What you need to know about getting married

Love knows no bounds, and in Australia, marriage is a celebration of that boundless love. This comprehensive LGBTIQ+ guide explores who can get married in Australia.
Sandra Bramble  |  Life & Wellbeing
What you need to know about getting married

Are you getting married? In this article, we'll explain marriage eligibility, age requirements, and the legal intricacies of tying the knot in our beautiful and diverse nation.

Living in Australia, we are lucky enough to be spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning locations, and our inclusive marriage laws ensure that everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, can embrace the joy of marriage. 

Although exciting, like everything in life, there is some paperwork and a few other things you'll need to know before getting hitched.

Here is a simple how-to and what-to-know.

Marriage Equality in Australia

Australia achieved a historic milestone on December 9, 2017, when the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 legalised same-sex marriage. This groundbreaking legislation eliminated previous legal obstacles, affirming the rights of all couples to marry, irrespective of their gender or sexual orientation.

Eligibility Requirements

To get married in Australia, both individuals must be at least 18 years old. However, if one or both parties are aged between 16 and 18, they can still marry with the consent of a parent or guardian and a court order. Marriage in Australia requires the free and voluntary consent of both individuals, demonstrating their capacity to make such a decision. Additionally, individuals who are already married or closely related by birth, adoption, or marriage cannot marry in Australia.

Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)

Before getting married, couples must complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form, which must be submitted to an authorized celebrant at least one month before the wedding. This form includes personal details, identification documents, and evidence of the end of any previous marriages (if applicable). The NOIM form ensures that couples fulfil the necessary legal requirements and provides a framework for the marriage process.

Legal Recognition

It is important to note that marriages performed in Australia, including same-sex marriages, are legally recognized both within the country and internationally. This recognition ensures that couples can enjoy the rights, privileges, and responsibilities that come with being married, such as legal protections, inheritance rights, and the ability to sponsor a partner for immigration purposes.

Same-Sex Marriage

Australia’s commitment to love, equality, and inclusion is evident through the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2017. This significant milestone showcases the nation’s dedication to creating a society where everyone has the chance to say “I do” and embark on a lifelong journey of love and companionship. Love truly knows no bounds in this beautiful country, and we celebrate the fact that everyone deserves the opportunity to express their love and commitment through marriage.

Types of Marriage Ceremonies

In Australia, marriage ceremonies can be conducted by authorised celebrants, including religious ministers, civil marriage celebrants, and certain state or territory officials. Couples have the freedom to choose the type of ceremony that aligns with their beliefs and values, whether it’s a religious, secular, or cultural ceremony. This flexibility allows couples to express their love and commitment in a way that is meaningful to them.

For a simple elopement, all you need is a celebrant and a couple of witnesses at your chosen location. Whether it be a small, intimate ceremony or a large gathering and extended party, every wedding has, however, a few key elements. 

You must complete a Notice of Intended Marriage form at least one month prior to the big day – this is usually completed and witnessed by your celebrant. you need two witnesses who are 18 years of age or over, and you must say the legal vows at your ceremony. Plus, there are a few other steps that your celebrant will gladly elaborate on when you start planning your nuptials. 

Personal Touches

As an authorised marriage celebrant, I can officiate a ceremony practically anywhere in Australia, on land, water, or even in the air! Just as long as it's within Australia, an authorised celebrant can help you create a unique ceremony that reflects your personal style and wishes. 

Be it themed, traditional or a relaxed gathering in your own home, when you find the right celebrant, they will work with you to tailor the wedding to you.  

I recall one wedding where the couple wanted an Elvis/rockabilly theme. They had planned to go to Las Vegas, but restrictions meant they tied the knot by the beach on our beautiful south coast. I got in on the dress-up and even worded the invitation to include a few corny lines from some Elvis tunes for a fun spin on the traditional.

It is an honour and a privilege to work with couples to create ceremonies that are authentic, interesting, and unique to their story and journey.

My focus is writing a ceremony that respects how you identify, celebrates your love and is a fun and beautiful story. I also take care of the legal paperwork, ensuring all the boxes are ticked to get you officially hitched! 

As an active member of the LGBTIQ community myself, I share my world with my wife of 14 years, our dogs, children and grandchildren. 

I believe we are all equal regardless of gender or identity, and we all deserve the right to be happy and celebrate our love with those close to us.

As a celebrant, I have married many couples, and I really love that I can help LGBTIQ couples realise their dream of marrying their soulmate. 


I'm here to help you celebrate your day — your way! I'm an active member of the LGBQTI community, living the dream in beautiful Canberra with my wife and three doggies.

As a celebrant, I'm creative, super organised and great at writing. I'm known for my ability to create calm in any situation and adapt as needed when things change on the spot. I'm generous with smiles and hugs, and once that microphone is in my hands, be assured I'll engage, be funny and authentic.

I'm a member of the Australian Celebrants Network and perform a number of ceremonies, bringing fun, energy and life into your event on the Eurobodalla South Coast, Southern NSW and Canberra regions.

Contact me to start planning your special day today!

Call: 0412 929 696

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