plus I have written a specific process “How to Write your own Vows” that I believe helps you successfully express how you really feel.
This is available to all my clients upon booking, in my Welcome Kit.
Do we have a rehearsal?
Yes, depending on what type of ceremony you’re having and where.
It’s extremely helpful to have a rehearsal – it can help settle nerves, introduce people to each other and help the other participants and yourselves know where to stand and what to do, particularly if you are having a ritual.
Elopements and casual backyard weddings don’t generally require a rehearsal.
What are your fees?
My fees range from $400 – $800, depending on your requirements.
I donate 10% of my fee to the Victorian Cancer Council in honour of your wedding.
In due course, you receive a Certificate of Appreciation and Letter of Thanks.
A truly professional celebrant is well worth the investment.
So why should I hire you?
I’m a creative! I love to plan and create parties, events and celebrations so I’m always full of fantastic ideas. Recently I completed a Wedding Event Management course, and currently I am involved in running major events for another organisation.
Combine these skills with my intensive training as a Commonwealth Authorised Celebrant and you have a great combination of legal know how and creativity!
If you want your ceremony to be truly outstanding and heartfelt – then I’m the Celebrant for you!
I take enormous pride in my work and go to extraordinary lengths to ensure you’re happy at the end of the day!
If you want a themed wedding – whether it be a colour theme or some other type of theme, I will dress accordingly and, unlike others, I won’t charge you anything extra!!
Immersing myself in my work, which I truly love, I can absolutely guarantee you a truly personalised, unique ceremony that will have your guests raving. There is nothing worse, than having bored guests!!
Getting married is a fun and exciting time….and organising your ceremony shouldn’t be a nerve-wracking, worrying process.
Don’t worry – I’m there for you – all along the way!!
Part of your package includes unlimited meetings – either in person or via Skype.
We’ll get to know each other really well during this time which helps me write you a beautiful, authentic ceremony that says –
“This is me, this is who I love – so let’s Celebrate!”