Ceremonies of Love and Life

Let’s talk about the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)

“Lodging” the NOIM means lodging it with your authorised celebrant to give notice to the Australian Government (through your celebrant as the Government’s authorised representative) that you intend to get married in at least one month and no more than 18 months from the date of lodgement.

The NOIM is not sent to anyone else (or “lodged” with anyone else) until AFTER your wedding, at which time it is sent to Births, Deaths and Marriages along with your Declaration of No Legal Impediment and your Official Certificate of Marriage signed at the ceremony, so that your marriage can be registered.

Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)

What can be included in our marriage ceremony?

Any Authorised Marriage Celebrant has certain obligations under the Marriage Act 1961 and specific things must be said and completed for your Marriage to be legal. These parts only take up a small portion of the actual ceremony, so the rest can be completely up to you. These compulsory elements are listed in the section below.

What do I do if I want to change my surname after I get married?

Your celebrant will register your marriage with the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and you must then purchase an official marriage certificate. You cannot use the commemorative one you receive on your wedding day as it is not a legal document. Go to link and follow the instructions.

Once you get you official marriage certificate you need to change your name with the following

  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Driver’s Licence
  • Banks
  • Passport
  • Blue Card
  • Medicare
  • Australian Electoral Commission
  • Centrelink

Other areas you may need to change include

  • Insurances (health, car, home and contents, life etc)
  • Car registration
  • Internet and phone providers
  • Gym membership
  • ABN
  • Shares
  • Veterinarian
  • Pet microchip
  • Voicemail
  • Doctors/Dentists/Specialists
  • Australian Organ Donation
  • Road Toll accounts
  • Local Council (if you own a property and pay rates)
  • Employer
  • Digital subscriptions
  • Superannuation
  • Will/lawyer
  • Social media
  • Email addresses
  • Clubs
  • Real Estate and Bond Authority (if renting)
  • Utilities (electricity/gas/water)
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Your child’s school.

There may be other areas that you may need to consider.

What if we wish to be married sooner than the minimum time permits?

If special circumstances exist, a Prescribed Authority may approve your Application to Shorten Period of Notice of Intent to Marry.

Special circumstances are:

  1. Employment related or other travel commitments.
  2. Wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations.
  3. Medical reasons.
  4. Legal proceedings.
  5. Error in giving notice.

You must attach documents as evidence of your reason for shortening, such as letters of employment, travel documents, airline tickets, receipts of payment, letters from medical practitioners or court orders. Your executed NOIM, copies of your supporting identity documents and a letter from your celebrant should also be included.

What are the legal requirements for marriage in Australia?

a. You must be over 18 years of age. If one person is under the age of 18, marriage is still possible by parental consent as per section 12 of the Marriage Act.

b. A Notice of Intended Marriage must be executed and received by me at least one calendar month prior to your marriage ceremony. I will prepare the document and witness your execution of the document. I must also sight your birth certificates or passports. If either of you have been previously married, I will need to sight an original Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate. Certified copies of supporting documentation cannot be accepted.

To obtain a copy of your Birth Certificate or the Death Certificate of your former spouse contact the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your State.

If you require a copy of your Divorce Certificate or Decree Absolute, contact the Family Law Court in the state in which the marriage was dissolved. For further details visit the Federal Circuit Court of Australia website.

* If parties born overseas do not have a passport and are unable to obtain a full birth certificate, I can prepare a statutory declaration for your execution. 

* Foreign language documents must be translated into English and a NAATO accredited Translation Certificate supplied.

c. The ceremony must be witnessed by two people, over the age of eighteen years. I cannot act as a witness.

d. The Marriage Act 1961 requires that certain statements are included in your ceremony. I will explain this in more detail at our first meeting.

Compulsory Elements in the Marriage Ceremony.

There are a small number of compulsory elements that are required as part of the Marriage Act (1961) to form part of the ceremony.

  • As your celebrant I am required to introduce myself using my full name, and I must use your full legal names at some stage in the ceremony. Many couples prefer the use of their full names at the beginning, switching to the names they prefer or are commonly known by throughout the rest of the ceremony. This will be discussed with you once the planning of your marriage ceremony begins and you can choose where you prefer your full names to be used.
  • The following words must be included in the ceremony


“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 law in Australia, is the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”


“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 (husband or spouse)”.

These are the minimal words which must be exchanged by the couple to ensure that they fully understand the nature of the ceremony and that they are marrying each other.

There is limited capacity to change the vows, but the following may be used:

  • ‘husband’, or ‘wife’ or ‘spouse’ may be changed to ‘partner in marriage’
  • ‘call upon’ may be changed to ‘ask’
  • ‘persons’ may be changed to ‘people’
  • ‘thee’ may be changed to ‘you’
  • ‘persons here present’ may be changed to ‘everyone here’ or ‘everybody here’ or ‘everyone present here’ or ‘everybody present here’, or
  • the couple may leave out either ‘lawful’ or ‘wedded’, but no both.

The following changes to the minimum words are not acceptable:

  • ‘family and friends’ cannot replace ‘persons here present’ or ‘everybody here’.

If you wish to personalize your vows, you can lengthen your vows by adding your own chosen words after saying the minimum words.   

About Me

Your Passionate Marriage Celebrant in Brisbane

Christene Burgess is a passionate registered Marriage Celebrant based in Brisbane. With an impressive background as a former teacher and principal, Christene’s journey to becoming a Civil Celebrant has been nothing short of extraordinary.

In 2022, Christene made the bold decision to leave her successful career in education behind and embark on a new path to becoming a Civil Celebrant. Her dedication and hard work culminated in her being awarded the esteemed title in 2023, signaling the start of a fulfilling and exciting chapter in her life.

The transition from education to celebrancy was both daunting and liberating for Christene. Embracing her newfound freedom, she has wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to put her years of public speaking, speech and ceremony writing, and presentation skills to excellent use in her new role as a Marriage Celebrant.

Friendly, organized, and thoroughly professional, Christene takes pride in her attention to detail, ensuring that every aspect of your ceremony is just right. Her expertise lies in listening to her clients, truly understanding their desires, needs, and dreams for their wedding day. She firmly believes that weddings should be a reflection of the couple themselves, making each ceremony unique and personal.

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Phone: 0408 464 543
Email: info@ceremoniesofloveandlife.com.au

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