Initial  Meeting

💕 🎉 Victoria’s restrictions have been eased, and weddings are currently permitted throughout Victoria (including metropolitan Melbourne). See the Update and Issues page for details.

  • You can sign the NOIM literally in my physical presence (Section 42(2) of the Marriage Act 1961; specifically “An authorised celebrant or other person is not able to ‘witness’ the signing of a NOIM over Skype or other electronic means as the NOIM is to be signed in the ‘presence’ of the authorised celebrant or other person.” – Guidelines on the Marriage Act 1961 for authorised celebrants). Once the NOIM has been signed in my presence, it can be lodged with me at that time. An in-person meeting is required.
  • If you are just doing some preliminary checking with celebrants at this time and don’t plan to lodge the NOIM at the time of our meeting, you won’t need to sign the NOIM and thus you won’t need to be literally in my physical presence. You can request a video/digital meeting (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom) rather than an in-person meeting. (In this case, an in-person meeting will be required later down the track, once you’re ready to lodge the NOIM.)

Phone me (or book online) for a no-obligation initial meeting at either my office (North Ringwood) or – if exceptional circumstances apply and you are not able to travel – at your house.

If you decide not to book me as your celebrant, there’s no obligation and no fee.

What should you have ready for the initial meeting?

It will be useful if you’ve decided on WHEN and WHERE you will be married. (This information is required for the Notice of Intended Marriage, and your celebrant needs to know these details before he/she can be booked for your ceremony.)

To enable me to pre-fill a Notice of Intended Marriage which you can sign at our initial meeting, you can either fill out this checklist form OR bring along the NOIM already filled out. You can download, fill out and print the NOIM. It means we’ll be able to concentrate on the design and elements of your marriage ceremony at our meeting, rather than spend time filling out forms.

You may want to think about what sort of ceremony ideas will suit you. If you’re not sure, don't worry – I will be providing you with resource booklets that give you ideas for ceremony style, vows, additional elements, poetry and prose for readings, and more. I have a wealth of experience with music, literature and cultures of various traditions, and these can all be options for you to consider.

IMPORTANT: You should have all the paperwork ready to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM), as this is the ideal time to lodge this Notice with the celebrant. (If you cannot provide your proof of birth and photo ID, plus any required additional document as appropriate (e.g., proof of end of last marriage, or court order and consent if one of the parties is a minor), you can still lodge the NOIM, but the marriage cannot actualliy be solemnized until I have sighted the required documents, checked the details, and noted the necessary document information on the NOIM.

What is the required ID for couples over 18?

Where neither of the parties was previously married, I must sight ❶ proof of birth and ❷ photo ID for both parties to the intended marriage.

  • Proof of birth is ONE of the following:
    • an official (original) certificate of birth; OR
    • an official extract of an entry in an official register showing the date and place of birth of the party; OR
    • a passport issued by the Australian government or a government of an overseas country as evidence of the person’s date and place of birth; OR
    • a statutory declaration from the party or the party’s parent stating:
      • it is impracticable (this does not mean not practical; it means impossible) to obtain an official birth certificate or extract, and the reasons why, and
      • to the best of the declarant’s knowledge and belief and as accurately as the declarant has been able to ascertain, when and where the party was born.
  • Photo ID is ONE of the following:
    • your driver licence; OR
    • proof of age card; OR
    • passport (if you are not using it as a proof of birth document); OR
    • other photo ID (Keypass ID card, student card, etc.).
    That’s all you need to bring, if neither of you were previously married. (These documents MUST be originals, not photocopies. Certified copies can be shown for the purpose of completing the NOIM and checking that they are appropriate forms of ID for the purpose, but the original documents must still be sighted before the marriage can be solemnized.)

If one or both of you were previously married, I must sight ❶ proof of birth and ❷ photo ID for both parties, and ❸ evidence of how the party’s last marriage(s) ended.

  • Proof of end of last married is ONE of the following:
    • where the marriage ended in divorce, court evidence of the decree for your divorce; OR
    • where a marriage ended because of the spouse’s death, you must show me the death certificate of the previous spouse; OR
    • where a marriage was annulled, you must show me the nullity order.
    (These documents MUST be originals, not photocopies; and I must sight the appropriate certificate or order. A statutory declaration is not an acceptable proof of end of last marriage.)

What is the additional required paperwork if EITHER the bride OR the groom is under 18?

  • If either party to the marriage is a minor, you must show me
    • an effective court order issued by a Judge or Magistrate, and
    • consent given as either:
      • a consent form signed by your parent(s)/guardian(s), OR
      • a dispensation of consent issued by a Judge or Magistrate.

      This is in addition to showing me your proof of birth, photo ID, and any required documentation concerning previous marriages.
      NOTE: Court order and consent not required if minor was previously married.

    What paperwork is required for couples marrying sooner than one month away?

    • If you wish to be married sooner than one calendar month away and haven’t yet lodged the Notice of Intended Marriage, you must give me

      This is in addition to showing me all other required paperwork (proof of birth, photo ID, required documentation concerning any previous marriages, and court order and consent form for a minor).

All documentation must be original, not photocopies. For the purposes of complying with the timeframes required for giving the NOIM it is sufficient for a celebrant to see copies of documents, such as those scanned and sent via email or facsimile, as long as the originals are provided and sighted by the celebrant before the marriage is solemnised.

Remember, a Notice of Intended Marriage must be given to your celebrant no earlier than 18 months and no later than one month before your wedding (unless exceptional circumstances apply). The documentation listed above is absolutely necessary so that the Notice of Intended Marriage can be filled out and signed.

Ingrid Heyn, wedding celebrant

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Ingrid Heyn, wedding celebrant