When you decide to get married, besides planning an awesome celebration, there’s a few legalities that come part and parcel with the process. Whether you love admin or not, everyone who’s getting married must spare a little time filling out forms, sorry to say.
But its all worth it and besides, this is why we have celebrants. A big part of our role as celebrants is to help get all the legal stuff correct, in order and sent to the right people on your behalf.
The first and most important legal doc that you should be aware of is the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM). This form must be completed, signed and witnessed at least one month prior and no earlier than 18 months to your ceremony date. Your celebrant will provide you with a copy or you can download it from the Attorney General’s Department Website.
Its best to type your details into the PDF document given our handwriting these days is pretty appalling. Then just print it out before its ready to sign. And make sure you use BLOCK LETTERS please.
The three key sections for you to complete can be found under the headings:
To: JACQUELINE MAJER
4/9 BRAE STREET
BRONTE NSW 2024
2.‘The following parties give notice of their intended marriage:’
This part requires your personal ID details such as full name as shown on your birth certificate or passport, occupation, address, conjural status, birthplace (that appears on your birth certificate or passport), date of birth, if born overseas when how long have you resided in Australia, your parent’s full names and their birthplaces.
3. ‘If a party has been previously married, that party must give the following particulars:’
And this section only applies to people who have been previously married. In this case, you will need to provide the number of your previous marriages, the year of each marriage ceremony, number of children from previous marriages only, their year of birth, how your marriage ended (ie. divorce, death or nullity) and date of when your spouse passed away or your marriage was final or nullity order was made. This one gets a lot of folks as the date should be the final date you’ll find on the bottom of your divorce papers, not the date you find out the top of the papers which states when it was issued.
We celebrants are responsible for checking every little detail. We need to make sure that everything corresponds with your ID docs and making sure it’s written correctly on the form which means it’ll be correct on your official Marriage Certificate, most importantly.
Before I witness your signature, I’ll need to sight your ID docs. We usually arrange this in our first catch up together. This is what I’ll need from you:
And if you’ve been married before, I’ll need to sight:
If we don’t get around to completing every mandatory field on the NOIM in our meeting, no problem. Once it is completed you’ll just need to sign it in front of another authorised witness. This can be either a JP, lawyer, doctor or police officer before you send it back to me. And just remember, I must receive the NOIM at least one month before your wedding day.
There are a few more docs to sign along the way. One is a declaration that you’ll need to complete around one week before your wedding and then on the day, I’ll have all the remaining forms/certificates for us and your witnesses to sign at the end of the ceremony.
Once you’re officially wedded with all legal paperwork signed and sealed, I’ll send your important package off to the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) in the state that your ceremony was held. They register your details with all the paperwork and you’ll be in ‘the system’ as ‘MARRIED’!
Last but not least, if you are thinking of changing your name, or if you need proof of marriage for visa, immigration and financial purposes – you’ll need to apply for your official marriage certificate. Apply for it online, by post or in person through Births Deaths and Marriages (BDM). In NSW, it costs from $56 for a standard version. If you like, I can lodge this for you too.
That’s it folks. If you have any doubts about anything on the admin / legal front, just let me know. I’m here to help or I can, at least, lead you in the right direction.
© 2020 Jacqueline Majer – Marriage Celebrant.
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