If you are planning to wed your best friend, COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria are not easing; and there are strict Government regulations with regard to invited guests and social distancing.
The NEW COVID-19 restrictions! From 9 July 2020, the Victorian Government has locked down all metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire areas - returned to Stage 3 restrictions! The strict guidelines for weddings in these LGA areas are: the couple getting married, their 2 witnesses and the Celebrant only! However, for areas in regional Victoria and outside the metro Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, restrictions remain as is: up to 20 people, in addition to the Celebrant and couple getting married, can attend a wedding. If a wedding is held in a private residence, it will be limited to the members of the household, five attendees, plus the Celebrant. Also note, that the Government regulations include children as part of the guests invited. However, each state has different regulations, so you need to make sure what the regulations and laws are in the state where you are getting married. For more information on the Victorian Government regulations and current information, follow this link: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
The social distancing rules that will apply during each ceremony:
1. At least 1.5mt social distancing separation rule between each person, whether they are sitting or standing!
2. 1.5mt rule will apply during the signing of the marriage register and certificates!
3. There will be no hugging, hand shaking, kissing, regardless of the connection, before, during and after the ceremony!
4. Close photography, group photo's, selfies, etc., is also not acceptable!
Please be assured that if you have appointed me as your Celebrant, my policy is to stay safe and protected at all times!
I am committed to ensure that you, your witnesses and guests are also safe and protected at all times. I am also committed to practice good hygiene. My policy is:
1. A "Guest Register" must be completed and signed by all attending the wedding, including, children, the witnesses and wedding party, because should an outbreak occur, all guests must be notified to get tested and isolate!
2. To ensure that all maintain the physical distancing and that the 1.5 metre distance from each other rule is maintained at all times, including myself, as the Celebrant.
3. I will ensure that I sanitise my hands before, during as required and immediately after each ceremony.
4. Ensure minimal steps are taken in regard to handling of paperwork; and will provide clear verbal instructions and practice safe distancing during the signing of the Marriage Register & Certificates.
5. Five (5) pens will be used during signing and they will be sanitised prior to and after the signing of the Marriage Register & Certificates, however, it would be preferable/advisable that all couples & witnesses bring their own pens.
6. To be assured that your wedding rings will not be handled by me, as the Celebrant. It is advisable that the Ring Bearer is also advised not to touch/handle the wedding rings, only open the box, then sanitise the box before returning it back to you.
7. To regularly clean my table, chairs, speaker and other equipment required for your ceremony, including immediately after the ceremony.
You can get married only under exceptional circumstances. To get married less than one month after signing your NOIM form with your celebrant, you must be granted a shortening of the statutory notice period by a prescribed authority such as the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM). Registrars and Deputy Registrars (in your State) can also grant shortenings. As a Prescribed Authority, BDM will only consider your application if you:
You will also need to pay a non-refundable shortening fee.
Although BDM will consider a shortening application if you meet the above requirements, you may not be granted the shortening if BDM is not satisfied with your application.
If your Fiance/Partner/Spouse does not speak English, an interpreter will be necessary. You must source the interpreter and they must be authorised and independent. Prior to your marriage, your celebrant must receive a statutory declaration by the interpreter stating he/she understands and is able to converse in the language/s required. Your celebrant can provide the necessary statutory declaration for you to take to your interpreter.
Immediately after the ceremony the interpreter must give the authorised celebrant a certificate of the faithful performance of his or her services as interpreter. The certificate must be in the prescribed form. Your celebrant will be able to provide the prescribed form.
Absolutely, however there are a couple of compulsory elements that must be included in order for you to be legally married. These are the Monitum (which authorises the celebrant to solemnise your marriage according to Australian law); set words that you both must repeat after the celebrant, in the presence of at least two witnesses; and the signing of the legal documentation. Apart from these, you have complete control, including the order of your ceremony.
Yes this is possible. Witnesses can be any person who is at least 18 years of age. It can be a family member or a friend, or even a complete stranger. However, you must have two witnesses attend your wedding ceremony, to witness the ceremony and sign the Marriage Certificates.
On your wedding day you will receive a decorative certificate known as the “Marriage Certificate”. This certificate is decorative and only for your own records. It is NOT a legal document, and it is not acceptable as proof of marriage for official purposes such as updating/changing your driver’s licence or passport to your married name.
If you will be updating/changing your name, you must apply for an official Marriage Certificate from Births Deaths and Marriages in your State as official proof of marriage.
As your Commitment ceremony is not legally recognised in Australia, you will not be issued with an official Marriage Certificate by Births Deaths and Marriages. After your ceremony, you should contact Births Deaths and Marriages in your State to complete and lodge an Application to Register a Change of Name. You will then be issued with a Change of Name Certificate. This can be used to change all your identification documents.
That’s a difficult one, but your ‘gut feeling’ is a good guide. Always ask yourself:
It is recommended that you hold a rehearsal close to your wedding day. This enables potential problems to be identified and participants to know their role, helping to ensure your ceremony will run smoothly. While it is often advisable, it is not always necessary for the rehearsal to be held at your venue.
Absolutely. Your celebrant will help you find and/or write the vows and will create a ceremony which reflects your wishes. Please note that Australian law imposes minor inclusions in the ceremony wording, which a celebrant has no say over. Please refer to “Can we write our own wedding ceremony” above.
Yes this is possible, but not if the second ceremony is represented as “your wedding”. It is illegal to do this. The alternative is that you can have a civil ceremony with some religious observance, or that the second ceremony be presented as a celebratory event with family and friends in which you re-affirm the vows previously taken.
Yes they can. In fact anyone can, so long as they are at least 18 years of age. However, they are unable to deliver the compulsory legal elements that must be included in order for you to be legally married. These are: the Monitum (which authorises the celebrant to solemnise your marriage according to Australian law); set words that you both must repeat after the celebrant, in the presence of at least two witnesses; and the signing of the legal documentation. The celebrant must be present.
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Supporter of Australian Marriage Equality
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