- Since the 9th December 2017, sex or gender no longer affected the right to marry under Australian law and same-sex marriage became legal in Australia.
The Marriage Amendment Act 2017 commenced on the 9th December 2017. This Act amended the Marriage Act 1961 to redefine marriage as ‘the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.’
The facts you need to know.
The first stage of any marriage is filling in the “ Notice of Intended Marriage “ (NOIM). It’s vitally important that your chosen celebrant receives your signed notice of intended marriage no later than 1 month before the wedding and no earlier than 18 months before the wedding.
The Notice of Intended Marriage attests the following:
- That you are marriageable age (usually 18 years or older)
- That you are not currently married to another person
- That you are not closely related (e.g. you are not brother or sister)
Ensure your marriage is legal.
To ensure your marriage is legal, you need to make sure of the following. That each person is not married, that your celebrant has seen your relevant identity documents and that you have completed & signed the notice of intended marriage, and given the document to your celebrant no later than 1 month before the wedding.
You don’t have to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia to be legally married in Australia. You can find marriage visa information on the Department of Home Affairs website if you hope to live in Australia after your marriage.
When can you get married?
According to the Marriage Act 1961, which specifies the need to provide 1 month’s notice before a marriage, can take place. Please note: this is one full month between the time you declare officially that you intend to marry and the day that you are able to walk down the aisle together.
If you happen to find yourself in the predicament of not completing the Notice of Intended Marriage within the required time frame, there are 5 criteria, in which the authorities will consider before allowing the time frame to be shortened. For example if you did not realise you had to sign the Notice of Intended Marriage.
You may still be able to get married within the 1 months notification period, if you can show the authorities a clear and unequivocal intent that you wanted to get married more than 1 month prior to the wedding date.
This can be done by producing receipts for wedding related items, such as a deposit for the wedding venue or the entertainment you have chosen. These receipts would need to have been purchased before the 1-month period. Remember your best bet is to complete the required Notice of Intended Marriage on time, as this option is not always guaranteed and the government may not approve your wedding.
In the event you have been posted abroad to work, or someone important to your wedding is so unwell and may not be around for the wedding day. Don’t stress! You may be able to apply for an immediate marriage, but remember this will again be assessed on a case-by-case basis and is also not guaranteed. The Australian Same Sex Wedding Directory hosts a large number of gay friendly celebrants, who are ready to help you plan for your special wedding day
What documents will you need?
Your chosen celebrant will be required to identify you. You will need to provide your celebrant with documents that contain your date of birth and place of birth. For couples born in Australia, your celebrant will be required to note the details of your birth certificate or passport on the Notice of Intended Marriage form. Please be aware there are no exceptions to this requirement.
Can’t find or lost your birth certificate or passport? Don’t stress these documents can be relatively quite easy to replace.
Your chosen celebrant will also need to see some photo identification. If you have chosen to identify yourself using your birth certificate, you will most probably need to supply your celebrant with your driver’s licence, which contains a photo of yourself. If you have chosen to identify yourself with your passport, you won’t need to supply any additional photographic identification.
Where can you get married?
If you planning a civil ceremony, you can get married pretty much anywhere, as long as your witnesses can hear you repeat your marriage vows.
Please be aware some public parks may require a permit, but as long as the correct paperwork is filled out prior, there’s pretty much no restrictions of where you can get married. The Australian Same Sex Wedding Directory hosts a large number of gay friendly wedding venues, who are standing by ready to help you plan for your special wedding day.