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Getting Married

Before a marriage ceremony can be solemnised, the couple must decide where the marriage will take place and whether the ceremony will be a religious or civil event. Both forms of ceremony performed by an authorised marriage celebrant are recognised as legal marriages under Australian law.

Notice of Intended Marriage must be completed and lodged with the celebrant who is performing the ceremony at least one calendar month, but no more than 18 months, before the preferred date of marriage. The Notice of Intended Marriage form is available from the proposed celebrant. 

The marriageable age in Australia is 18 years. Persons who wish to be married and are under 18 years of age should contact the Registry or their celebrant for further information regarding the legal requirements. 

The couple must show the proposed celebrant documentary proof that they are 18 years old or older. That evidence must be a birth certificate or passport. The celebrant may also need to see a driver’s licence or other identification to support the information given on the Notice of Intended Marriage form.

If either person has been married before, that person must show the celebrant proof that they are free to remarry. That proof is usually a Certificate of Divorce or a death certificate.

All documents not in English require translation into English by an accredited translator (NAATI accredited).

Same-sex marriage

On 9 December 2017 legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry in Australia was passed into law. The Marriage Amendment (Definitions and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 redefines the definition of marriage in Australia as:

‘the union of 2 people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life’

Other requirements for getting married in Australia have not changed. Couples are still required to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage with their preferred Authorised Marriage Celebrant at least one calendar month before their desired marriage date.

Couples wanting to be married at the Perth Registry Office should refer to the Marriage in the Perth Registry Office page of our website or contact the marriage enquiry officer on (08) 9264 6112 between 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Further information regarding Marriage equality in Australia can be found on the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department website and includes information about:


Last updated: 11-Dec-2017

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