Australia is a multicultural haven and as our population grows naturally we are seeing couples of different ethnicities marrying. In may cases couples are choosing to forego traditional services and opting to have a wedding officiated by a celebrant. This is sometimes a choice and in other instances some places of culture and worship will only officiate weddings of people of the same culture or religions, meaning one member of the couple would need to convert in order to have the wedding officiated. With celebrants that is not the case, we can celebrate both cultures, both religions, only one if that is what is requested or none at all it is completely up to the couple.
In an English speaking society, we mustn’t forget older generations and those who are new to the country who may still predominantly speak their native language.
If you have parents and/or grandparents who struggle to understand English, it is possible to engage the services of an interpreter to translate the service as the celebrant is delivering it. Although it is optional service for guests, if either person to the marriage or the two witnesses signing the official documentation cannot understand English it is a legal requirement that an interpreter be present for the ceremony. It is also beneficial and very highly recommended to have the interpreter present at the completing of the NOIM and no legal impediment to marriage as well to truly ensure the couple understand what they are signing and to make sure the documentation is correctly completed.
If an interpreter is required, the interpreter must be fully qualified. They must be able to produce official qualifications and documentation as proof of their ability. Although it may be more preferential to use a family member there is no guarantee they are going to be able to translate as efficiently and effectively as a professional.
The interpreter will also be required to sign off on a faithful interpreter document to say they gave their services and translated appropriately, ensuring the couple and witnesses understand the ceremony in its entirety.
It is also possible to engage services of a AUSLAN interpreter if guests have a hearing impairment. Once again if it is a member of the parties getting married or are witnesses to the ceremony, this is a must.
There are also other steps you can take to assist guests understanding the ceremony including printing the ceremony booklets in different languages. Some celebrants and venues can assist with this or recommends services that can.
These can alleviate the need for an interpreter for guests and also create a memento for the guests to keep. If you are worried and not sure about your options, legal musts or have any questions, ask your celebrant they are more than happy to help.
Remember it is your day. Do it your way.