As your celebrant, there are a few things surrounding marriage and the question of age that I’ll mention when I meet with you.
♥ Minimum Age
The minimum age for someone marrying in Australia without any special consent is 18 years. This, of course, is as long as the couple meet the other relevant criteria such as they are not currently married to someone else, they are not (too) closely related and they are able to provide the necessary documentation to prove their name, date/place of birth and their identity.
If either party is under the age of 18 years, as your celebrant, I must ensure that a court order and parental (or other) consents have been obtained before I am able to marry you. The marriage must take place within three months of the date of the court order and parental consents being granted and under no circumstances can two persons under 18 years marry each other.
Yes, you can marry your uncle or your aunt, or your cousin, but you cannot legally marry your brother or sister (even your adopted brother or sister), or your mother, father, grandmother or grandfather.
Each person marrying in Australia must sign a Notice of Intended Marriage form and have it witnessed by a person authorised to do so (usually their celebrant) stating that they are not currently married to someone else and are not in what’s called a “prohibited” relationship. They then do this again shortly before their marriage when they sign the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage. These are legal forms (which I will supply) and heavy penalties (including fines and imprisonment) apply if they are falsified.
♥ Twilight Years
There is no upper age limit for couples wishing to marry in Australia. As long as the couple meet the usual criteria, an authorised celebrant can officiate at their marriage on any day of the year and in any state of Australia.
The oldest couple I have married were aged 79 and 80 years respectively. It was such an honour to be part of their special day and to bring two people who love each other together in marriage.
The other age-related consideration concerns the two witnesses you choose to be present at your marriage. Under section 44 of the Marriage Act, a marriage may not be solemnised unless at least two persons are present at the ceremony (not including the bride, groom or their celebrant) who are, or appear to be, over the age of 18 years. It is therefore desirable that the witnesses know the parties to the marriage.
♥ Further information
Authorised marriage celebrants in Australia are required to perform their duties according to the Marriage Act 1961, Marriage Regulations 1963 and Guidelines on the Marriage Act 1961.
The latter document provides essential information on the solemnisation of marriages under the Marriage Act 1961. If you require any further information on this or any other topic related to marriage in Australia, I would be more than happy to have a chat with you or direct you to the appropriate government authority.
025 – 31/01/2016