Lindy Cooke Celebrant

Marriage ~ some little known facts & figures

One of the key roles of the Attorney-General’s Department is to administer The Marriage Act 1961. Each year, it collects statistics regarding weddings performed by those authorised to do so.


Who knew that in Australia …

 Lois D’Arcy was awarded the honour of being Australia’s first Civil Celebrant on 19th July 1973. She was then a 26 year old mother of two. The title of Civil Celebrant differentiates Lois and other Civil Celebrants (like me) from Religious Celebrants.

 In that first year, only 2% of couples chose to be married in a civil ceremony. Nowadays, almost 75% of couples marry in civil ceremonies.

  In 2014, there were currently over 10,500 Commonwealth-registered Marriage Celebrants so there should definitely be one to suit everyone!

  All celebrants registered with the Attorney-General’s Dept. are able to conduct marriages in Australia but a great many who were registered prior to July 2013 have not attained Certificate IV in Celebrancy. The Registrar of Marriage Celebrants will no longer accept new applications for registration unless this training has been successfully completed. This involves 13 units of study, passing a legal test and other criteria, as well as undergoing performance reviews and passing annual ongoing professional development training.

 For a marriage to be legal, a Notice of Intended Marriage must be lodged a minimum of one month (unless special dispensation for a lessening of time has been received) and up to 18 months prior to a wedding.

  Recent official numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show an average of 120,000 marriages were registered each year in Australia over several years. 123,244 marriages were registered in 2012 – a record high!

  In 2012, the average age for males to marry was 31.4 years while the average age for females to marry was 29.4 years. This increased to 31.5 and 29.6 years respectively in 2014.

  The number of marriages increased in 2014 by 2,238 (1.9%) and the crude marriage rate increased from 5.1 in 2013 to 5.2 marriages per 1,000 estimated resident population in 2014.

 77.6% of couples live together prior to marrying.

  In 2014, the majority of brides (81.2%) and grooms (79.7%) had never previously been married.

 March was the most popular month for marriages in 2012 (15,193) with November being the second most popular month (14,666) and July being the least popular month (5,582).

 It is legal to marry your cousin and an uncle can marry his niece and an aunt can marry her nephew.

  It is also legal for individuals who have lived together in the one family, but who were not adopted by the adults who raised them, to marry.

 It is not legal to marry someone who has become your sibling after being adopted into your family. This includes cases where an adoption has been annulled, cancelled or discharged.

  It is also not legal for a man to marry his grandmother, mother, sister or half-sister, daughter or granddaughter or for a woman to marry her grandfather, father, brother or half-brother, son or grandson.

  Lastly, a child whose parents were not married to each other at the time of his or her birth but have subsequently married each other is considered to be the legitimate child of his or her parents as from his or her birth (or the commencement of the Marriage Act 1961, whichever was the later.)

007 – 31/07/2014


Related Posts

Wedding surprise!

Unexpected surprise elements If you include some unexpected surprise elements when planning a wedding or other significant event, it’s a great way to make your

Read More »