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Planning a long distance wedding

Can we get married if we are not in Tasmania or even Australia?

The answer generally is YES!

I am not able to do your wedding over the internet, or via video but if you are coming to Tasmania and wanting me to do your wedding then I can do that, alternatively, I can come to you as long as you are in Australia (additional travel fees will obviously apply).

Regardless of where you are located before the wedding, if you are getting married in Australia the same rules apply:

♥ You need to complete a Notice of Intent to Marry (NOIM) and I need to receive this signed and witnessed at least 1 month prior to the wedding.

♥ You must have two witnesses over 18 years of age (I can arrange these if needed).

♥ Both parties to marriage must be over 18 years of age.

♥ I must be able to view 2 forms of identification (birth certificate, passport or driver licence).

♥ You need to sign the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage prior to the marriage taking place, this will be completed once we meet just before the wedding.

Regardless of where you are getting married, if I am your celebrant then I will encourage you to chat to me about your plans either on the phone, email, messaging on my website or Facebook, video chat etc.  You can be assured that my couples are my focus and I want your day to be special regardless of the size, the location or any other factors.

Notice of Intent to Marry - if you are overseas

The Notice of Intent to Marry is a legal requirement for marriage within Australia and when I'm working with couples outside of Australia we still need to complete this, but as you can't come to me to get this signed we do need to do it a little differently.  You do need to remember that we need to have the completed Notice of Intent to Marry (signed and witnessed) at least one month prior to the planned wedding, without this the wedding can't go ahead). 

 

Generally we follow this process:

♥ You complete the information for your Notice of Intent to Marry on a link that I provide you.

♥ You send me 2 of your identification documents (passport, birth certificate, drivers licence) - email is normally best.

♥ I complete the Notice of Intent to Marry with the information you have provided.

♥ I email you the completed Notice of Intent to Marry and you go and sign this and get it witnessed by an Australian Consular Officer, an Australian Diplomatic Officer, a notary public, an employee of the Commonwealth authorised under paragraph 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, or an employee of the Australian Trade Commission  authorised under paragraph 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955. (Note: For the definitions of Australian Consular Officer and Australian Diplomatic Officer, see section 2 of the Consular Fees Act 1955.)

♥ You send the completed Notice of Intent to Marry back to me.  This is when the 1 month starts, so this needs to be back to me fully signed by yourself and witnessed by one of the above mentioned people at least 1 month prior to the planned wedding.

Notice of Intent to Marry - if you are in Australia

Again we still need complete the Notice of Intent to Marry but it is a little easier than if you are overseas.  The process here is:

♥ You complete the information for your Notice of Intent to Marry on a link that I provide you.

♥ You send me 2 of your identification documents (passport, birth certificate, drivers licence) - email is normally best.

♥ I complete the Notice of Intent to Marry with the information you have provided and send this to you, again email is best.

♥ We then have two options -

♥ I can witness your signatures via a video call.

♥You can have your signatures witnessed by an authorised celebrant, a Commissioner for Declarations under the Statutory Declarations Act 1969, a justice of the peace, a barrister or solicitor, a legally qualified medical practitioner or a member of the Australian Federal Police or the police force of a State or Territory.

♥ You send the completed (signed and witnessed) Notice of Intent to Marry back to me and your 1 month notice starts from then.

Identification documents not in English

A translator will be required where one or both parties supply supporting documents e.g. birth certificate, passport, final divorce certificate etc. which are not written in the English language.  The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI) is the national standards and accreditation body for translators and interpreters in Australia. It is the only agency to issue accreditations for practitioners who wish to work in this profession in Australia. The NAATI website provides a searchable online directory of translators and interpreters. Where the services of a translator are required, the Marriage Law and Celebrants Section recommends that they are found through the NAATI website which can be found here.

If you can't speak or understand English

There may be times where a couple would like to get married in Tasmania where English is not their first language and an interpreter is required.  You can find further information about the need for an interpreter here.

Some extra things to be aware of

It is recommended that foreign nationals check with authorities in their own countries prior to entering into a marriage in Australia. Some overseas countries do not recognise a marriage entered into in Australia as valid unless other requirements, such as the prior granting of permission from that country’s embassy, are fulfilled. This can have implications for foreign nationals who intend to return to their country following a marriage.

 

In cases where a marriage involves an Australian citizen and a foreign national, parties should always obtain advice about immigration issues from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship or a registered migration agent.

One option may be for the foreign national to choose to apply for a Prospective Marriage Visa (subclass 300). This is a temporary visa which is valid for 9 months. The applicant must be outside Australia when they lodge their application and when the visa is granted and the prospective spouse must be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

Some couples from overseas countries, who marry in Australia, require a special stamp to be placed on the registered copy of their official Certificate of Marriage in order for their marriage to be accepted as being legal in their country.  To find out if you require one of these stamps, check the smart traveller website here.

If you do require one of these stamps, I, as your celebrant, will firstly need to register your marriage, once it has occurred, with Births, Deaths & Marriages. If your marriage occurred in Tasmania, I will do this online, however, if your marriage occurred outside Tasmania, I will register your marriage, once it has occurred, by mailing the relevant documents to Births, Deaths & Marriages in the capital city of the State or Territory in which your marriage occurred.

 

In Australia, it is a legal requirement that the documents are registered within 14 days of the marriage taking place.

You can obtain a copy of your official Certificate of Marriage by completing the relevant application form and submitting it to the Registry. Alternatively, I can do this for you at the same time that I register your marriage if it is registered within Tasmania (additional fee of $60).

Once received, you should send or take your official Certificate of Marriage to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in the capital city of the State in which you were married or to the Canberra office in the ACT with a request to have a stamp affixed to the marriage certificate. The current fee for this is $60. DFAT will then post the certificate back to your home country unless you request that it is returned to an address in Australia. If you require further information on this process, you should contact the DFAT office in the capital city of the State or Territory in which you plan to marry. There are offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Darwin.

* All information shared here is done to the best of my knowledge is provided as general information only. It is recommended that you seek independent legal advice for your specific situation from the appropriate Australian or overseas government department.

Don't forget, you can contact me if you have any questions at all

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