Civil marriage ceremonies
If you are getting married by civil ceremony in a Registry Office or other approved place, you should approach the Registrar of Civil Marriages for the district in which you intend to marry for information on how to proceed. There is no requirement to live in the district where you want to get married.
As well as arranging your civil marriage ceremony there is also a requirement to give 3 months notification to a Registrar. This does not have to be the same Registrar.
A civil ceremony can be held in a Registry Office or some other venue that is approved by a Registrar. A Registrar will also have to be available to solemnise the marriage.
If you want to get married in a venue other than the Registry Office you should contact the Registry Office for the district the venue is located in to arrange to have it approved. This may involve the Registrar inspecting the venue.
Venues such as marquees, private dwellings or the open air are not acceptable. To ensure the venue is approved in time for your wedding you should arrange for the approval well in advance of notifying the Registrar.
There will be an additional fee for a civil ceremony held in a venue other than a Registry Office.
Marriage Registration Form
If you fulfill the 3 months notification requirements and there is no impediment to you getting married, the Registrar will issue you with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) giving you permission to marry. You should give the MRF to the Registrar who will be solemnising the marriage before the marriage ceremony.
Immediately after the marriage ceremony, the MRF should be signed by you and your spouse, the two witnesses and the Registrar. The Registrar will register the marriage as soon as possible after the marriage.
The marriage ceremony is solemnised by the Registrar, who is on the Register of Solemnisers. The ceremony must be performed in the presence of two witnesses aged 18 or over. During the ceremony you and your intended spouse must make two declarations:
- That you do not know of any impediment to the marriage
- That you accept each other as husband and wife
If either you, your intended spouse or either of the two witnesses does not have sufficient knowledge of the language in which the ceremony is being held to understand the ceremony, then the services of an interpreter must be provided. It is your responsibility to provide the services.