Answers to Common Questions the Couples Have

FAQ – GENERAL

What is a NOIM?

A NOIM is a Notice of Intended Marriage it is an important document that must be given to your authorised marriage celebrant:

  • Earlier than 18 months, a year and a half, before the wedding day.
  • No later than 1 month before the wedding day.

It is a requirement under the Marriage Act that a number of documents must be completed accurately and within a specific order and timeframe in order for the marriage to be legally registered and recognised. 

  • The Notice of Intended Marriage: This contains your personal details and is accompanied by evidence to prove you are legally able to be married in Australia as well as proof of who you are:                              Identification to prove date and place of birth and identity may include:                                                                – An original Birth Certificate                                                                                                                                       – A current Passport (if you were born Overseas or in Australia                                                                         – Citizenship certificate and form of photo identification
  • In some instances, one or both parties may have been previously married. In this case a Divorce order, decree absolute or death certificate must be provided as proof the individual is free to legally be married.
    • If this documentation is in another language it will need to be translated and a certified translated document will need to be provided.
  • It is also highly likely to establish the timeline of events and name change chain that the celebrant will also request to sight the Original Marriage Certificates of any previous marriages.

Is there a way to get around giving the celebrant the NOIM within the designated timeframe?

There are exceptional circumstances where a marrying couple can apply for an exception the the NOIM minimum timeframe rule.  

There are five circumstances where an exception can be made to the due date:

  • employment related or other travel commitments
  • wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations
  • medical reasons
  • legal proceedings
  • error in giving notice

If you want to be married with less than 30 days notice, you must know:

  • The reason for seeking a shortening of time must fall within one of the five categories described above
  • and the granting of a shortening of time is not automatic

If there are extra extraordinary circumstances, please let me know and I can advise on the correct process. I am here to help.

What other documents do I need to complete?

The other main document that needs to be completed prior to the wedding is the Declaration of no legal impediment to marriage. This document is completed just before the ceremony (usually the last meeting or the rehearsal). This form declares that to the best of you and your partners knowledge there is no reason why your marriage should not be recognised in Australia as you satisfy all the requirements and regulations outlined within the Marriage Act. 

My partner is 16 and I am 18 can we get married?

If one of the couple seeking to be married is underage and the other is 18 or older it is possible to marry but this is a process involving applying for a court order and having permission of the underage person’s legal guardian/s.

If both parties are underage you cannot be legally married.

You can also not marry any of you immediate family members such as  mother, father, sister. Even if they are adopted.

Do I automatically get Citizenship in Australia if I marry an Australian Citizen?

No. You do not have to be citizen of Australia to be married within Australia. But marrying another individual that is a Citizen does not mean that you automatically gain citizenship. As a Celebrant I cannot give out information regarding the process to become a citizen. If you would like information regarding visas or citizenships you will need to speak with the immigration department 

What could stop a marriage being legalised?

Some issues or impediments that could stop a marriage being legalised could be:

  • Already being married to someone else
  • Being to closely related to the person you wish to marry
  • Not being of legal marriageable age (Being a minor)
  • On the day of the wedding if the celebrant believes one or both parties are not of sound body and mind, they do have the right to refuse to solemnise the marriage. This does include if one or both of the parties are believed to be intoxicated.

Do I need to change my name once I am married?

No, it is your choice if you would like to change your name. You can use your maiden name or your married name.

Some people also choose to hyphenate to have both names includes in their full legal name. 

Can someone else conduct the marriage ceremony?

This is something that will need to be discussed. It is possible to have someone do readings, make speeches and conduct rituals. However, there are certain legal obligations that an authorised celebrant must complete and undertake in order for the wedding to comply with all laws and regulations and for the marriage to be deemed legal under Australian Law.

Can I have religious readings and rituals in my ceremony?

You are able to have religious aspects to your ceremony such as prayers. However, if there are too many religious aspects desired the celebrant will direct you to a religious leader to conduct the ceremony. It is important to note that it is at the celebrant’s discretion whether they are comfortable to include religious components.  

Personally I am open to all religions and any ceremony, readings or rituals desired. I look forward to working with a couple to provide them with a ceremony that is what they truly desire (within reason of course).

Do we need to have a bridal party?

A bridal party is not a legal requirement, this is a choice that is up to you as a couple. The only legal requirement is that there are at least two individuals, over the age of 18 that are of legal sound and mind that are willing to act as witnesses. These individuals will need to bare witness to the ceremony and sign the official wedding documentation as part of the ceremony, this incudes the wedding certificate.

What do I do with the legal documents you keep talking about?

The legal documents are my domain and my responsibility.

I provide you with the NOIM and ask you to fill it out and return it to me. I then type it up and add in the bits and pieces that I need to add in. I will then organise a time to meet with you to review the document, make sure it is accurate and sign off. If you sign the document with me in my presence I can act as the witness. If you do not sign it in front of myself, I can provide a list of occupations of the approved personal that can sign off on this document. Part of this signing process is when original identification documentation must be sighted. 

