Frequently Asked Questions


You must both be over the age of 18 years. * some exceptions apply

You must complete and lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage Form one month prior to the ceremony date. * some exceptions apply

You are both required to show your identity documentation to your celebrant prior to the wedding day i.e. original Birth Certificate or your current overseas Passport if not born in Australia

If previously married, the celebrant is required to sight your original Divorce papers, or Death Certificate of a former spouse.

Contact a celebrant to make an appointment as soon as you have selected a date and have a general idea as to the venue for your wedding.  If you have left booking a celebrant a little late you might like to think of selecting Friday or another weekday for your ceremony as Saturdays can fill early

You can book a celebrant up to 18months prior to your date.  This is a great way of securing that special date i.e. New Year's Eve, Easter or popular Saturdays

Often civil marriage celebrants will offer an obligation free first meeting.  This is a great opportunity to get to know each other.   Please take along your identification documents i.e. birth certificate and papers relating to any previous marriage so that if you do decide to engage the celebrant you can save yourselves a little time

Almost anywhere - You have complete freedom of choice, a wedding function centre, garden, beach, park, and your own home.  Of course you will need to confirm with the owners of the site i.e. local council.  Your chosen celebrant can often recommend lots of suitable local sites. 
  • You can include other people in your ceremony other than the celebrant
  • The bride can choose to be given away by her father or mother or children or a close friend or not at all. Often it is just nice to have someone's arm to hold as you walk up the aisle. A giving away is optional.
  • Most ceremonies last for 20 - 30 minutes
  • There are certain words/phrases that must be included in the ceremony for it to conform with the Marriage Act 1961. Your celebrant should ensure these are included
  • You can have spiritual and religious wording in your ceremony if your wish. Please discuss this further with your celebrant
  • Music is often played as the bride enters, as the signing is occurring and at the end of the ceremony
  • You require two adult witnesses for the ceremony
  • It is no longer customary for the bride to be late.

The same signature your signed the Notice of Intended Marriage Form

At your wedding you will receive a Presentation Marriage Certificate.  Unfortunately most government departments and banks will not accept this for a name change.  You will need to obtain an Official Marriage Certificate issued by Births Deaths and Marriages once your marriage has been registered.  BDM charges a fee for this certificate.  Your local celebrant can assist or advise you.
Yes, you can but you can't be married until the celebrant has  sighted your original final divorce papers.

This should be discussed at your first meeting as it can vary based on the ceremony type, date, time of day, day and any extra travel or ceremony requirements.


In general the fee includes:  (confirm your specific situation with your celebrant)

  • Standard travel
  • Lodgement of Notice of Intended Marriage Form
  • Preparation of the marriage ceremony
  • Consultations with the bride and groom
  • A rehearsal
  • Often the use of a PA System
  • Presentation of the ceremony
  • After the marriage, lodgement of all relevant paperwork to Births, Deaths and Marriages


Most celebrants will have access to PA system. Sometimes an additional fee may apply.  If you have a large number of guests or the location requires it, it is advisable to have a PA system so that all your guests can hear the ceremony.

Make an appointment with a Celebrant so that you can complete and lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage Form. The Celebrant can then provide you with a letter confirming your lodgement of a Notice of Intended Marriage Form. Only one party is needed to complete the form at this stage.

Most celebrants will charge a fee for this letter.

No.  However, should you wish to, all Celebrants have course information available for you.

Having a baby naming often is chosen by parents as an alternative to a religious christening.  The baby naming ceremony names and welcomes the child leaving the child free to make a choice regarding religion to a later date.

A naming can be done at any age, the ceremony will be written for the age of the child.  Often a naming is combined with the child's first birthday.

No.  A baby naming is not a legally binding arrangement.

As many baby namings are held in the child's home they are often customised to suit the specific situation.  Your celebrant will work with you to ensure your ceremony captures your wishes.

No. General celebrants can perform all ceremonies other than legal marriages.  Often civil marriage celebrants also perform general celebrant ceremonies.
A renewal ceremony is for those couples who are already married.  A renewal of vows ceremony can be done at any stage: one year anniversary or twenty-fifth.  This is not another legal marriage ceremony but a renewal/reiteration of your first vows.  The legal component of your original vows will need to be modified.  Your celebrant will work with your to ensure your renewal ceremony captures your intentions.

For those couples who are legally unable to marry or choose not to marry a commitment ceremony is an opportunity to publicly declare their commitment to each other.  Your celebrant will clearly identify the ceremony as a commitment ceremony so that there is not confusion with a legal marriage ceremony.

A commitment ceremony can include many of the features of a marriage ceremony. You can exchange vows, rings and kiss.  However the legal vows as per the Marriage Act 1961 & the celebrant's authority cannot be included.  The celebrant will also clearly identify the ceremony as a commitment ceremony so that there is not confusion with a legal marriage ceremony.

Yes.  Most funeral homes will have a number of celebrants they recommend.  However if you wish to select your own celebrant there are many on NeedaCelebrant who are available.  Please select funeral as you ceremony type on the search page then enter your postcode or region. 
Yes this is usually part of their funeral ceremony service.  To find a celebrant please select "Funeral" as the ceremony type on the search page then enter your postcode or region. 

Yes.  To find a celebrant who will perform this task for you please select "Funeral" as your ceremony type on the search page then enter your postcode or region. 

Often the answer to a question can very much depend upon the specifics of your situation.  Please select a celebrant and give them a call or send an email to explain your situation.  Most celebrants are happy to assist you.