Legal Paperwork: What is a Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage?

 The ‘declaration of no legal impediment to marriage’ is the second legal document that needs to be completed in order to meet the requirements to have your marriage legally solemnised. Your celebrant will complete the majority of this document and provide it to you for review and signature, close to the date of your ceremony. In practice this document is signed as close to your ceremony date as possible usually at your rehearsal.

This form is for the sole purpose of declaring that you meet the requirements to legally married:

  • You are over 18
  • You’re not related to each other such as siblings of mother and son
  • Neither of you are currently married

By signing this document, you are also stating that you understand that you are getting married and you have consented to do so.

If under any circumstances the celebrant believes either of the party may not understand the legal paperwork they may request the assistance of an interpreter to ensure both couples are fully informed.

Answers to Common Questions the Couples Have

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
    1. Overnight stay for ceremonies conducted late in the evening where it is not reasonable to travel home.
  1. 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)
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. 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.

Service Packages and Pricing

Marriage Ceremonies

LEGALS ONLY CEREMONY

$450  

Just Me, You, Two Witnesses And One Promise

INCLUSIONS:

– One face to face meeting to complete legally required documentation

– Travel to Wedding location within 40kms of Melton, (addition fees apply for further distances)

– Performance of Legally required wording and your own vows if you would like!

– You can have up to 10 guests!


SHORT AND SWEET CEREMONY

$750 

Without All The Fuss But Still A Whole Lot Of Love

INCLUSIONS:

– Minimum 1x Face to Face meeting to complete legal documentation

– Unlimited Contact and Support via phone, email and socials

– Opportunity to include a reading or ritual

– Short and Sweet Inspiration Guide to Help With Ceremony Planning

– Printed copies of your vows for the day

– Travel to Wedding location within 70kms of Melton, (addition fees apply for further distances)


ALL INCLUSIVE CEREMONY

$950

Is For A Couple Looking For A Ceremony With A Full Celebration Of Who They Are As Individuals, As A Couple And As A Family

 INCLUSIONS:

– Minimum 1x Face to Face meeting to complete legal documentation and rehearsal at your venue if possible or chosen location

– Unlimited Contact and Support via phone, email, socials and video call/skype

– Opportunity to include readings, rituals, or pretty much anything you would like into your ceremony*

– All Inclusive Ceremony Inspiration Guides to help with ceremony planning including. vow writing self-paced activities

– Printed copies of your readings including speeches for your readers on the day

– Travel to Wedding location within 70kms of Melton, (addition fees apply for further distances)


All Wedding Ceremony Packages Include:

– The Completion and lodgement of all legal paperwork

– Use of my P.A system

– Use of Table and 2x chairs for the signing at the ceremony (if required)

– Arrival at the ceremony 45min – 1hr before ceremony for preparation

– Follow Up after the wedding with marriage certificate application process and change of name process         

                                          

SPREAD THE LOVE

                                                                                   

Commitment Ceremonies
$550

A Minimum of 2 Face to Face Meetings
A beautifully crafted ceremony
Unlimited contact and support via email or phone
Arrive 30-45mins before the start of the ceremony
Use of PA system
Travel to Ceremony Venue – extra costs may apply for long distance travel
Supply of table, 2 chairs, linen cloth (if required)
Compliance with the Celebrants Code of Practice


Renewal of Vows Ceremony
$450

A Minimum of 2 Face to Face Meetings (Including rehearsal)
A personalised ceremony
Unlimited contact and support via email or phone
Arrive 30-45mins before the start of the ceremony
Use of PA system
Travel to Ceremony Venue – extra costs may apply for long distance travel
Supply of table, 2 chairs, linen cloth (if required)
Compliance with the Celebrants Code of Practice
Commemorative Certificate

Naming Ceremony
$450

A Minimum of 2 Face to Face Meetings
A unique ceremony
Printed copies of your readings including speeches for your readers on the day
Unlimited consultation in the lead up to your naming day via telephone or email
Use of PA system
Travel to Ceremony Venue – extra costs may apply for long distance travel
A beautiful naming day certificate that can be signed by your child’s guardians, you the parents and myself on the day as a keepsake
Certificates for your godparents/carers/mentors/guardians to keep on the day

Funeral or Life Celebration Ceremony
$600

Minimum 1 face to face meeting
Unlimited contact and support via email or phone
Personalised service
Travel to Ceremony Venue – extra costs may apply for long distance travel
Printed copies of your readings including speeches for your readers on the day
Use of PA system

Please note: Long Distance Travel more incur additional charges

Please do not let my prices limit you. Contact me, I am more then happy to discuss tailored packages to suit any budgets and dreams

About Me

Hi, my name is Katie Clayton and I am your Happily Ever After Celebrant.

I have the honour of carrying the title Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrant, and have the privilege of being based in Melbourne. With an abundance of elegant to edgy venues this is a great state to host the major celebrations within a persons life.

I am a young Celebrant who is: passionate, organised, loving, caring, passionate, modern, respectful and professional.

I  truly believe in love and commitment and the celebration of all major milestones in a person’s life. From a person’s birth, to their marriage and beyond I believe celebrations should be a time to rejoice, a time to spend with family and friends, a time for happiness and a time to create memories.

My goal is to get to know all my clients and be able to create a personalised and unique ceremony that reflects my client for who they are individually, as a couple and as individuals of family and community

I am honoured that of my blogs have been featured on wedding vendor websites, wedding directories and magazines. I have also been privileged to write chapters to 2 books which have been published and a 3rd currently in the editing phase of publishing.

I feel truly fortunate to be privileged to be able to provide this services and look forward to creating some memories on your special day.

