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10 steps to follow when you decide to be married by a civil celebrant

Step 1: Contact me to discuss the type of ceremony you would like and to check my availability. We can then arrange an initial meeting where you can check out whether I am a good ‘fit’ for your wedding. There is no cost for this initial meeting. We can discuss wedding ceremony options and I will provide you with a ‘kit’ of useful information for you to consider.

Step 2: If you decide to book me to conduct your wedding, you will complete a booking form and a service agreement. A non-refundable deposit will be required at this time.

Step 3: You can download and complete the Notice of Intended Marriage. This notice must be lodged with me one month before the wedding date. Do not complete the back of this form (Page 4) until the next time we meet, or alternatively you have it witnessed by another appropriate person who is listed on the back of the form as being able to witness your signatures.

Step 4: When we next meet, you will need to provide me with evidence of your date and place of birth, either:
• an official (original) certificate of birth, or an official extract of an entry in an official register showing the date and place of your birth, or
• a statutory declaration from a parent stating:
o it is impracticable (this does not mean not practical or convenient; it means impossible) to obtain an official birth certificate or extract, and the reasons why, and
o to the best of the parent’s knowledge and belief and as accurately as the declarant has been able to ascertain, when and    where you were born, or
• a passport issued by the Australian government or a government of an overseas country showing the date and place of your birth.
If you have been married previously, you will also need to provide me with evidence of how that marriage ended, usually a Certificate of Divorce / Decree Absolute in the case of divorce, or a death certificate if a previous partner is deceased.
In addition, you will need to provide me with photo identification, such as a driver’s licence.
We will also go through all the elements of the wedding ceremony such as details of the location, the bridal party, wedding vows, music, poetry and witnesses for the legal documentation.

Step 5: To create your own personalised ceremony, I will send you through a questionnaire to complete. This gives me the opportunity to really understand each of you, your individual personalities and your preferred style of ceremony.

Step 6: Forward your answers to the questionnaire and I will create a first draft for you to review and provide feedback. Together we will create an amazing ceremony, weaving your story throughout, which is all about you and your love for each other!

Step 7: Any modifications to the ceremony will be addressed along the way, with the final draft being completed prior to the wedding. I will forward a final draft to you for authorisation. This is a team effort so we do go back and forth until it is perfect.

Step 8: I would never suggest having a wedding without a rehearsal, preferably at the place of the marriage, or some other suitable venue if this is not possible. It is usual at the rehearsal to go over the paperwork for the ceremony so you are familiar with it. The rehearsal is an integral part of the process, a chance to go through all the choreography that can make or break your ceremony. It is also a time of bonding for families, the bridal party and even the couple. The balance of my fee is usually paid at this time.

Step 9: On the day, and at the place and time arranged, all parties including the guests, meet and the marriage takes place. I normally arrive around 1 hour before the ceremony is due to commence.

Step 10: I will forward all legal documentation to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages within fourteen days of the wedding.