As any mum or aunty will tell you, getting married is not for the faint-hearted. There are a mountain of things to prepare. Lots of things to consider. Who to invite. Where they will be seated at the reception. Etc.
Thankfully, getting married these days is a whole different matter. It’s not like your mum’s wedding or your aunty’s. And very different indeed to your grandma’s wedding! So while family matriarchs mean well, their advice is often a little out of step these days. Except perhaps for the wedding reception! However you do need current advice about what happens in regards to the ceremony, because a lot has changed.
If you’re thinking about a civil ceremony, we asked the team at Simple Weddings, “Just what are the main things that a bride and groom need to know if they want a civil (non-religious) ceremony?”
Chris from Simple Weddings explained that there are nine main things.
The first, is this: You must sign a legal form (called the Notice of Intended Marriage, or “NOIM”) at least one month prior to your planned wedding date. A lot of couples are taken by surprise when it comes to this. Many simply have never heard of it. But if you don’t do it, you will miss your wedding date. It’s that important. All you need to do is get in touch with your wedding celebrant and he (or she) will arrange the NOIM form for you.
The next item to consider is this: Is your planned celebrant available for your desired wedding date, time and location? The more sought-after celebrants can often be booked out months in advance. Simple Weddings’ Chris strongly advises to enquire as soon as possible, so you don’t miss out.
Thirdly, you’ll need to provide some identity documents prior to the wedding. Usually these are required at the first meeting with your celebrant, and they include your passports or birth certificates (either will do) and if birth certificates, you’ll also need some kind of photo ID, like a driver’s license.
The fourth thing applies only if you’ve been married before. If you have been widowed, (we are sorry for your loss) you will need to provide a death certificate of your former spouse. If you are divorced, you’ll need to provide the divorce certificate relating to your most recent prior marriage.
Number five issue to bear in mind, is: You will need witnesses. You see on your wedding day, you must have two adults in mind, who can sign and print their names on the legal documents, alongside your signatures. Usually, it’s the best man and the bridesmaid. Yet you are welcome to choose any of your guests. Perhaps you might choose the two oldest guests? Or the two who have come from furthest away? It’s up to you. Just make sure you let the witnesses know who they are before the day!
Item six is this: What time do you have in mind for the wedding to start? To be clear, consider it the time at which you plan to walk down the aisle, so to speak. Let’s imagine that’s 12pm. In which case, recommends Simple Weddings, you might tell guests on the invitations that the wedding starts at 11.30am. They don’t need to know the truth. But you can relax knowing that this will take care of any possible stragglers!
Consideration seven: Provide water for guests on a hot day!
Item number eight: You may want to obtain a “registered” marriage certificate after the event. If you are planning to change your surname to your husband’s, on either a passport or a driver’s license, you will need to get hold of a “Registered” marriage certificate. To get one, you must apply only after you are married, to Births, Deaths and Marriages office. They charge between $30-$50 to supply it (varies between states) and it generally takes them a few weeks to post it to you.
Finally, don’t forget to relax. Getting married is fun and a happy occasion. For a totally stress-free day, you can choose to book a Simple Wedding, in either Adelaide or Melbourne, for just $199.
To find out more, have a quick peek at their website: www.simpleweddings.com.au
And congratulations on your forthcoming wedding!