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Eloping in Australia from overseas

As experienced and dedicated Brisbane Celebrants, we love assisting our overseas based couples with eloping in Australia, whether planning a small intimate elopement or a beautiful Brisbane wedding surrounded by loved ones.

Often one of the marrying persons is based overseas and the other is in Australia and sometimes both people are based overseas and planning to arrive in Australia just days before their wedding will take place. Either way the process of getting married in Australia is really straight forward with Australia being such a popular elopement destination.

Here we outline the process for overseas couples to get married in Australia.

Brisbane Celebrants

First and foremost, it’s important to note:

In Australia, a marriage can only take place if the official marriage form known as the NOIM form (Notice of Intended Marriage) is received by us, the Celebrant no less than 1 calendar month before the date of the marriage.

This however doesn’t stop couples based overseas from planning a wedding in Australia, even if they are only arriving in Australia a day or two before the marriage take place, as this can take place remotely with scanned signed paperwork and ID emailed to us.

QUESTION 1: Does one or both of us need to be a resident or citizen of Australia to get married in Australia?

There are no requirements to be an Australia resident or citizen to get married in Australia, so anyone whether living here or simply planning a visit to Australia that has completed the following paperwork process within the required time frame can marry in beautiful Australia.

getting married in Australia

Question2: What is the NOTICE OF INTENDED MARRIAGE Form (NOIM Form) and it’s process?

Your signed and witnessed NOIM form must be received by us, your Celebrant no less than 1 month before the date of your marriage.

For your convenience, we use an online program, which allows our couples to complete their details via an online form. All details then get pre-populated in to the NOIM form, which we then check has been completely correctly, before returning to you as a PDF document to print.

Once printed, the NOIM form must be signed by the marrying person/s, in the presence of an authorised person as listed below in the country you are based in.

The Attorney General advises that you would need one of the following to witness you signing the NOIM form:
A Notice of Intended Marriage form signed outside Australia must be signed in the presence of either:
– an Australian Diplomatic Officer;
– an Australian Consular Officer;
– a notary public;
– an employee of the Commonwealth authorised under para 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955;
– an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorised under para 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955.

eloping in Australia

Question 3: I am based in Brisbane, and my fiancé is overseas, how do we both sign the NOIM form? & can you accept the NOIM form with my signature only?

If one of the marrying persons is not reasonably able to have their signature witnessed by one of the above, (e.g. because they are based overseas) the Celebrant is permitted to accept the NOIM form with just one of the parties’ signatures, with the second signature on the official NOIM form, witnessed by the Celebrant on arrival in the country.

So yes, we can accept the form with the Brisbane based partners signature, however the second person must sign the NOIM form in our presence (with one of us, your Celebrant as your witness) before your marriage can take place.

To ensure correct spelling of names and accurate details on this form, and subsequently on your marriage certifcate we will request that the overseas based persons ID is emailed to us.

So if one of the marrying persons is based in Australia, we can simply meet with them, for them to lodge the NOIM form with us, and the overseas based person’s signature to follow on their arrival in Australia.

The signed and witnessed NOIM form can be accepted by the Celebrant electronically.

The date your Celebrant receives the signed and witnessed NOIM form, either electronically or by mail, is the date your NOIM form is officially lodged with us.

You are then able to marry any time from 1 month after the date that your NOIM form was received by us.

Question 4: Am I required to speak English to get married in Australia?

As your Celebrant, it is a requirement that we are satisfied that both persons planning to marry, are completely aware that they are getting married, and that they understand the marriage paperwork. Therefore, they must be able to speak and understand English, or engage a registered translator to attend the paperwork signing and ceremony.

Witnesses can be citizens of overseas countries, and are not required to be Australian citizens or residents, however they are required to speak and understand English.

Designing your ceremony

Now for the fun stuff! we can make an a phone or online appointment, either by via What’s app, Zoom, House Party or Facebook Messenger Video to discuss the kind of ceremony you would like and anything you would like to include (or exclude) in your ceremony.

We will talk you through ideas, ask questions and make suggestions to ensure we are on the same page when it comes to creating the kind of ceremony you have in mind.

You may opt for a full wedding, with a number of guests or a small elopement that may be a traditional Australian ceremony, or you may choose to incorporate your own cultural traditions or ideas, alternatively, you may prefer your ceremony to be modern and heartfelt or relaxed and fun. It is so important to us that you enjoy your ceremony and that we design and create the best possible ceremony for you, so we will ask you questions to get a good understanding of the kind of ceremony you envisage.

Shortly after your payment to secure the date has been received we will provide you with a draft of your ceremony wording, giving you ample time to review this and make any edit you wish so you know exactly what to expect on the day.

Some couples, particularly those applying for a fiancé visa require a letter from us, their Celebrant for immigration purposes to confirm the NOIM form has been lodged and the date has been booked.

We are more than happy to provide this letter for visa applications as a complimentary service, as soon as the NOIM form and booking fee have been received.

When you arrive in Australia

We can make a time to meet in person, so you can feel more comfortable on your wedding day having already met us, and to sign a form called ‘The Declaration’ declaring there is no legal reason that you can’t marry each other. We will have this form printed and pre-completed with all your details ready for you to sign.

You will also be given the option to complete your marriage certificate application form, which we can lodge at BDM QLD (the department that officially registers your marriage), on your behalf, along with your marriage documents, so they can send you your official registry issued marriage certificate.

This is usually required for the purpose of changing your last name or as proof of marriage for visa applications.

Enjoy your amazing wedding day!

Once the above marriage paperwork has been attended to, and your ceremony design and wording finalised, you can relax and enjoy the amazing experience of eloping in Australia!

how to get married in Australia

For more information view the legal requirements to get married in Australia.

Brisbane elopement Celebrants Cara and Jamie would love to assist you in planning your Australian wedding from overseas. Contact us now to get the ball the rolling!

Images of our gorgeous couple kindly provided by Evernew Studio