Wedding celebrants take care of the legal requirements of a marriage ceremony allowing couples to enjoy their special days. Knowing the role of the wedding celebrant before hand helps you to know what to expect from him or her before, during and after the wedding ceremony. Generally, celebrants are expected to assist couples with:
Lodging the Notice of Intended marriage
Before your chosen Perth wedding celebrant can marry you and your partner, you must lodge a notice of intended marriage. This must be done at least one month and one day before the day of your wedding. Once lodged, the notice is valid for 18 months.
Wedding celebrants are required by law to ask for the following documents before accepting notices for intended marriages
- Birth certificates of the two parties involved or statutory declarations for parties who were born overseas.
- Change of name documents if applicable
- Divorce papers – In the event that the divorce papers do not state your birth name, you may be required to present previous marriage certificates.
- Death certificate of the previous spouse if applicable
Signing the Declaration of Marriage
Before the wedding can take place, you will need to sign a declaration of marriage form. It is the responsibility of wedding celebrants to avail these forms to the couples. The forms should be signed as close to the wedding as possible – usually 14 days or less. After the wedding, the celebrant will send this and other legal documents to the registrar of births, deaths and marriages.
Solemnizing the marriage
An authorized marriage celebrant may solemnize the marriage at any time of the day as long as two witnesses aged 18 years and over are present. In the process of solemnizing the marriage, the wedding celebrant will:
- Identify him or herself to the wedding guests as the celebrant for that particular wedding.
- Recite all the words required by the marriage act (1961)
- Position him or herself close to the couple so as to hear the marriage vows being exchanged.
Signing the Marriage Papers
It is the responsibility of wedding celebrants to guide couples and witnesses through the process of signing the legal documentation for the wedding. Such legal documentation includes the marriage certificate and marriage register.
Registering the Marriage
After the wedding, the marriage celebrant lodges the Notice of Intended Marriage and other marriage registration information with the office of the registrar of births, deaths and marriages. Note that the marriage certificate that is issued by the wedding celebrant on the day of the wedding is a ceremonial document. Since this document will not be accepted as proof of marriage by government agencies and financial institutions, you will need to apply for the official marriage certificate once your marriage has been registered. The application process will involve completing the marriage certificate application form and paying the scheduled fee.
Wedding celebrants play an important role in marriage ceremonies because they are responsible for fulfilling the legal requirements of marriage ceremonies. For this reason, couples should hire celebrants who have public liability insurance. This way the couples will be covered in case of any incident arising from the wedding celebrants’ actions.