Lindy Cooke Celebrant

Your wedding FAQs answered!

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Having been an authorised Marriage Celebrant since 2013, I’ve found there are a number of wedding FAQs which come up in conversation with couples in relation to marriage in Australia. In no particular order, here are some of the more commonly asked questions:


Q1:  Can we lodge a “Notice of Intended Marriage” with our Celebrant if one or both of us is still married to someone else?

A:  Yes! At Q5 (conjugal status) on p. 3 of the NOIM, you or your celebrant just need to write “Married Pending Divorce”. Then, when your final divorce order comes through, you will just need to show evidence of this to your Celebrant. Q13-18 on p. 3 of the NOIM will need to be completed and then, on p. 4 of the NOIM, your Celebrant will tick the relevant box/boxes to say they have sighted evidence of dissolution of one or both marriages before they insert the Court location. As long as a divorce is final before a person subsequently marries, and as long as they have provided the appropriate written evidence to their Celebrant, they are able to lodge a NOIM with him/her a minimum of one month and up to 18 months before their chosen wedding date.

Note:  The entry at Q5 of the NOIM (mentioned earlier) is not changed after a final divorce order comes through.


Q2:  I was born in Australia and have never travelled out of the country. I have searched thoroughly and cannot locate my original Birth Certificate. I have, however, found a copy. Is this sufficient or can I ask one of my parents to complete a Statutory Declaration to confirm my full name and date of birth?

A:  No! If you were born in Australia (and weren’t a refugee), you must supply either an original Birth Certificate or a passport to prove your full name and date of birth. A replacement Birth Certificate can easily be ordered from Births Deaths & Marriages in the State or Territory in which you were born. In NSW, the fee is $53 for a standard certificate or $77 for a standard plus commemorative certificate. Here’s the link to take you to the NSW BDM site where you’ll find further information on how to obtain a Birth Certificate:

Note:  Please refer to the relevant BDM site if you were born in another State or Territory of Australia.


Q3:  What happens if we change the date of our wedding? Do we need to complete a new Notice of Intended Marriage?

A:  No! As long as your marriage occurs within 18 months of the date you originally lodged the NOIM, there is no requirement to complete a new NOIM.


Q4:  My fiance and I wish to marry without the required one month’s notice. We are both over 18 years of age.

A:  There are only 5 possible reasons why a prescribed authority would allow you a “shortening of time” to marry in Australia. Unless they consider your reason falls within these strict guidelines, they will not give you authority to marry with less than one month’s notice. Here’s the link to my earlier blog on this topic which will give you further information as to how and when a “shortening of time” may be granted:


Q5:  I have only just noticed that my middle name has been misspelled on my Birth Certificate. I do not have a passport but my driver licence and all my other paperwork shows my name spelled correctly and I would like this spelling to be reflected on my Notice of Intended Marriage and my Certificates of Marriage. Do I need to do anything other than let my Celebrant know?

A:  Yes! Unless, for example, you have been married before and are still using your married name, the name that is printed on your NOIM and your Certificates of Marriage must be the name that is printed on your Birth Certificate. If you are not happy for this to happen, you will need to contact Births Deaths & Marriages in the State or Territory in which you were born to see what documentation they require in order to make a change to the register and supply you with a new Birth Certificate. In all cases, your Celebrant will need to have a chain of evidence with regard to the name/s that are written on your NOIM and Certificates of Marriage.


Note:  Periodically, I will write further on the topic of “Your wedding FAQs answered”. If you have a specific question which has not been answered, please feel free to contact me. Here’s the link which details how to get in touch with me:


043 ~ 31/07/2017

© Lindy Cooke Celebrant

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