Please contact me with any questions or enquires. I cannot wait to be part of your Happily Ever After.

Ceremonies that Katie the Happily Ever After Celebrant Performs

Marriage Ceremonies

A wedding ceremony is one of the happiest and important moments of a couple’s life. I believe that a wedding ceremony it the opportunity for couples to expressing in front of witnesses, families and friends, the love and commitment for one another.

A wedding ceremony should be personalised and couples should have the freedom to design a unique ceremony that truly reflects whom the couple are as individuals and as a couple.

A wedding should be exactly as you dreamed it to be. Whether it be a tradition wedding, personal and intimate, themed, or short and simple. A celebrant should support the couple in making their dreams a reality, and provide as much support to the couple as they are able to.

To inspire you I will provide you with a guide book, you can choose as many readings, poems or quotes as you wish or none at all. I am dedicated to creating a unique experience and will work via face to face meetings, email and phone to achieve the perfect outcome.  Should you wish to write your own vows I am available to work with the bride and groom individually to create distinctive vows that will express how you truly feel.

There are a range of legal requirements that will need to be met in order for a wedding to be recognized including:

    • Completing a Notice of Intent to Marry
    • Declaration of No legal impediment  
    • Certain words spoken in the ceremony
    • Two witnesses over 18 years of age must be present at the ceremony and be willing to sign the official marriage certificate
    • Certificates to sign at the ceremony

Although the idea of legal requirements can be daunting please be assured that I am here to explain, help you understand and guide you through the process as a whole.

Renewal of Vows Ceremony

A renewal of vows ceremony is a perfect way to integrate all the happiness and enthusiasm of a wedding ceremony, in a much more relaxed and intimate setting. A renewal of vows is a celebration of your love and long-lasting happiness. While also commemorating the successful marriage and the life you have built together.  

A renewal of vow ceremony is something undertaken by a couple out of love, and a want to celebrate accomplishments and reaffirm promises to each other for the future.

A renewal of vows can be undertaken whenever the couple wishes, however it is most common on milestone anniversaries (tenth, twenty-fifth, fiftieth)

This ceremony is a lot more informal as you can invite who you wish, and celebrate how you desire. From a garden renewal of vows and picnic to a beach renewal of vows and a swim. The possibilities for the creation of more memories are endless.

A renewal of vows ceremony and follow a similar format to a wedding and it is the couple’s choice if they would like to read the vows they made on their wedding day or write new vows which reflect the time from your wedding day to the renewal ceremony.

One of the great things about a vow renewal is there are new friends and family to celebrate with and even children which you may wish to include, in readings or rituals that will bond a family closer together.

The marriage ceremony undertook all the legal and social necessities to recognise the marriage. There are no legal requirements connected with a Renewal of Vows Ceremony.

A renewal of vows certificate will be presented as a memento of the day and ceremony.

Commitment Ceremonies

A Commitment Ceremony is very similar to a Wedding Ceremony, it can have rituals, reading, poems and speeches. The key difference between the two is a wedding ceremony is legally binding and recognised by government bodies. A commitment ceremony is a public declaration of a couples’ love and commitment to one another, there are no legal documents to complete and is not recognised as a legally binding ceremony.

Usually irreligious the ceremony can be as formal or informal as the couple wishes and as a celebrant my job is to ensure that the ceremony is unique and reflects the purity of love that is shared by the couple.

I personally do not agree that couples of the same gender are unable to be legally married in Australia. I am am a proud advocate for marriage equality.  I believe that denying the opportunity for couples of the same gender to marry is not fair and cannot wait for the day when marriage equality is legalised.

Naming Ceremony

A naming ceremony is an informal and relaxed occasion, where friends and family come together to celebrate the naming of a child.

This ceremony is not exclusive to babies, children of any age can be celebrated, meaning it is of importance that parents are able to plan a naming ceremony that is both personal and distinctive with as much support from their celebrant as they need.

A naming ceremony has no legal status, no legal paperwork to be completed or is not typically a religious service, it is a time for celebration of the child and a unique opportunity for parents/guardians to make statement in front of your child’s family and friends the unconditional love, support and care that you will provide the them.  It is also a perfect opportunity to announce godparents, mentors or sponsors of your child should you wish to appoint them.

A naming ceremony can be a carefree, expressive, personal, momentous and fun occasion for everyone involved.

A naming certificate will be presented as a memento of the day and ceremony.

A naming ceremony can include:

  • A promise from parents and/or guardians  
  • The acknowledgement of the role of the grandparents
  • ‘Godparent’ or ‘Guardian’ appointment and acceptance
  • Reasons for/meaning of the Name
  • Having speeches or readings by guests and/or family members
  • A significant symbolic gesture: e.g. Lighting of Naming Candle, planting of a Tree or the Releasing Balloon
  • Having a memories book or artwork for attendees to sign or contribute to.
  • Guests contribute to an artwork for the child as a keepsake

Funeral or Life Celebration Ceremony

Funerals and Life Celebrations are not happy occasions; they symbolize the loss of a loved one. and Usually accompanied by grief and is generally a somber time.

However, a service should be tailored to suit the personality of the departed. It is ok for a funeral to have happy aspects and in some cases funny aspects to it. A service should be a time to reminisce and remember.

A service can include:

  • Poems
  • Readings
  • Speeches
  • Songs
  • Rituals

A funeral is an occasion for people to honor the deceased and pay their respects. The ceremony can be an amazing time to realise the positive impact that your loved one made on many lives.

It is ok to miss and to cry, but to also smile and laugh as you say goodbye with sincerity and love.