How Do I Get Married in Australia

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Getting married is wonderful and you must be very excited. Now you ask yourself the question: How can I get married in Australia. If you are living in Australia that is pretty simple. If you chose Australia for a destination wedding it is a little more difficult to organise. Australia is a great place for a destination wedding with a lot of sunshine wonderful beaches and amazing natural and manmade attractions such as the Sydney Opera House or Uluru (aka Ayers Rock),  that are great wedding photography props.


Set a Wedding Date

Setting the date is a 2 step process. First you decide when you want to get married. The wedding season in Australia is from October to March. This are the warmer months and hence very popular for weddings. Most people are getting married in the months of January and February, but from my experience that is not necessarily the best time. January and February are very hot. This year we reached up to 50 degrees in February which can spoil the fun a little.

Keep in mind that you will be dressed up in a beautiful Gown with many layers of cloth and the men will be wearing dark suits.  It will be very hot in those clothes.  Hence, a lot of people organise their wedding in October/November or in March/April. The weather is much milder which makes it a little bit more bearable. The decision is entirely up to you what time of the year you would like to get married.

Secure Your Wedding Venues

The second step is to secure your wedding venue. The availability of the venues determines the actual date you can get married. If the venue is popular make sure you book and pay the deposit at least 12 months in advance.

There are two types of venue that you will need.

  1. Ceremony Venue
  2. Venue for Reception

The venue for your ceremony can be at any place that is legally allowed. The venue can be a religious place such as a church, mosk or the like or many couples choose to get married in their favourite spot on the beach, on a mountain, in a gorgeous gorge or in a park.

To get permission to conduct your wedding ceremony you will need to book the venue and pay a fee. Most venues are managed by either the local council or the Department of Parks and Wildlife in your state.  

Another option is to combine the Reception and Ceremony venue into one. This makes things easier and can also save some cost. There are many resorts, Clubs, Hotels, Golf Clubs and other Wedding Venues that have beautiful facilities where you can have the ceremony and at the same time hold your reception.

Book your Celebrant

The most important supplier on your wedding day is the celebrant. Without a legal representative of the Attorney General’s Office you cannot be legally married in Australia. There are many celebrants in Australia that can conduct your marriage. If you are getting married by a Religious Minister following the traditions of your faith the choice is relatively simple. Religious Minister’s have to be registered and approved by the Attorney General’s office.  Generally they are, but it does not hurt to make sure (Check Here).

Which celebrant to select depends on what wedding ceremony you are planning and your personal likes and dislikes. There are many different ceremony types and some celebrants specialise in theme ceremonies such as Celtic, Vintage or other. The most important criterion is that you and your Celebrant get on well.

Make sure the celebrant does work with you to develop a special ceremony just for you and does not perform a stock standard out of the box Ceremony. There is a lot of work that goes into a good ceremony and vows. I see this every day because my wife Louise Drescher is a Marriage Celebrant in Sydney and on the Central Coast.

What Do I Need to Get Married

Once you have your Marriage Celebrant they will guide you through the process. The most important document to provide is the “Notice of Intended Marriage”. This document needs to be provided to your Celebrant at the latest 4 weeks before the Wedding Day. However, it is a good idea to get this out of the way as early as possible because you also need to provide other legal documentation. Depending on your circumstances this can be quite easy, but if you have been married before or have foreign language documentation it will be a little more time consuming to get all the papers together.  

Generally you will need to be over the age of 18 or require the approval of your legal guardian. In most cases this is your parent. You will need to provide legal documentation that proof you are eligible to getting married. This includes the following documents:

  1. Proof of identity
  2. Birth Certificate
  3. Divorce Papers of previous Marriage
  4. Consent of Guardian if under the age of 18.

All documents need to be in English or have Certified Translations.

The Legal Mumbo Jumbo is pretty simple and with the help of your celebrant you will get through it just fine.

Booking your Photographer and other Suppliers

A lot of Wedding Suppliers like Photographers do only one wedding per day and are booked out quite early. The wedding suppliers that you should book early are:

-          Photographers

-          Celebrants

-          Venue

-          Bands and Music/DJs

-          Make Up / Hair if you are after a specific person

-          Wedding Planners

-          Master of Ceremony

A lot of brides book their suppliers about 12 months in advance. Give me a call on 0418 224 196 or fill out our enquiry form in order to check our availability or book us for your wedding.

Enjoy the Ride

Once you got the essentials sorted out you can start enjoying the preparation of your wedding. You can try on wedding dresses, find cool ideas for invitations, taste different food, wine and cake (don’t go overboard you might not fit into your dress J ) and check out all the other lovely things that you can have on your wedding day.

Visit a few Bridal Expos to find out more what is on offer. I am always amazed about the great ideas that people have. My favourite is chocolate coated fruit and some fantastic ideas for invitations.

Always remember to enjoy the preparation because your special day will be over before you know it. I found after all the long preparation that the actual wedding was way too short. Lucky I can revisit the day often with the beautiful album I got from my wedding photographer.

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