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First Steps

Congratulations!

 

My Role as Your Celebrant

 

I have an important role, not just because of the legal significance of marriage, but also the effect to both of as a couple and individually.

I must make sure that everything is done in line with the marriage act and the marriage regulations and ensure that every step is followed so your marriage is valid. I take this very seriously and I’ll make sure it’s all stress free for you.

 

I ‘m so excited to be supporting you through one of the most important days of your lives, thank you for allowing me to be part of your special day. I’ve outlined what to expect on the day, the structure of your ceremony, examples of rituals, vows, music, and readings that you may wish to include in your ceremony.

On my website I’ve included recommended suppliers that I trust will ensure you have a day to remember and that you might like to use.

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Your wedding day is something you may have been planning since you were very small. 

Even though wedding fashions and trends change over time, there’s always the main element and focus on the day and that’s you and how you feel about one another and expressing that love and connection to your loved ones.

 

Choosing what to include in your ceremony can be quite daunting. This is a guide to help make your wedding planning less so.

 

I will provide you with some resources to help you with planning and structuring your ceremony. I will also help and guide you through this whole process to make everything as stress free as possible. I’ve also explained the whole process of getting married, from start to finish.

 

Your day is as important to me as it is to you. I have researched, compiled, and written instructions keeping these things and most importantly, you, in mind.

 

Who can marry in Australia?

 

You do not need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident to legally marry in Australia.

  • Anyone over the age of eighteen (unless approved by a court) whereby a marriage occurs where one person is aged between 16 and 18 years old.

  • Anyone not married to someone else.

  • Anyone not marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, or sibling.

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Leading up to your wedding

 

During the lead up to your wedding day, I’ll contact you to arrange for your legal paperwork to be filled out accordingly. I’ll contact you once your ceremony script is written and get you to look it over, at this stage, you are free to make any changes you would like.

In the meantime, I'll get you to write your personal vows if you’re wanting to write to one another. I can also help you with this, if you feel overwhelmed by the thought of having to compose something. I can give ideas and hints of what to include in your ceremony and tailor it to fit both you and your partner's personality. As the day gets closer, you’ll hear from, and see more of me, and we’ll start to create the perfect ceremony.

I am available to speak to when you need me, we will mostly correspond via email and phone, however, we can also speak via FaceTime and Zoom. For those couples who are overseas, this will be our main point of contact.

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About the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)

 

The Notice of Intended Marriage or ‘NOIM’ is the form you need to fill out to get the ball rolling for getting married.

This form is the most important document for getting your wedding underway legally. This is the first piece of information along the paperwork journey that must be completed, to legally marry in Australia.

It must be filled in no earlier than 18 months prior to your intended day and not more than 1 month before. If you have circumstances when you need to marry under the one-month deadline you can apply for a ‘shortening of time’.

 

You can apply for this through a prescribed authority, which is published on the Attorney General departments website. There are five reasons you can apply for this, which we can discuss if it is needed.

Information about the Declaration of No Legal Impediment (DNLI)

 

This document must be signed as close to your wedding ceremony as possible.

Both parties must make, before me, a declaration as to your marital status and belief that there is no legal impediment to your marriage. The declaration must be made before your marriage is solemnised, and as near to your ceremony as possible as some couples may come to me who are in the process of divorcing, and they cannot sign this declaration until that divorce is final.

We can sign it on the day of your marriage BEFORE your ceremony; however you’ll have so many other things think about on the day like getting ready, I prefer meeting with you both a few days before your wedding day to go through final arrangements and so this is usually a good time to sign the declaration.

Marriage Certificates

 

On your wedding day, I’ll provide you with a commemorative wedding certificate.  However is not your legal marriage certificate.

During the ceremony we will sign two marriage certificates, these certificates will be registered through Births, Deaths, and Marriages. Although I’m required by law to register your marriage within fourteen days of your ceremony I will endeavour to complete and register the marriage as soon as possible. Once your marriage has been officially registered, I’ll contact you to congratulate and let you know and what the next steps are.

Translation and Interpreting

 

It is my responsibility to decide whether an interpreter is necessary for your ceremony, as it is the law to obtain an interpreter or translator if one of you speaks a language other than English, this includes Auslan.

If you do require an interpreter or translator for your ceremony, you will need to obtain one from The National Accreditation Authority for translators and interpreters (NAATI).

