As a marriage celebrant, a person who is committed to equal rights and committed to celebrating love I believe that marriage should be an option for everyone and I am really looking forward to performing my first legally sanctioned same sex ceremony - which will be at 11am on January 9.

I would also like to let all the lovely couples I have performed commitment ceremonies for that I will perform your legal ceremony for free. Let's share the love!

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 Very happy to be spending the day completely revamping my web page in light of the Same-sex legislation passing the House of Representatives and very happy to start by providing the link to the new enlightened Notice for Intended Marriage:

https://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarriage/Marriage/Documents/New-notice-of-intended-marriage.pdf 

two female figurines on a top of a cake with two women kissing behind the cake
Same-sex marriage legislation has passed the House of Representatives after weeks of debate and months of campaigning during the postal survey.

 

So when will same-sex couples be able to start officially planning their nuptials?

Here's a quick look.

Attorney-General George Brandis has given a clear indication

Earlier, there was an understanding that the first marriages could happen on January 8, if Governor General Peter Cosgrove signed off on the forms on Friday.

Now Senator Brandis has revealed the reforms will officially start this Saturday, on December 9.

This means the first weddings could happen from January 9.

"These historic reforms will commence on Saturday 9 December 2017," Senator Brandis said in a statement.

"As from Saturday, same-sex couples will be able to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage to commence the one month minimum notice period required before the solemnisation of marriages under the Marriage Act."

So, how do you lodge Notice of Intended Marriage paperwork?

The general way is to get the form from your celebrant, minister or registrar.

You can also get it from the Attorney-General's website, or if your state has a Births, Death and Marriages office, there.

In the form you need to give your personal information, as well as if you've ever been married/divorced/widowed.

For many same-sex couples, this part of the form will be pretty clear, but a declaration still needs to be made that you've never been married before.

You can lodge the form with your celebrant, minister or registrar who will be performing the marriage.

You have to lodge the form at least one calendar month before your wedding, and you can do it up to 18 months before the big day.

In some instances - namely exceptional circumstances - you may be able to marry less than one month after lodging the form, but a fee applies and there is no guarantee it will be approved.

When will the paperwork be available?

Soon.

But it will refer to the Marriage Act's new definition.

"Marriage will now be defined in the Marriage Act 1961 as the 'union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life'," Senator Brandis said.

"Same-sex couples now have the same rights under the Marriage Act as all other couples.

"My department is making necessary arrangements to implement this significant social change recognising the outcome of the postal survey and the legislation.

"This includes updating marriage forms and certificates and information to assist marrying couples and authorised celebrants."

You can find the forms and other information after the proclamation of the bill at www.ag.gov.au/marriageforms and www.ag.gov.au/marriageequality.