Wedding Ceremonies

Wedding Ceremonies

Marriage celebrant available in Brisbane, Logan, Gold Coast, Redlands & Ipswich

A marriage is a celebration of the love of two persons, generally shared with closest family and friends. It is a time of great excitement and joy. Your marriage ceremony is the most important part of the day. It is the words that are exchanged by you that bind you together for life. Considerable thought and reflection should be given when contemplating the words of the ceremony. This is something that can be done months in advance before the hectic last days before the wedding.

As an experienced and professional Marriage Celebrant in Brisbane, Logan, Gold Coast, Redlands and Ipswich, I provide samples of ceremonies for you to choose from, together with numerous verses and readings, and I will work with you to construct the ceremony you want. I often prepare several drafts along the way for your approval until the final copy is confirmed by you. I also have a strong delivery which will ensure that all guests will clearly hear and understand all words spoken during the ceremony.

I arrive well before the ceremony to ensure everything is running smoothly and to assist in any way possible.  I dress according to the theme or style of the day. I ensure everyone is seated in correct places; that mobile phones are turned off or are on silent; that music is queued; and so on. I do more than just turn up and say the words of the ceremony. I take charge of the ceremony to ensure that it is a memorable and special occasion for all.

I have been a celebrant for almost twenty years and have performed thousands of ceremonies. I undergo annual compulsory professional development to keep abreast of changes to legislation and trends. I am truly committed to making your wedding ceremony a warm and friendly experience for those closest to you to witness you change from “I” to “we”.

All Commonwealth registered marriage celebrants are appointed by the Attorney-General's Department in Canberra. My conduct as a celebrant is governed by the Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants, as set out by that department.

Creating your Dream Ceremony

There are a number of ways of personalising your wedding ceremony and these include making reference to children from previous relationships; remembering loved ones passed; acknowledging special guests who are overseas or unable to attend for some reason and so the list goes on.  I will provide suggestions during our meeting/s on how to incorporate some or all of these things. Symbols are also used during ceremonies like the lighting of unity candles; the joining of coloured sand into one container;  hand fastening; and the love letters and wine box gesture.  I am often asked how long the ceremony takes. Because you chose and write your own ceremony with my assistance,  the ceremony is as long or as short as you would like it.  I can provide guidance on this as we work together on its formation.

Many couples write their own vows which I place on palm cards for them to read to each other on the day. The vows must contain certain words, including your full name, to ensure that your marriage is valid. The only other ‘must have’ wording is referred to as the Monitum which is a short paragraph outlining what marriage means in Australia. Again, the Monitum must be spoken to ensure your marriage is not invalid. I have referenced this elsewhere on my website.

What Paperwork is required to get Married?

You will need to produce your birth certificate or overseas passport as proof of identity and photo ID such as a driver’s licence. If are not aware of the legal paperwork that must be completed prior to a wedding, please refer to my previous information concerning the Notice of Intended Marriage and timeframes.

Getting Married in Public Place

If being married in a park or public place, ensure that your celebrant carries public liability insurance which is a pre-requisite of all Councils for celebrants conducting ceremonies in their venues. Also consider an alternate venue in the case of unforeseen weather conditions.

Getting Married by a Marriage Celebrant

getting married with marriage celebrant

The first step in getting married is to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage form with your celebrant. I provide one or you can download a copy of the form (PDF document, 64 KB) to complete and give to me. The form can be lodged up to 18 months prior to the wedding, and no later than one month  before the date of the marriage.

As from 28th December 2011, there is a new ruling re the Notice Of Intended Marriage. What does giving the notice ‘not later than one month before the date of the marriage’ mean?
The term ‘month’ is defined in section 2G of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 as follows:

(1)  In any Act, month means a period:
(a)  starting at the start of any day of one of the calendar months; and
(b)  ending: 
 (i)  immediately before the start of the corresponding day of the next
calendar month; or
(ii)  if there is no such day—at the end of the next calendar month.
Example 1: A month - starting on 15 December in a year ends immediately before 15 January in the next year. 
Example 2: A month - starting on 31 August in a year ends at the end of September in that year (because September is the calendar month coming after August and does not have 31 days).

This new provision commenced on 28 December 2011.  It means, for example, that: if a NOIM is given to the authorised celebrant on 2 January, the first day the marriage can be solemnised is 2 February ; if a NOIM is given to the authorised celebrant on 31 August, the first day the marriage can be solemnised is 1 October; or if a NOIM is given to the authorised celebrant on 29 January in a non-leap year, the first day the marriage can be solemnised is 1 March.

What does a Marriage Celebrant Cost?

Wedding Ceremony Formalities

wedding ceremony vows

A civil ceremony allows you the freedom to choose the type of ceremony you prefer. However there are certain words that must be said by the celebrant during a wedding ceremony to make it a lawful and valid wedding. These words are contained in Section 45 of the Marriage Act 1961 as follows:

"I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, (full name) take thee (full name) to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband)."

In addition, Section 46(1) requires the following words, a paragraph known as the Monitum, to be said by the Celebrant:

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

Some couples have friends or family who are members of a clergy or other establishment and they would like this person to officiate at their wedding. However this person is not authorised to solemnise marriages in Australia. I can liaise with that person to deliver the ceremony that you want. According to law, it is only the Commonwealth registered marriage celebrant who can administer the vows (as contained in Section 45 and the Monitum (as contained in Section 46(1) of the Marriage Act 1961).

After the Wedding Ceremony

after your wedding ceremony

Following the ceremony, you can apply for a certified copy of your marriage certificate through the Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages in Queensland.

In recent times, government departments such as Transport, Immigration, Medicare and the Passport office have refused to accept the Certificate of Marriage presented to couples on the wedding day. This is because that document does not indicate that following the wedding, the required documents were registered in accordance with the Act. These departments therefore require a certified copy issued under the hand of the Registrar.

As part of my service to you, I can provide you with an application form which you need to submit to the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages  following your wedding.  Because of privacy laws, only the bride or groom can apply for the certificate. The current fee for a standard certificate is $42.00.

You can also download a copy of the Application for Marriage Certificate form (PDF document, 37 KB) if you wish to do so.

Overseas Wedding Ceremonies

The thought of organising a wedding from overseas is daunting to most couples however the process is relatively easy. All couples must complete the Notice of Intended Marriage within the required time frames; the form can be downloaded from my website or from the Attorney-General’s website. It is simply a matter of completing the form and having the signatures of both parties witnessed before a Notary Public or other authorised person outlined on the back of the NOIM.

The original form along with certified photocopies of relevant documents such as birth/death/divorce certificates are then mailed to me. The original of these documents must be presented to me upon arrival in Australia.

Both parties must produce copies of their birth certificates. Depending on your country of birth, it may be necessary to have your original birth certificate translated into English by a qualified translator. If you are unable to locate your birth certificate you must apply to your country of birth for a new copy. If that is not possible, you are able to produce your overseas passport as proof of birth.  If you are born in Australia or New Zealand, you must produce your birth certificate.

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