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How To Make Australia Your Elopement Destination

How To Make Australia Your Elopement Destination

Today Wedding Chicks preferred vendor Jamie + Cara Brisbane City Celebrants are giving us the low down on how to wed in beautiful Australia and sharing their wealth of knowledge on what is actually legally required, and you’ll probably agree it’s a lot less than you think! Plus they are giving us the low down on 'legals only' weddings.

The good news is anyone can marry in Australia, regardless of your residency or citizenship status, Jamie and Cara tell us many of their overseas based couples simply arrive on a tourist visa, having arranged the paperwork in advance, ready to wed!

See more of this wedding inspiration in Australia in the full gallery of images provided by Twig & Fawn.

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Firstly, it’s important to note:

Your marriage can take place from one calendar month from the date you lodge your signed and witnessed Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) with your Celebrant. The Celebrant will also need to sight your passports and if you’ve been previously married, your divorce papers, before your marriage can place.

What legal wording must be included to be validly married in Australia?

A marriage must include:
- The Celebrant to state their name and that they are an authorized Celebrant
- The Celebrant must state the mandatory wording known as the ‘Monitum’, “I am duly authorized by law to solemnize marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter."

Marriage, according to the law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

The following mandatory vows (or an acceptable variation of) must be stated by each party to one another: "I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B. (or C.D.), take thee, C.
D. (or A.B.), to be my lawful wedded wife (or husband, or spouse)."

And tah-dah - we’ve covered it, that is all that actually needs to be said before you can sign the marriage paperwork. Of course, you may like to exchange rings, say “I Do” and share your own personalized vows or even share a little of your love story, but those are all entirely optional. 

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What is involved with signing paperwork?

The purpose of signing marriage certificates is to officially record/ document that your marriage has taken place. You are actually legally married once the above words have been stated before you sign the following three official documents. 

Two witnesses are required to officially witness your marriage. They need to be over the age of 18 and of sound mind (e.g. not drunk – the Attorney- General’s rules, not ours!) 

Your Celebrant will provide you with the following three documents to sign, these are usually already pre-completed with all your details so it’s just each of your signatures, followed by your witnesses’ signatures that are required.
1. Official Certificate of Marriage – To be submitted by your Celebrant to the office of BDM (Births, Deaths, and Marriages) in the state where your marriage took place.
2. Official Certificate of Marriage – Identical to the above, this one is the Celebrants copy to keep to archive.
3. Presentation Certificate – This is your keepsake certificate that you will be given to take with you on the day. 

What is a ‘Legals Only’ Wedding? 

A ‘Legals only’ wedding is a term created by Brisbane City Celebrants used to reference a wedding consisting of only the legal requirements described above, often chosen by couples that simply want to be married without having a traditional wedding ceremony with all the bells and whistles.
These are particularly popular with couples that choose to elope as they tend to opt for relaxed, stress-free ceremonies steering away from any fanfare and keeping it simple with minimal guests.
Get in touch with the Brisbane City Celebrants duo, Jamie and Cara for more info on ‘Legals Only’ weddings and full wedding packages.

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Budget Breakdown

Celebrant $900
Decor and stying $1500
Floristry $450
Photographer $1,200
Hair and Make up $200
Dress $1,500
Suit $500
Cake $600
Wooden stationery and styling $150
Jewelry $200

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