Now I know you are busy organising everything else, so to get the ball rolling I have put together a checklist that outlines all the administrative details associated with ‘getting married’.
To make the lead up to your ceremony as stress free as possible, all you have to do is click into each of the tabs below to work through this step-by-step process in your own time. It covers everything from the legal paperwork to the material required for the wedding ceremony itself.
Let the fun begin!
Every couple is required to read this document before marriage, so please take the time to take a look at it together and discuss the themes covered 🙂 https://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarriage/Marriage/Documents/happily-ever-before-and-after.pdf. After reading Happily Ever After you will need to fill in a Notice of Intended Marriage Form (NOIM) prior to getting married. The document must be submitted to the Celebrant no earlier than 18 months and no later than 30 days from the wedding date. There is no need to lodge it anywhere else other than with your Celebrant. Please do this ASAP!
The link below will take you to a blank copy of the NOIM. Fill it out and have it witnessed by either a JP, Solicitor, Doctor. The full list of people who can sign the document is included in the notes of the form. Please read the document fully so that all items are filled in correctly.
Once you have the signed and witnessed NOIM, you will need to attach copies of your JP certified ID’s (Birth Certificate or Passport plus Drivers Licence). Post everything to: Dan Ford Celebrant: 9 Pine St, Pomona. Qld. 4568 . I’ll let you know when the documents have been received.
Depending of what stage you are at with the wedding planning there is going to be homework, but don’t worry it’s the fun kind! In getting to know you better and making your ceremony as personal as possible, I have a questionnaire that I like to get couples to fill out. It allows me to really capture your personality. Have fun with it, get a bottle of wine and give me some fantastic material to use. I promise to look after your words and weave a beautiful story that you will love.
Link to Couples Questionnaire
So that I have plenty of time to write your ceremony, it would be greatly appreciated if you get BOTH of your finished questionnairs to me no later than 2 – 4 weeks prior to your wedding.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing your own vows
Now before you get too nervous, I encourage all couple to write their own vows. It really brings out the connection between you both and there is nothing better to hear at a wedding than two people sharing how they feel about each other. That’s why you have a wedding, isn’t it? Writing vows can be a very daunting experience but don’t worry, I have you covered. If you click on the link below I have included a cheat sheet on how to write awesome vows. I have also included a few examples that you can take inspiration from. There is also a link to an extra handy resource for more detailed tips on preparing your vows. Please don’t show each other your vows as it makes the day even more exciting. Couples usually send me the vows 2 weeks out so that I can have them ready for you to use on the day. There are no set rules for writing your vows, just write how you feel. Oh, and don’t worry about memorising them or remembering to bring them to the ceremony…..I will have them printed out for you 🙂
You’ll need to have 2 people over the age of 18 witness your legal paperwork on the day. These people don’t have to be related to you, but I find that either the Maid of Honour & Best Man or Parents are a popular choice. So that I can prepare the paperwork for your wedding, please let me know the FULL names of each of your witnesses – that’s First, Middle & Last Names!!
About 30% of couples like to include readings as part of their ceremony. There is no requirement to have readings and it is a totally personal choice. Readings can range from something very sentimental and spiritual to ones that are amusing and light hearted. The internet is a great source of examples but if you get stuck, let me know and I’ll help out where I can.
If you’re looking at having recorded music for your ceremony, I am all set up to play this for you through my P.A. system. So, if you’d like me to look after this for you that’s AOK. I have a very extensive playlist so it is more than likely I will already have a copy of this music for you. Alternativly, just send/share a spotify playlist of your chosen music with me :).
- Entrance song, walking down the aisle (1)
- Signing the Register (1)
- End of the ceremony, walking back down the aisle as a married couple (Party Starter song! 1)
- A few songs to play after the ceremony (2 – 3)
Keeping all of your wedding inclusions, music etc in one place will be the go! So…
I have provided the following Ceremony Design Resource Document for you to use. This will keep all of your selections/inclusions/music/etc in one place: PLEASE USE IT (and refrain from sending me back information ad-hock) – as it will make the process of ceremony design more efficient and effective for everyone 🙂 .
Save the above document on your planning device and e-mail it back to me 2- 4 WEEKS before the wedding date, (set a little 3 week-out reminder for this please). Also included/attach in the e-mail:
- Your Questionnaire Answers (No peeking!) and…
- Your Vows Once you have sent me your Q&A’s and your Ceremony Design Recourse , we will have our Design, FaceTime or Zoom meeting!
Next! (unless it is a small wedding, elopement or long distance venue), I really encourage couples to have an informal rehearsal. It’s actually a lot of fun, usually takes about 25 minutes and I usually meet you where you are staying on the afternoon or evening before the wedding day. It’s handy if the bridal party and your parents can make it along too. Just let me know when you would like to do it and I’ll book it in. The more notice the better so that we can work around everyone’s availability.
Ok, that’s the initial paperwork out of the way. The next step is to plan the wedding ceremony. I love this bit and so will you. After you have sent back all of the Ceremony Design Recourse info and Q & A sheets (Above in steps 2 & 3), we can meet up if you are local, or jump on the phone to go over all the details of the ceremony. FaceTime or Zoom is the next best option. At the meeting we will discuss everything to do with the ceremony, however I need the CDR & Q&A sheets back first please.
In the week after the wedding, I will submit the wedding paperwork (that was signed on the day) to the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages. It is here that the marriage will be registered. Along with your wedding paperwork I will also submit your application for your Official Marriage Certificate. This is the document that is used for changing Surnames with the Department of Transport, Banks, etc. (The Marriage Certificate issued on the wedding day is an official but not Legal document which means it can’t be used for name changing).
I will have this application form filled out for you and get you to sign it either at the rehearsal or on the wedding day. There is an application fee associated with the form, for which you will be responsible for paying. This is easily done by providing credit card details on the form.
Allow about 4- 6 weeks to get your Marriage Certificate and once you have received it, you can then begin the process of name changing. Note: In peak wedding season, waiting times for your Marriage Certificate may be 6 weeks +.
I hope this checklist has given you all the information and tools to make this process as smooth as possible. Of course if you have any questions at any stage, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at email@example.com or Mobile 0402 289 961.
Thanks for your time, I look forward to helping you have an incredible journey for what is one of the greatest days of your life.