Simple easy service by one of Canberra's most experienced celebrants. Your best alternative to a Registry Office wedding - all for $600.

10 March 2014

Happy wedding days, and some helpful information about getting married in Australia

Hello, and welcome   
Just married!
Carla and Kyle share their joy.
The Heart Garden Friday 31 January 2014
     I am delighted when I meet again, couples for whom I have been celebrant, sometimes several years before. Since I’ve been celebrant at well over one thousand weddings, sometimes I need prompting to remember. It’s the visuals that give me the best clues, like what the bride was wearing and what her flowers were.
Cheryl arrives with her father to marry Charles

Gabby and Dan married in October 2012
     Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of officiating at the wedding of Cheryl and Charles in my Heart Garden. Amongst the small close group of friends who attended this happy event were Amy and Haibo, and Dan and Gabby. 
Amy and Haibo married in November 2012


Here’s the photo of all of us together. Tomorrow I’ll be celebrant for Anyao and Nan, also in the same group of friends.

Some helpful information about getting married in Australia:

     Until your papers are sent to the Registrar for registration after your marriage has taken place, your celebrant does everything.

     Every so often I get a call or question about lodging the Notice of Intended Marriage with the Registrar’s Office. One groom was concerned lately that there was an error in one of the names on the Notice that he and his fiancĂ©e had lodged with me. 
     Had the Notice gone to the Registrar already? 
     Would they have to resubmit their Notice and pay another fee? 
     I quickly reassured him that as their registered civil celebrant, I am the lodging authority. The Notice and the payment stay with me.
     The change in the name was easy for me to make, and to initial. I put a note with their Notice that the groom would also need to initial the change. There was, of course, no extra cost involved.
     In Australia, your celebrant is the authority who has to sight all your documents and make sure that all requirements of the Marriage Act have been met before your wedding takes place. At meetings with couples, I explain these requirements thoroughly.
Charles and Cheryl with their framed
Certificate of Marriage
     After your wedding, your celebrant sends your Notice of Intended Marriage, along with one of the certificates you sign at your wedding – there are three - to the Registrar in the state or territory in which you married. 
     When all the paperwork submitted has been fully checked, the Registrar assigns a registration number to your marriage. You may then buy a certificate with your registration number on it from the Registrar’s office, to use for all official purposes, such as changing your name on your driver’s licence.
     Your celebrant has two weeks to send your papers to the Registrar and a member of the ACT Registrar’s staff has told me that their processing can take up to three weeks. Your registration then, can take five weeks after your wedding, if you fill in your application immediately, either online or at the Registrar's Office in Fyshwick. If I'm your celebrant, I'll give you an application form at our meeting. 
     Many couples are in no great hurry to get what’s called ‘the full certificate’ from the Registrar’s Office, but if time is of the essence (such as for a visa application) the registration of your marriage can take much less than five weeks.
     What about the other two certificates? 
     You receive an attractive certificate at your wedding, which I always fill in with your choice of font. 
     This certificate used to be enough for points for a bank loan and so on, but these days you’ll need a full certificate with your registration number on it. The one you receive at your wedding is now your personal certificate. Some couples like to frame it.
     Your celebrant keeps the third certificate for a minimum of six years. Because I have a beautiful, leather-bound, gold-imprinted wedding register, I plan to keep mine forever. 

     I was informed again earlier this year, by the sole supplier of celebrant stationery to every celebrant in Australia, that I am still the only civil celebrant who has purchased one of these grand books. 
     I think it looks great in wedding photos. There are 400 certificates in the register altogether and I don’t mind that it’s heavy when I carry it to weddings. 
     Many celebrants now keep a single sheet of paper as their certificate from your wedding.
Wen signs my register after her marriage to Dehai
26 June 2012
     If you’d like me to be celebrant at your wedding, either with the full service I provide, in which I'll give you lots of help in creating a wedding ceremony, unique to you both as a couple, or with the simple service, please email me, using this contact form. The simple service can be held in my garden on a weekday, or at any other venue, on any day, at any time.
     Or phone me for a chat on 0406 376 375. If you're still researching celebrants, we can arrange a meeting by Skype if you’d like it. 
     Meetings with couples who book me as their celebrant for their very special day, are held at my home, in my green room, mostly on Monday and Wednesday evenings
     I've had a lot of fun uploading lots of photos from recent weddings for this blog. If you enjoy looking at wedding photos as much as I do, there's a slideshow of my blog album beside this post (if you're looking at a large screen). It's easy to enlarge the show by clicking or tapping. Or here's a direct link.
Please feel free to share, and to add comments.
ShienEe arrives for her marriage to Kurt
Cedar Forest
National Arboretum Canberra ACT
18 December 2013

Kurt and ShienEe are married!

Till next time