What is a ‘Legals Only’ Marriage Ceremony?

There are many reasons why couples might choose to have what I call a ‘legals only’ style marriage ceremony.

To be legally married (anywhere in Australia) I, as your chosen Marriage Celebrant, will ensure that the minimum legal requirements are undertaken, as set out in the Marriage Act, 1961 legislation.

Let me explain briefly what is involved when I conduct this style of marriage ceremony…

Step 1. We will meet and together we’ll complete and sign the first legal paper – the Notification of Intention to Marry, form. This MUST be completed and lodged with me, your Marriage Celebrant, at least one month prior to your wedding date. I hold onto this form until your marriage is conducted.           

At this meeting I’ll also give to you other information that I am legally required to provide.

Step 2. You must have 2 adult witnesses to bring to your wedding. They can be anyone you like. If you’re not able to or you simply don’t want to invite your own witnesses, no problem, I can organise 2 witnesses to attend on your wedding day!

            The witnesses are there to witness you and me reciting the legal vows (as per the Marriage Act) and then to witness that it is you signing the legal marriage documents.

Step 3. We then set the date, time and place for your wedding day – at least one month away.

Step 4. You, your 2 witnesses and I attend at the agreed place, date and time for the wedding.

Step 5. Before holding the little ‘ceremony’ I will request that you both read and sign the next legal paper which is your final declaration before you are married that you are legally free to marry each other.

Step 6. I’ll recite the legal declaration before you and your witnesses, (this is called the Monitum) which is a minimum requirement for a marriage to be LEGAL.

Step 7. I will request you both to individually recite the legal declaration/vows before me and your witnesses – also a minimum requirement under the Marriage Act.

You are not required to say any personal vows or to exchange wedding rings in this style ceremony.

Step 8. You, the 2 witnesses and I will finish the procedure by all signing the 3 legal documents.

Step 9. I then have 14 days (by law) in which to lodge all the legal paperwork with the Office of Births Deaths and Marriages in the State in which your wedding was conducted. This includes the first paper, the Notification of Intention to Marry. But of course I will lodge your papers immediately after your ceremony – not waiting up to 14 days!

Some of those reasons you might want to consider a ‘legals only’ style ceremony…..

No fuss; minimal preparation; simplicity; no one besides your witnesses need to know about it; quick and quiet; no ‘ceremony’ as such; everyone is happy; less stress for you; you’re having a ‘non-legal’ wedding celebration overseas OR have already held that ceremony; minimal cost to you; you want to be married as quickly as possible; you don’t want anyone else involved in your wedding day…. and this list could go on!

Contact me at any time to discuss this style of marriage ceremony and decide if it’s what YOU want for your wedding!

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