Legal Requirements for Marriage in Australia


In December 2017, the Australian Government changed the definition of marriage to provide marriage equality in Australia.  The right to marry within Australia is not determined by gender. 

There are however some legal requirements everyone must meet before they can be legally married within Australia:

  • Neither person can be married to someone else;
  • Both persons must be at least 18 years old, unless a court has approved for one of the persons to be aged between 16 and 18 years old;
  • You cannot be marrying your parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister;
  • You must understand what marriage means and give your free consent to marry;
  • Specific words must be exchanged during the ceremony;
  • You will need to give written notice of your intention to marry to your authorised celebrant, within the required timeframe.

As a Civil Marriage Celebrant, I can help you understand all the above legal requirements and take you through the documentation required.  To view the legal requirements to marry within Australia you can read through Getting Married on the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department website here.

Before we meet for the first time, you will need to send through copies of the following to allow me to prepare your legal documents:

  • An original birth certificate or original extract of birth certificate as proof of your date and place of birth.
  • If your birth certificate is not in English, your documentation must be a certified translation.
  • A passport is acceptable if you do not have an original copy of your birth certificate.
  • Drivers Licence.

To view the legal documents required to marry within Australia you can click through to the Marriage stationery and forms page on the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department here.



As a Civil Marriage Celebrant I am responsible for ensuring you have fulfilled all legal requirements prior to your celebration and after your ceremony, including lodging your completed Notice of Intended Marriage and Certificate of Marriage with the appropriate Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.  Lodgement of the Notice of Intended Marriage must occur no later than a full calendar month and not earlier than 18 months before your wedding date.

Additional documentation to be prepared and signed on your wedding day includes your Wedding Certificate and the Marriage Register which both parties, two witnesses and the marriage celebrant must all sign after the ceremony.


One of the Legal requirements for Marriage in Australia is that your Celebrant must provide you with this brochure.