Tracey K                 

Civil Celebrant  

Bayside, VIC   

Weddings / Funerals & more ....

Your Day Your Wa​y

Frequently Asked Questions - Weddings

What is the difference between a Celebrant Service

and a Religious Service?

A Religious service is bound by the laws of the Church and spiritual beliefs of their faith. Although like a Civil Celebrant they are also bound by the Marriage Act by law, they do have set rituals &  guidelines Religious services are required to follow.


If your loved one followed their faith throughout life, it may be appropriate to use a religious service as a tribute to their faith.

Religious services can be run in a Church unlike a Civil Celebrant who is limited to almost anywhere else although there are some secular Chapels where Celebrants are permitted to conduct a service.

A Civil Celebrant is authorised by the Attorney General’s Office of Australia and is qualified to officiate as a secular officiant.

Civil Celebrants must abide by the Marriage Act by law for parts of a marriage ceremony. However, they do have flexibility in administering a personal customised service with or without referral to religious or spiritual beliefs.

Approximately 72% of Australian marriages were performed by Civil Celebrants between 2016 - 2019.​

FAQ - Weddings 

What does a Celebrant do?

• Meet you and your partner at least 31 days prior to your ceremony.

* Although if you are overseas a Skype meeting can be arranged *

• Lodging the Notice of Intention to Marry (NOIM)

• Checking and validating your ID Documentation.

• Writing a Ceremony to suit your requirements.

• 2nd meeting (if required)

• Rehearsal close to your Ceremony date and to sign final papers.

• Unlimited emails, texts, phone calls.

• Finalise documentation to be signed at rehearsal.

• Ceremonial Certificate/Registry Signing

• Provide Official marriage certificate through Births Deaths and Marriages and post to your  address.

• Performing of Ceremony

• Provision of PA System

• Registering all your documents with Births Deaths and Marriages

• Travel to and from your chosen Venue

FAQ - Weddings 

Legals only Ceremony

This is a very short ceremony with Legals only.  Usually only the couple, the 2 x witnesses and your Celebrant are present.

You may say your own vows and there will be an exchange of rings but only the minimum legal requirements will be spoken.  This is not suitable for a larger event where you have family and friends present but is completely legal as there is the same documents signed and presented to births, deaths and marriages in Victoria.  This suits people who are considering a pre-destination wedding overseas where their marriage would not be considered legal in Australia or for those wishing to have a larger blessing ceremony in their own countries at a later date.  This has been popular during Covid 19 restrictions. 

FAQ - Weddings 

How far in advance should you book your Wedding?

The maximum notice of your wedding date and completion of your Notice of Intention to Marry (NOIM) 

and Identification validation is 18 months or a minimum of 31 days prior to your ceremony.

FAQ - Weddings 

Do you do Same Sex Marriages?

Of course.  

Australia legalised same sex marriage in 2017.

This was welcomed by many Celebrants 

who had only been permitted to perform 

Commitment ceremonies prior to this.


A Marriage is legally binding for all couples in Australia

 and it is an honour and a privilege to 

officiate at these ceremonies.


Please note that although Australia will issue you

 with an official Marriage document,this is only 

recognised in countries where Same Sex 

marriage is also legal.    

FAQ - Weddings 

Will you travel anywhere?

In Melbourne, I mainly perform weddings and 

funerals in the Melbourne CBD and Bayside

 areas as I am based in St Kilda, Victoria.


I predominantly cover the Portsea to 

Port Melbourne areas, though I also cover 

Stonnington and several Wineries. 


Though there is always an exception, 

please contact me and we can discuss your 

location.Over 40 km from the Melbourne CBD 

would be an added travel cost.

Overseas weddings are also possible though

 accommodation and travel costs would

 need to be added.


Sometimes when I do a Pre-destination 

wedding,I have also been asked to cover 

the ceremony at your designated overseas 

location.  Please check with me to see if this is possible?

FAQ - Weddings 

Which Venues do you perform marriages?

Your choice. Weddings can be performed 

almost anywhere, from gardens, beaches, Club rooms, 

Yacht Clubs, Hired Venues and your own home.

Churches prefer to use Religious officiants, 

although there are more secular Chapels emerging 

 which allow Celebrants to perform the Ceremony.

Please check with your Chapel.

FAQ - Weddings 

Do you require a marriage license ?

Not in Australia. A notice of Intention to Marry (NOIM) from 

Births Deaths and Marriages is required not more than 

18 months and not less than31 days prior 

to your ceremony date and must be 

signed by both parties.  

Please contact me to supply this form. 

