Remote witnessing during COVID

I recently had a couple ask me how to get their Notice of Intended Marriage witnessed during lockdown. You can do this by going to www.rvahj.org.au/remote-witnessing and applying for a session with an online JP. Once signed, email an electronic copy to me and then we can proceed from there. I still need to receive the hard copy before the wedding takes place, but the date I receive the emailed copy is the date the one month waiting period commences.If you want to chat about this further, please call me on 0427 646 728 at anytime.I look forward to resuming normal wedding plans as soon as we can!

Wind, hair and the veil

Have you seen those great photos of the bride’s veil blowing behind her? These are mostly ‘set-up’ by the photographer. If it is a naturally windy day though, the veil can be a bit difficult to manage.  A good strong comb may not hold it in place if a wind gust comes at the most inappropriate time! So if it is a very windy day, do you really need to wear a veil? Many brides are making the decision not to these days and it is one less thing you have to worry about!You will be spending time with your hairdresser to get your hair looking just perfect! A windy day can ruin it if you don’t have an ‘updo’. Have a chat to your hairdresser about the best style to suit you that will stay looking coiffed all day regardless of the weather!Simple planning can make a difference and although you may not remember why you wore your hair up afterwards, if it is not windproof you will see it in all your photos when you look back over years to come!

Winter weddings can be cold!

The cooler months can be a bit challenging for choosing the right dresses to wear. For the groom it is easy, a suit will keep him warm. But for the bride and her attendants, dresses are usually quite light and can cause a shivering wedding party!There are some lovely wraps and faux fur stoles available on the market that look great across the shoulders. Remember when Mary married Prince Frederick of Denmark and had a dress with lovely long sleeves? Or when Megan married Prince Harry, she also had long sleeves? Sleeveless is cool in summer, but not practical in winter or early spring.For your guests, consider having a basket with cheap fleece throws as they arrive. This will keep guests comfortable and everyone will have a great day!

Whose day is it?

When planning your wedding day you will find lots of family and friends telling you what you must do! They are always well meaning and you may find yourself reluctant to take their advice. This is just fine! Don’t lose sight of who is getting married. Your day is about the two of you. Listen to what everyone wants to tell you, thank them for their helpful advice, then make your own decision about what you want to do.

Gender equality

Australia has recognised marriage as between two people. At last happiness is there for everyone, we are all equal as adults no matter who our love is between. If you want to get married and have been waiting for this time to come around, you don’t need to wait any longer!It is still a legal requirement that a Notice of Intended Marriage be completed and lodged with your chosen celebrant one month prior to your wedding day. Your celebrant has these forms ready for you and will witness your signature. An easy process with couples just needing to provide birth certificates or passports, proof of the end of any prior legal marriage, even if the marriage took place overseas, and photo identification.

Beach wedding in Bali or Thailand

If you are thinking of having a beach wedding in one of the popular overseas resorts, you may find it easy to attend to the legal marriage details in Australia. In some places the legal requirements mean you need to be in the overseas country for a set period of time. This may mean some extra costs you were not aware of when you first started planning for your romantic beach setting.You may find it an advantage to take care of the legal marriage before you go, bearing in mind we need a month to do this, so when you leave you know you will still have a most romantic wedding, without the unplanned for costs.Please contact me if you want more details on how we can take care of the legal side of being married in Australia!

Eloping is easy

If you are considering a quiet secret marriage ceremony, then eloping might be for you. It is as simple as contacting me as your celebrant and I will take you through the legal requirements, maintaining your confidentiality throughout the whole process.Even though in eloping you are not having a lot of people present, the legal process is the same for proof of identity, timeframes for legal documents to be completed, and witnesses.You will still need to have two witnesses for your ceremony, but this is as simple as asking two adults to be present. Some couples choose to have their elopement ceremony at a quiet venue. In this case they might ask the venue staff to be witnesses. In other cases a couple might choose to have their ceremony in my back yard.

If you want to know more about eloping, please contact me to discuss how I can make it happen for you in a special and memorable way!

Who can be a witness?

Choosing witnesses for your marriage is an important part of planning your wedding ceremony. You must have two witnesses for your ceremony and both must be over the age of 18years.They may be anyone: friends, parents, grandparents or whoever you like.If you are having a secret wedding, you still need to have two witnesses! Sometimes a couple may choose to surprise guests at an engagement or birthday party by getting married. You can ask two of your guests at this time if you don’t want to ask them prior to the announcement of the wedding now taking place!BUT – witnesses and the marrying couple must not be under the influence of alcohol!! So if you or your witnesses appear inebriated the wedding must be put off until you are sober!Choose your witnesses wisely. Remember – their signatures will remain on your wedding certificate always!

Changing your name

If you decide to change your name after you are married, this is a simple process. If you are married in Victoria, I will apply for your registered marriage certificate. It will arrive in the mail after your marriage. This may take a few weeks, but it is the document you need to provide to legally change your name. In the meantime, you can start calling yourself by your new name. I have a checklist that you might find useful for remembering places that you may like to change. It might not have everything that you need, but it is a good start! (Contact me if you would like a copy.) Don’t forget to change your status on Facebook!!! I wish you a long and happy marriage.

The final legal step

Your day is here! Very exciting as you prepare to make your promises to each other and complete the final legal step in getting married. There are some things that must be said during your ceremony and your celebrant will ensure they are not missed! But there is also the signing of the legal documents. There will be three things to sign following the ceremony: the certificate to go to Births, Deaths and Marriages in the state you are married, a copy for the celebrant, plus the lovely commemorative certificate that you get to keep!

A question all brides ask is what name should she sign on the marriage documents. She will use the name she has been using on all the other legal documents leading up to the day. If she is going to change her name, she may do that after the ceremony. To do so for her drivers licence, passport and other documents, she will need to produce the registered marriage certificate. Please read the tip above about changing your name.

Step 2 of legal documentation

Once you have completed the NOIM you are on the way with the legal process – Congratulations!The next legal document you have to sign is a declaration that you are legally able to be married. This is called Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage. This document is to be signed in front of your celebrant as close to the wedding as possible!

It is important to remember that you are signing a legal document and so you cannot be under the influence of alcohol or a drug of dependence.“The declaration must be true in every detail as it is an offence under the Marriage Act 1961 to give notice to an authorised celebrant knowing that it contains a false statement or an error or is defective. The act also creates offences in relation to bigamy and in relation to marriage of a person who is not of marriageable age.”

3 Step Legal Process

Did you realise it is a three step legal process in Australia to get married? The first legal document you need to complete is an NOIM or Notice of Intended Marriage. You may can find this on the Attorney General’s website www.ag.gov.au under marriages.This is completed with your celebrant NO LATER than one month prior to the wedding. I always recommend that you do it a lot sooner to ensure it is not overlooked as your date approaches! For this you will both need to produce your full original birth certificates or passports. I suggest your birth certificates are best if possible, because all your registered documents at Births, Deaths and Marriages need to line up with correct dates and spelling of names!If either of you has been married before, you will need proof of the end of that marriage either a death certificate or your divorce papers.You may also be asked to poduce your photo ID if you are unknown to your celebrant.

If you are filling in the form remotely from your celebrant, it needs to be signed in front of specific authorised witnesses before you send it off. Read the document carefully as they are listed under the signature box. This is different to other documents you may have had witnessed in the past! If you are not sure, give me a call on 0427 646 728 and I will explain this to you.

Have fun planning for your big day!

Phone

0427 646 728

Email

gillian@wimmeracelebrant.com.au

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