Dallas McMaugh, South Coast Civil Marriage Celebrant,

M: 0400 189 875, E: dallas@idoidoweddings.com.au


The burning questions for brides and grooms when it comes to the legalities of a marriage celebrant wedding are usually: What paperwork needs to be done? Do I need witnesses? Do I have to take my husbands name? What can I expect from a marriage celebrant?  If the answer to your marriage celebrant question isn't here please call or email me.

What are you going to wear? The Marriage Celebrants Code of Practice

Formalities, Legalities and Red Tape

 You must be at least 18 years of age to marry in Australia.

Everybody being married in Australia is required to complete an application form known as the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM).

 The new enlightened for can be downladed here:


Your signatures on this document need to be witnessed and with your celebrant at least one month and one day prior to the date of your intended marriage.

Your Celebrant will need to see your your birth certificate or passport. .

If you have been previously married, you must provide evidence of how your previous marriage ended -  Divorce Decree Absolute or a Death Certificate of your  previous spouse.

You are  required to have two witnesses, both must be over the age of 18.

You are also required to sign a declaration saying you believe that there is no legal impediment to your marriage.  

More details about getting married in Australia can be found here.

Taking your husband's name 

Some women choose to change their surname to their husband's surname. This is done as a matter of custom and is not a legal requirement. If you were married in Australia a formal Change of Name is not required if you wish to take your spouse's name. A Standard Marriage Certificate is usually sufficient evidence to have personal documentation, such as your driver's licence and passport, changed to your married surname. A formalconducted at the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages  is not required if you wish to take y  our husband's name. A Standard Marriage Certificate is usually sufficient evidence to have personal documentation, such as your driver's licence and passport changed to your married surname. Some women however do wish to formally change their name with the Registry. It's simply a matter of choice.If you decide to change your surname to your husband's name the Roads and Traffic Authority and the Passport Office need to view your official Standard Marriage Certificate issued by the Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages.The RTA and Passports Office will not accept the Certificate of Marriage issued by the marriage celebrant on the day of the marriage, as it does not contain security features and can be easily reproduced. It also does not contain the full details of the parties to the marriage such as parents' names and dates of birth.

Obtaining a copy of your Standard Marriage Certificate

A NSW Standard Marriage Certificiate is an official certified copy of the registration data relating to an event held by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages. Your civil or religious marriage celebrant will register your marriage on your behalf, you can then apply to the registry. All applications must be accompanied by at least three forms of identification. This ensures your privacy is maintained and that information is only released to those who are entitled to it.


All Marriage Celebrants must abide with the Attorney General's Code of Practice and one of the requirements is to ensure their personal presentation is of an appropriate standard. Others include making an effort to ensure that the marriage ceremony is audible to all those present, conducting a rehearsal if requested and assisting couples in choosing or composing a marriage ceremony that will meet their needs. The full code can be found here.  

If you have any concerns regarding my services, please let me know. You are can also contact the Attorney-General's Office on 02 6234 4800 or at www.ag.gov.au


Marriage Preparation Seminars

There are several issues you need to consider individually and as a couple before making the decision to get married. Most importantly, what do commitment and marriage mean to you both. Other issues to consider and discuss with your partner may include:

  • What are our expectations of marriage?
  • What will be different once we get married?
  • What do we each bring to the relationship?
  • How will we work out our finances?
  • Do we want to have children?
  • Do we have similar values and beliefs?
  • If we have differences, are we able to work through them together?

A number of organisations offer engaged couples pre-marriage education programs where participants are invited to learn about themselves and their partners.Some of these are: