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What is a "Legals only" Ceremony?

Legals only ceremonies are becoming quite popular. In my experience of late, people are just wanting to marry without all the fuss and expense of a wedding with lots of guests.

As a celebrant appointed by the Attorney Generals Department, there are certain aspects that make a union "legal" when conducting a wedding ceremony,

They are :-

💙 A Notice of Intended Marriage filled out, signed and lodged with your celebrant no later than one month before your wedding date, but can be up to 18 months prior to your wedding with proof of place of birth, conjugal status and photo identification. If you have been married before, a copy of your divorce papers or death certificate if your spouse passed away must be provided.

💙 A Declaration of No Legal Impediment must be signed PRIOR to the wedding taking place. This can be done on the day of the wedding.

💙 Full names of the couple must be used once during your ceremony.

💙 The Monitum must be stated by the celebrant. Monitum is the latin word for "Warning" -

“I am duly authorized by law to solemnize marriages according to law.

“Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter.

“Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

💙 Legal vow wording must be stated as per the Marriage Act of 1961 -

“I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take thee, C.D. (or A.B.), to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband, or spouse )”; or words to that effect. Your celebrant will guide you on what changes can be made so that this remains legal.

💙 Three documents must be signed by the couple, the celebrant and two witnesses over the age of 18 following the monitum and vows.

  • Official certificate of marriage x 2

  • Certificate of Marriage - Form 15

You can of course exchange rings however this is not a legality.

If this is something you may be interested in, please reach out and I can assist with your enquiry.


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