Minimum Legal Requirements

Getting married in Australia

To be legally married in Australia, a man and woman must:

  • not be married to someone else
  • not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister
  • be at least 18 years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where one party is aged between 16 and 18 years old
  • understand what marriage means and freely consent to becoming husband and wife
  • use specific words during the ceremony
  • give written notice of their intention to marry to their authorised celebrant, within the required time frame.

I will help you understand these requirements.

You don't have to be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia to legally marry here. You can find marriage visa information on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website, if you hope to live in Australia after your marriage.

Important paperwork—Notice of Intended Marriage

  • A completed Notice-of-intended-marriage.PDF  must be given to your celebrant at least one month before the wedding. You can give it to your celebrant up to 18 months beforehand.
  • Your celebrant can help you complete the form. The notice may be completed and witnessed outside Australia if required.
  • Talk to your celebrant if there is less than one month before your wedding. A Prescribed Authority may approve a shorter notice time in some limited circumstances.
  • You will need to give your celebrant evidence of date and place of birth, identity and the end of any previous marriages for each party. Your celebrant may also ask you to complete a statutory declaration to support your evidence.

After you are married

On the day of your wedding, you will sign three marriage certificates. Each certificate should be signed by you, your celebrant and two witnesses. Your celebrant will give you one of the certificates as a record of your marriage. 
Your celebrant must register your marriage with the registry of births, deaths and marriages in the state or territory it took place within 14 days.

The certificate issued by the registry of births, deaths and marriages is required for many official purposes. You should apply for a copy of this certificate from the registry after your wedding through the relevant births, deaths and marriages.