Legal Requirements for
Getting Married in Australia

The legal requirements for getting married in Australia are relatively simple and straightforward.

The following information is intended to be a starting point and guideline only.

Photo courtesy of South Pacific Bridal

Photo courtesy of South Pacific Bridal

Although much care and effort has been taken to ensure the information provided is correct please do not take it as legal advice. I strongly advise you to consult the Embassy or High Commission of Australia for first-hand information.

Please Note:  Required documentation and the legal process may vary from nationality to nationality.

Essential Facts

  • Civil ceremonies can take place in any location and are conducted by a registered celebrant
  • Both religious and civil ceremonies are legally binding
  • There is no minimum residency period

Legality of Marriage

Marriages performed in Australia are internationally recognised and legally binding.

Residency Requirements

There are no minimum residency requirements for getting married in Australia.

Marriage Application

You will need to file a completed Notice of Intended Marriage form to an authorised marriage celebrant at least one month and one day prior to the date of your proposed marriage but no more than 18 months before.

A Notice of Intended Marriage form can be lodged from overseas as long as it has been signed in the presence of:

  • Australian Diplomatic Officer
  • an Australian Consular Officer
  • a notary public
  • an employee of the Commonwealth authorised under para 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955
  • an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorised under para 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955

When the signature of one party to an intended marriage cannot conveniently be obtained, one party may sign and lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage form, but the other party must also sign the form in the presence of an authorised celebrant before your marriage takes place.

Once witnessed, the Notice Of Intended Marriage form can be sent to the Marriage Celebrant, Wedding Planner or to friends or relatives in Australia if they are arranging the wedding.

The Marriage Celebrant will advise you of any additional documents you need to supply before your wedding can take place.

Notice of Intended Marriage form

Click here to download the Notice of Intended Marriage form.

Required Documentation

All documents must be original and taken with you to Australia.

  • Full Birth Certificate
  • 10 Year Passport with at least 6 months validity remaining
  • Notice of Intended Marriage – requirements listed above
  • If you are divorced – a Decree Absolute
  • If you are a widower – a Death certificate and previous Marriage Certificate
  • If you are adopted – an Adoption Certificate
  • If you are under 18 – an order from the court under section 12 of the Marriage Act 1961
  • If you have changed your name by deed poll – stamped proof by a solicitor


Marriage of any persons under the age of 18 years of age without an order of a judge or magistrate is invalid. Under no circumstances can two persons under 18 years marry each other.

Marriage Certificate

On the day of your marriage, your marriage certificate will be signed by yourselves, the marriage celebrant and two witnesses over 18 years of age. Your marriage certificate will also carry your dates and places of birth, usual addresses and occupations, conjugal status and your parents’ names, including your mothers’ maiden names.

This certificate will be forwarded to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages within 14 days for official recordings.

On the day of your marriage you will be issued with a shorter certificate of marriage bearing your, the celebrants and witnesses’ signatures, which states that your marriage took place on a certain date but this certificate has no legal weight.

Your legal marriage certificate will be available from the Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State in which your marriage took place.

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Additional Details

For more information on the type of wedding ceremony you may have in Australia click here.

For information in respect of same-sex marriages in Australia click here.

For further information

For further information on the legal requirements for getting married in Australia please contact the Australian Embassy or High Commission.

A full listing of Australian Diplomatic Missions and Consular Offices can be found on the following link: Australian Embassy or Diplomatic Mission in your country