FAQ - Weddings 

What is the earliest date you can get married ?

You may marry as soon as the 32nd day after 

submitting your Notice of Intention to Marry (NOIM), 

with me or a Religious officiant and after having your

 ID validated in Australia a minimum of 31 days prior

 to the ceremony. There are special circumstances

 when you can apply for a shortening of time please check

 the website for further details.

FAQ - Weddings 

Do I do Wedding Planning ?

No, I am not a wedding planner.

My role is to help you with your order of service, all your legal documents 

and perform the marriage on the day.

FAQ - Weddings 

Can we get married overseas ?

You can marry overseas but it may not necessarily be 

recognised in Australia.

There is a complex process through the Australian Embassy

 in the designated country to gain 

approval prior to the Ceremony and may 

be a long process.

Most who choose to marry overseas with their family and

 friends present, have a quick short 

often secret ceremony. They have a Pre-destination wedding 

 (usually a private affair) here in Australia 

before they head off to their overseas 

venue for their larger more elaborate wedding occasion.

This ensures all the legal documentation is processed and 

underway while you head off to

 your overseas wedding.

FAQ - Weddings 

Does your Celebrant ask publicly, if anyone objects to this marriage?

This is not part of the Australian Ceremony and therefore is not used.

FAQ - Weddings 

What documentation does your Celebrant need to see?

  • Your Original Birth Certificate
  • A Passport is sufficient if you do not have your original Birth Certificate.
  • Photo ID (Driver’s License, Passport)
  • Divorce/Death Certificates of previous spouses.
  • If Certificates are in another language a translator is required or documents verified by a Notary or Certified translator from NAATI

FAQ - Weddings 

Will you as our Celebrant take care of all the legal documentation and paper work?

Yes, I will write up all the legal documentation and forward this on your

 behalf once signed and authorised to Births Deaths & Marriages 

Victoria immediately after your ceremony.

FAQ - Weddings 

How many times do we need to meet you, our Celebrant?

I meet you 2 x before the ceremony which is usual but 

sometimes an additional

 meeting is required.

I meet with you and your partner once for the original 

NOIM documents to be signed and again the day before the 

ceremony for a rehearsal and to sign off on final documents.

Sometimes an additional meeting is required before the 

rehearsal a total of (2- 3 times) plus ceremony.

FAQ - Weddings 

Do we have to have Readings and Vows?

You do not have to have Readings, 

this is your choice.

You may like a poem or something you’ve heard 

somewhere else, but they are not an essential 

requirement. I can suggest some if you like and 

Google is a wonderful resource.

Vows are promises you make to each other which 

personalises the service in front of witnesses 

and friends.You only need one vow each and 

they can be different from each others or the same. 

I can send ideas to you.

FAQ - Weddings 

Can you write your own Vows?

You can write your own vows either together or secretly.

I will prompt you at the correct time in the ceremony

 to read them out, you do not need to memorise them.

I will help you refine these privately 

if you are unsure, so you can read them

 at the ceremony. You can write your 

own vows either together or secretly.

I will prompt you at the correct time in the ceremony

 to read them out. I will help you refine 

these privately if you are unsure, so you can read 

them at the ceremony.

FAQ - Weddings 

What are Secret Vows?

Secret vows are when both parties write them without the 

knowledge of the other party.

These are therefore heard for the first time at the 

ceremony by each other, witnesses, friends and family.

I hold your vows and print them on readable 

cards so you can read them to your 

partner at the right time in the ceremony.​

FAQ - Weddings 

How many witnesses do you need?

2 x witnesses are required at a marriage ceremony

 and must be over 18 years old.

These witnesses can also be known as  

Maid/Matron of Honour and Best Man.​

FAQ - Weddings 

How long does a wedding ceremony take?

An actual marriage ceremony runs for approximately 12 minutes, 

though length of vows, readings and or poems 

can add approximately 10 more minutes.

Always allow half an hour for your ceremony

 plus additional time for any set up.

I will always be there half an hour to an hour prior to

 the ceremony to set up my 

PA and table and registry book.

FAQ - Weddings 

Can your kids give you away?

Your children can give you away but they cannot be Witnesses 

unless they are over the age of 18 yrs.

FAQ - Weddings 

Can your children be part of the ceremony?

There are many ways to incorporate your 

children into a ceremony 

especially when families are blending.

There are vows that can be made to the other

 partners children, coloured sand rituals, tree planting, 

platted ribbon bonds

 and gifts presented to name just a few.

It is especially important to acknowledge

 children of both parties 

during the ceremony if they are too young to 

be witnesses.