 

This is the body for translators and interpreters in Australia. The Attorney General recommends that an interpreter is found on the NAATI website.

The translator or interpreter must be at an accredited level three or higher.

If a legal document is presented to me in a language other than English, I will require you to seek an official NAATI certified translation of the document. When you have found a translator or interpreter, they will need to fill out a statuary declaration form and certificate of faithful performance by the interpreter.  This declares that everything the interpreter has interpreted is true. I will then send off these forms with all your other paperwork.  If you require any of this information we can discuss further in more detail in person.

COVID safe weddings

 

With COVID making unprecedented changes to weddings and even trends of how to marry, we still need to ensure we are including safe and responsible practices to ensure you and your loved ones can have the still have the most fun whilst knowing you are all safeguarding your health.

I am fully vaccinated and will put into practice any safety guidelines set out by the government and the law and even any you might personally want to include. I will need to obtain documents from you and your guests to check they’re all fully vaccinated also.

 

You might have to scale your wedding numbers right back to adhere to government regulations, and it seems COVID has affected wedding trends in the last two years, with couples opting for a more intimate ‘micro wedding’.

 

I know when my husband and I married we had to think of a different plan, as my family couldn’t fly over from the UK, we had to opt for a micro wedding that we had in our back garden, we decided to have the big do later on in a couple of years to give time for borders to re-open and for my family to be able to join us. 

Rehearsal

I offer a free rehearsal at my home; Mondays to Fridays 11am-2pm. I am more than happy to come to your venue for a rehearsal for a $100 fee. 

Processional/presentation of the couple

This is where one or both of you make your ‘grand’ entrance. You can involve your family and close friends. Everyone walks down the aisle in a specific order. With the bridesmaids, flower girls and ring bearers.

Traditionally the bride would be given away at this point. Many couples prefer to keep this tradition, but you can shake it up a little and do what you want and inject your personalities into this stage. Both of you can walk down the aisle together, with both of your parents, you can have you and your children, or even involve your pets. It’s your entrance, so you can choose whatever you would like!

Opening words/welcome

This is where I will welcome you and your guests to the ceremony and say a few words about you both.

Readings and/or poems

I have provided you both with some options and ideas of readings and poems you may wish to add to your ceremony.

Having a reading or poem is a nice option to include that means something to you or represents you both as a couple.

It’s also a good way of including friends or family into your ceremony. I have included ideas for readings and poems on page

Monitum

This is the part of the ceremony where certain words often referred to as the Monitum must be used by commonwealth registered marriage celebrants and territory officers in solemnising a marriage.

It explains the nature of the marriage relationship and is said in the presence of the witnesses. I must include this in your ceremony to ensure it is a legal marriage. I cannot take this section out.

“I, David Gouldson, am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law.

 

Before you are married in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter.

 

Marriage, according to the law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

Ceremony/Ritual

This is the section where you can use a ceremony or ritual to signify the unity of you coming together as a couple. You might want a sand ceremony which represents the blending of two people or families coming together.

 

Or you can choose to plant a tree, this represents the new life you are starting together

and the growth you have in the future years ahead. I have included examples and ideas for rituals in this booklet on page

Asking and Vows

This part of the ceremony is also important as it ensures your marriage is legal. You can write your own vows to be exchanged after your legal vows. This is section where you are both consenting to the marriage, so it’s a pretty important step!

“I call upon the persons here present, to witness that I

 

(FULL LEGAL NAME OF PARTY 1)

 

take you (FULL LEGAL NAME OF PARTY 2)

 

to be my lawful wedded wife (OR husband / wife / spouse / partner in marriage.)”

Exchange Rings

Both you and your spouse exchange rings and will make a promise. Traditionally couples usually exchange the rings, as it was used to signify ever lasting love. Or something that was unbreakable.

 

Signing of the Register

This is where we will sign the official marriage certificates. You will sign two official marriage certificates and one commemorative certificate for you to take away with you that day. However this is not your official marriage certificate. Your marriage will take a few weeks to a month to become official. I will contact you once it has been registered and let you know the next steps if you’re wanting to change your name(s).

Declaration of Marriage

 

This where I will announce you both as partners for life, or husband and wife, wife and wife, or husband and husband. Couples usually exchange a kiss at this stage.

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