Don't Forget the Paperwork


It’s all very romantic and spontaneous to decide to elope or run off to Vegas to get married, but in Australia it’s not that easy. I recently had a conversation with someone who is planning to get married; being a bit overwhelmed with the planning of a wedding amidst life daily challenges, she said “what about we just call you one day to come over and marry us?” How easy does that sound? Unfortunately spontaneity has to be planned if you want a legal marriage. Step one in the legal process of planning to be married is to complete the Notice Of Intention to Marry (NOIM). This form (available through your celebrant) must be completed a minimum of one month and one day prior to your chosen wedding date, however is valid for 18 months from the date the celebrant receives it. The stumbling block that is often faced, is the documentation that is required to complete this form. You will need an Original Birth and Divorce certificates which must be sighted before the ceremony can be solemnised.

Not much thought is given to these document by most people, and I know personally I didn’t have a copy of my Birth Certificate until I wanted to get a Passport (when I was married, identification guidelines were much more relaxed). It was only then I realised that I had spent my life spelling my name incorrectly! If you do take some time to get this paperwork squared away early, any technical hiccups that may arise have plenty of time to be resolved and generally speaking can be done with a simple application to the Dept. of Birth Deaths and Marriages in the state or country that you were born.

Your wedding day will be a memory that you will carry with you for the rest of your lives; the beautiful dress, the handsome groom, that awesome cake, stunning flowers, the amazing decorations will all feature in the photographs and memories. Without the legal components completed in a correct and timely manner it could ultimately turn out to be a great and expensive party.Talking with someone recently, they shared with me their second wedding ceremony story.

Thinking that they had been divorced I was surprised to hear that for a variety of reasons their marriage of over 20 years had hit a technical hitch and was never registered. This was only discovered when the couple tried to apply for a passport, which required an original copy of their registered Marriage Certificate’ but there wasn’t one! While a great reason to have another wedding ceremony and an interesting story for the grandkids’; A little disappointing! It turned out well as the couple now have two wedding anniversaries, a delightful second wedding ceremony, a fresh new passport and are now legally married.

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