FAQ - Weddings 

You live overseas and won't be back in Australia until a week

  before the wedding.  Is this okay?

Yes. You must email me first with your intended 

dates and times a couple

 of months before is a good idea.I will then send you a 

Notice of Intention to Marry (NOIM) 

and a Booking Form via email with instructions.

You must have this signed by an official authority in the 

country, a Notary or Judge an 

Official Member at the Australian Embassy where 

you are residing in and 

send it to me one month prior to your ceremony.

We will then ‘Skype’, ‘What’s App’, or ‘Face time’ at least
1 month before your ceremony,

 so I can see you both on screen. 

We can then organise your ceremony via email 

and I will meet you both again a few days

 before the ceremony to finalise legal documents.

 This is particularly helpful to people from the 

UK and Canada.

FAQ - Weddings 

What if you need to change your Marriage Celebrant?

If you wish to change your Celebrant after already 

completing the Notice of Intention to Marry 

(NOIM), this is okay.

You simply contact your new Celebrant with the 

details on your(NOIM) and a process will 

commence for the changeover 

between the Celebrants. There are 

protocols to follow.

This is often done when you initially 

opt for a Registry Office Wedding and 

then change your mind

 due to date restrictions numbers 

attending, or you decide to hold 

a ceremony at another venue, 

not the Registry office.


This is more common than you realise. 

FAQ - Weddings 

What if your are planning your marriage far from Melbourne with another celebrant 

in the Country but need your NOIM signed earlier as per the 31 day requirement in 

Melbourne closer to where you work?

You can complete your Notice of Intention to Marry (NOIM) 

with me 31 days prior to your service and then 

I will transfer the documentation to your 

Country Celebrant.I will notify and advise them 

that I have met you and verified your ID.

I am required by law, to notify the new 

Celebrant via a Statutory Declaration 

that all is legal and identified.

Note there will still be a cost to you of $175 as we will 

require a meeting and a couple of hours of your time 

31 days prior to the ceremony to complete your NOIM.

Your Country Celebrant will charge accordingly 

to prepare and present your ceremony.

FAQ - Weddings 

How does the Bride sign the Wedding certificate?

The Bride signs the Wedding Certificate in 

her maiden name, the name on her 

Birth Certificate. Marriage is not an automatic

 change of name in Australia; 

though partners can choose to use their 

married name later if they prefer.

FAQ - Weddings 

Does the Celebrant apply for your official  Marriage Certificate from Births Deaths & Marriages?

You can choose to allow me to apply for your 

official certificate on your behalf when

 I lodge your other legal documents.

This is an additional cost of $50 including 

postage to your address.

This official certificate will be ordered and paid

for directly after your ceremony on

 your behalf. This will then be sent to your

 designated address approximately 6 weeks 

after your wedding day.

Alternatively, you can approach Births Deaths and 

Marriages, Victoria yourself, a few weeks after your 

marriage to apply for your Official Certificate.

The cost is the same, but may take a little longer

 if you go to the office yourself.

FAQ - Weddings 

How many songs can you have at your wedding?

2 to 5 songs at a Wedding ceremony is usual, 

but if it is a private garden ceremony

 with witnesses and a handful 

of friends/family members, 

you may not have music at all.


1 x song just prior to the ceremony

1 x song as the bride/partner 2 enters if they are being given away

2 x songs for the signing of the registry

1 x song at the end when the married couple leave the Celebrant

FAQ - Weddings 

Do you need an interpreter as your partner's family do not speak English?

  • Where possible, it is best that the interpreter be an accredited interpreter through the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI) or another official agency. To find an interpreter, please visit:
  • The interpreter must be a person other than a member of the wedding party. Where a family or friend is used as an Interpreter the Celebrant must be confident that he/she is doing the job properly.
  • The Interpreter must provide a Statutory Declaration, prior to the wedding, stating their fluency in the relevant language. This must be witnessed by the Celebrant.
  • After the ceremony the Interpreter must provide a Certificate of Faithful performance of his or her services provided by your Celebrant. This must also be witnessed by me.
  • Your celebrant must be satisfied that the translation is a true and accurate translation of an official document through NAATI or another official agency.
  • The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI) is the only agency to issue accreditation's for practitioners who wish to work in this profession in Australia.

FAQ - Weddings 

Renewal of Vows  

What Paperwork do you need?

You do not require any paperwork for a 

Renewal of Vows ceremony however, the date

 you were married could be helpful.

You will be issued with a certificate of your 

Renewal of Vows which is  a 

keepsake for both of you and future generations.