Marriage information

Rules to get married in Australia

The Marriage Act 1961 and Marriage Regulations 2017 set the rules for getting married in Australia.

To get married in Australia, you must:

  • not be married
  • not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister
  • be at least 18 years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where 1 person is 16-18 years old
  • understand what marriage means and freely agree to marry
  • use specific words during the ceremony
  • give a notice of intended marriage form to an authorised marriage celebrant at least 1 month and no more than 18 months before your wedding
  • be married by an authorised marriage celebrant

You don’t have to be:

  • an Australian citizen
  • a permanent resident of Australia

If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia and you want to live in Australia after your marriage, you should find out about getting a visa.

Marriage equality

The right to marry in Australia is no longer determined by sex or gender.

Before you get married

Before you get married, you need to:

Ask your authorised marriage celebrant if you need help with the form.

You can complete it if you are overseas and plan to get married in Australia.

If there is less than 1 month until your wedding, talk to your authorised marriage celebrant. You may be able to get married if a prescribed authority approves it. Reasons for getting married in less than one month include:

  • employment-related or travel commitments
  • wedding or celebration arrangements
  • medical reasons
  • legal proceedings
  • error in giving notice

Your authorised marriage celebrant will also need:

  • evidence of your date and place of birth (birth certificate or passport)
  • identity (driver’s licence or passport)>
  • proof that a previous marriage has ended

Download a Notice of Intended Marriage form

Download a Notice of Intended Marriage form or other forms.

For further guidance on completing the Notice of Intended Marriage form, please see the factsheets below, including examples of completed Notice of Intended Marriage forms using existing scenarios.

After you get married

On your wedding day, three marriage certificates must be signed by:

  • you and your spouse
  • your authorised marriage celebrant
  • two witnesses, who must be over 18 years old

Your authorised marriage celebrant will give you a certificate of marriage on the day. This is a ceremonial certificate of your marriage.

Your celebrant must then (within 14 days of the marriage) submit your marriage paperwork to the registry of births, deaths and marriages in the state or territory you got married in.

You should apply for a copy of your official marriage certificate from the registry. Your celebrant can do this on your behalf, generally at a cost. You will need this if you want to change your name or prove that you are married.

Get married overseas

Smartraveller has information on getting married overseas.

Overseas marriages cannot be:

  • performed by an Australian-authorised marriage celebrant
  • registered in Australia

An overseas marriage is generally recognised in Australia if it:

  • was a valid marriage in the overseas country, and
  • would have been a valid marriage here

You may be able to use your overseas marriage certificate to prove that you got married. However, some states and territories don’t accept overseas marriage certificates if you want to change your name.