Legal Requirements in Australia
Here is a summary of the requirements to be legally married in Australia, as provided by the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department. 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 16-18 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.
What must be included in your ceremony to ensure it is legal?
* I will need to inform the wedding party and the guests that I am an authorised celebrant
* I, or yourselves, will need to say your names, as listed on the Notice of Intended Marriage, in full at least once during the ceremony, prior to or during your vows
* I must read a particular paragraph, known as the Monitum, from Section 46 of the Marriage Act 1961.
For example: I am duly authorised by law to solemnize marriages according to law. David and Julie, 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 law in Australia, is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.
* You must exchange legal vows which state that you would like everyone present to witness that you take the other to be your lawful wedded husband/wife, as per Section 45(2) of the Marriage Act 1961
For example: I ask everyone here today to witness that I George Frederick Church take you Betty Doris Franks to be my lawful wedded wife.
* You must sign the Official Certificate of Marriage, a Certificate of Marriage for you to retain and the Marriage Register.