John Carey Marriage Celebrant left
John Carey Marriage Celebrant right


What does a Marriage Celebrant do?

A marriage celebrant ensures all legal requirements for marriage are met, lodges the necessary marriage documents, informs couples about marriage education, assists in planning the wedding ceremony, officiates at the ceremony and ensuring that compulsory wording as according to the Marriage Act is said along with witnessing the couple's vows.


How do you choose a Marriage Celebrant?

Firstly, check that the celebrant is authorised under the Marriage Act 1961 by checking through Once you have completed this check you can move forward with confirming their eligibility for your wedding date and organise a meeting to get to know them.  Once comfortable with the celebrant you have chosen, meet regularly to develop your ceremony around your values and beliefs.  You can ask a celebrant to provide a comprehensive list of their services and costings before you confirm the use of their services.


What styles of wedding ceremonies do Celebrants provide?

Many celebrants will accommodate the needs of the individuals so that the ceremony reflects the individual tastes and styles of the couple.


Where and when can I get married by a Civil Celebrant?

You can be married by a civil celebrant at any time and in any place within Australia and its territories or territorial waters.  However, be aware that certain times of the year are popular and it is advised to book your celebrant early.


Can I use the ceremonial certificate the Celebrant prepares for the day of the ceremony to change my name?

The certificate issued by the celebrant or minister of religion on the day of marriage is ceremonial and will not meet the identity requirements of many government agencies (e.g. Queensland Transport, Passport Office) and financial institutions.

If you were married outside Queensland, you will need to apply to the registering authority in the place where you were married. Application forms can be downloaded from the Births, Deaths & Marriages (Qld).


Interstate / Overseas  Visitors - how easy is it to get married in Queensland?

If you are not a resident of Queensland, you can still be married here.  The Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) must be lodged with an authorised celebrant at least one calendar month and a day before the wedding ceremony and no more than 18 months prior to the date of the wedding.  If you live interstate, the NOIM can be lodged from your state.

The criteria for being married in Queensland or in Australia is that you must be over 18 years of age and not legally married.  One or both can be from an overseas country however please check with your country of origin to ensure that your marriage in Australia will be recognised.


How quickly can we get married?

You only need at least a calendar month before the wedding ceremony (and no more than 18 months before) to lodge the NOIM.  You will also need a Form 13 from the authorised celebrant.  If you need to be married within a month you will need to meet a number of criteria listed in the Marriage Regulations (1963).  Please visit the Attorney-Generals website for more information -


What if I've been married before?

If you have been married before, you can certainly be married again however the Original Divorce Certificate or Decree Absolute from your last divorce must be sighted by the celebrant.  A photocopy is not acceptable.  Should you be unable to find your original document you should apply to Births, Deaths and Marriages (B.D.M) for a ‘new original'. You can find additional information at


What if I've been widowed?

The celebrant will need to sight the  original Death Certificate at the initial meeting.   Photocopies are not acceptable.   To get another copy of the certificate, apply to Births, Deaths and Marriages.


What if I'm separated?

To marry a person must be legally divorced before they are legally able to be married again. Proof of divorce is the original copy of the Divorce Certificate or Decree Absolute. Go to for more information.


What other services do celebrants provide?

Apart from marriage ceremonies, celebrants often perform a range of other ceremonies including renewal of vows, commitment ceremonies, naming ceremonies, funerals, memorials and other special event ceremonies. Don't hesitate to enquire with the celebrant what other services they can provide.


Are celebrants limited to geographical areas?

A marriage celebrant in Australia are able to work anywhere within Australia or its territorial waters.  Most civil celebrants work within their local areas or within a reasonable travel distance.


Is there a waiting period for a Renewal of Vows ceremony?

The is no legal requirement of a waiting period for a renewal of vows.


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