Even if you provide me with a copy of the completed and correctly signed NOIM and identification documents. I still must have the original NOIM and sight all original documentation before the wedding ceremony.

The Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marry, I will prepare and when we meet for the last meeting or rehearsal we will review and sign off on the document.

I will also prepare and bring all legal documentation for the day of the wedding. I usually do this so that the documentation can be reviewed when signing the Declaration just to ensure all the information is correct. On that day all you need to do is sign where I point.

After the wedding I will collate all the documentation and lodge the documents with the relevant state Births, Deaths and Marriages Office, to legalise the marriage. I send all documentation by Registered Post so it can be tracked. I also registered the marriage through the online portal and am able to track when all marriages are registered 

FAQ – HAPPILY EVER AFTER SPECIFIC

Will you conduct a ceremony for a theme wedding?

Theme weddings are so exciting; they are great because it is truly personal.

I think they are very creative and would love to write a ceremony to fit any theme.

I am also happy to dress to fit the theme, however if a full costume is required this may attract additional charges

How do I pay your fees? When are they due?

I require a $150 non refundable deposit on booking. This locks me in for your day and opens the communication lines to begin preparations.

The balance is due one month before the wedding.

Fees can be paid in Cash or through EFT and I provide those details to you in your invoice.

Can I get a refund?

The $150 deposit is non refundable unless extenuating circumstances are apparent. These will always be considered.

If you cancel within one month of the wedding date you may be entitled to a partial refund, full refund or no refund, dependant on circumstances including, how much work has been undertaken, reason for cancellation etc.  

How far in advance can I book with you?

If it is an available date you can book with me. Unfortunately, in the wedding world it is first come first serve. Once the date is gone unless an unfortunate cancellation happens the date it gone.

Where are you based? Which areas do you service?

I am based in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne but service all areas of Melbourne. Long distance travel may occur additional travel charges but I will discuss that with out at your no obligation meeting.

If for whatever reason I am unable to travel to your area for consultations I can do skype sessions and am happy to meet at a mutual location like a half way point to meet with clients.

Can you give me some ideas for our ceremony?

Yes!!! Of course I can all clients that book with me with get an inspirational USB. It will be loaded with poems, rituals, vows and quotes to give you inspiration for your ceremony.

There will also be room on the USB to put your own ideas, to help me understand who you are, what you love, what you hate, what makes you laugh and what makes you love.

I will collect this USB and use it as well as all my wonderful encounters with you to create your own unique, personalised ceremony.

 

 

 

 

Booking Terms & Conditions for all Services        (excluding Funeral/Life celebrations)

Balance of Payment

The balance of payment is due one month prior to the ceremony date.

You will receive both an email reminder that the balance of payment is due. If there are issues regarding the due date, please contact me.  

Deposit

To be paid within 14 days of receipt of Booking Confirmation.

An invoice will be issues with the terms of the payment. Outlining payment due dates and ways which payment can be made

Expenses

All expenses will be discussed up front and will be included in the original invoice.

Examples of expenses can include but not limited to:

  1. Extensive travel distance to the venue
  2. Overnight stay for ceremonies conducted late in the evening where it is not reasonable to travel home.
  3. Costumes and/or dress expectations to meet requirements of a theme wedding

After wedding expenses:

In extenuating circumstances after ceremony expenses may be sought in the event of:

  1. Last minute changes to the time or venue without 24hrs notice to the Happily Ever After Celebrant Services (unless unforseen circumstances present that are out of the couples control)
  2. Damage to equipment directly related to the ceremony itself (this excludes include travel, loading or unloading. This remains the responsibility of Happily Ever After Celebrations Services)

Payment Plan

I am happy to discuss and create payment plans for individuals on a budget. This will include sending out payment/due date reminders.

Payment Plans will need to be paid in full one month prior to the ceremony date.

Refund Policy

  1. In the event where I have had to cancel your event, you will receive a Full Refund and I will endeavour to present you with alternative Celebrant options.
  2. In the event where a cancellation is enacted by the couple who has engaged Happily Ever After Celebrant Services, depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to either a Partial Refund, or No Refund.

Circumstances where No Refund may be applicable include:

  1. Cancellation of services because of change of mind within a month of the wedding date
  2. The Couple has failed to complete the appropriate legal paperwork despite the Celebrants best efforts

Circumstances where a Partial Refund or Full Refund may be applicable include:

  1. Cancellation of services due to illness, or other unfortunate unforeseen circumstances
  2. Cancellation of services due to unhappiness with my professional conduct. This may or may not include breaching:
    – The Celebrants Code of Practice
    – The Anti Discrimination Act 1977

    – The Privacy Act 1988

Please Note: Under paragraph 39I(1)(b) of the Marriage Act 1961, If a Registered Marriage Celebrant is found in breach or if the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants is satisfied that a marriage celebrant has not fulfilled their obligations under section 39G of that Act. The Registrar may take disciplinary measures against the marriage celebrant.

If at any point during your time engaged with my services, you have any issues with my professionalism as a Registered Celebrant, please feel free to contact the Attorney Generals Office or visit their website.