What are the legal requirements of a wedding under current Australian Law?
Not as much as you might have thought. For your wedding to be legal the following must occur during your ceremony:
- The celebrant must introduce themselves by name and as an authorised celebrant.
- The bride and groom’s full names must be said in full at least once at any point during the ceremony. This can be either by the couple (commonly during the vows) or by the celebrant.
- The celebrant must read ‘The Monitum’ from the Marriage Act 1961 (but you don’t have to listen).
- The bride and groom must exchange legal vows. There is a lot of flexibility in the extended wording however it must include ‘I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [e.g. Ryan Thomas Gosling], take you, [e.g. Lara Louise Williams], to be my lawful wedded wife’.
- Two witnesses over the age of 18 must be present and sign the relevant legal documentation.
How much does a celebrant cost?
This is entirely up to the individual celebrant who may wish to tailor their fees to the type of ceremony, scale and location. For me for example, an elopement in the park with a guest list of 5 would be a different fee than a wedding in the country.
I believe a great celebrant should well and truly earn their fee, beginning long before the actual ceremony, with impeccable service and communication. Please be in touch with me to find out more about what I charge for the service you require and what you are guaranteed from me in return.
Does the celebrant really have to say that part about “Marriage is between a man and a woman”?
Yes. This passage is called The Monitum and under current legislation this is a legal requirement of a wedding in Australia. Until the laws are changed, and I sincerely hope that day is coming soon, couples may elect to make a statement read by the celebrant following the reading of the Monitum to express their disagreement with the current laws.
Is that show ‘Married at First Sight’ legit?
Yes, and no. Believe it or not, in Australia it is legal to marry someone you have never met. It is not legal however to marry without completing the legal paperwork no later than 30 days prior to the wedding. This paperwork makes sure the parties are consenting to the wedding. So, basically if you are up for marrying a stranger – you can! HOWEVER, the weddings conducted for the show are deliberately missing some of the legal components that render them official. So NO, the couples are not actually getting married.