Getting married in Australia

Australia has been a favourite honeymoon destination in the international market for several years -- and now more and more overseas couples are showing interest in getting married in Australia. A problem? Far from it.

Legal requirements
The intending bride and groom must be over 18 and free to marry.

Naturally, couples intending to marry in Australia must have the right documents before leaving their own country. The documents required are:

* Birth certificates 

* Valid passports and visas to visit Australia. And don’t forget that  passports should be valid for at least six months after the intended date of departure from Australia.

* All paperwork must be current and have been dated and witnessed no less than a month and a day before the wedding and no more than 18 months prior.

* The original Notice of Intention To Marry form which can be obtained from the nearest Australian High Commisssion, Consulate or Embassy. This must be signed and witnessed as directed on the form and the original must be brought (or sent to a wedding planner). Please remember that a photo-copy is not valid.

* If either or both partner(s) are divorced the decree absolute(s) will need to be sighted.

* The death certificate and previous marriage certificate are required if a previous spouse is deceased.

* Legal proof of any name changes by deed poll is also necessary.

If couple are using a  marriage celebrant they will also need to see passports and decree absolute/death certificate/previous marriage certificate as applicable.

Most important -- the original signed and witnessed Notice of Intention To Marry plus copies of both passports and birth certificates are required to be lodged in Australia a minimum of six weeks prior to the wedding day.

And lastly, don’t forget that there is a minimum requirement of one day’s (24 hours) residency in Australia prior to the ceremony.

If you are thinking of a tropical wedding, then Castaways and The Elandra at Mission Beach both have interesting wedding packages, while in Port Douglas. Sea Temple Resort & Spa can offer a memorable wedding ceremony with the sand between your toes on Four Mile Beach.

Or how about an island wedding? Surrounded by 24 powdery white beaches and 1,000 hectares of National Park, Lizard Island is the ultimate wedding destination. Consistently rated as one of the top ten resorts in the world, you and your guests will want for nothing in this isolated paradise on the Great Barrier Reef.

Wine lovers, or other couples who enjoy the good life, might want to consider getting married in one of Australia’s many wine regions. How about the Sebel Kirkton Park in the Hunter Valley, close to Sydney;  the Sebel Heritage Yarra Valley, in Victoria’s wine country; or the Quay West Resort Bunker Bay in Western Australia, which offers an ideal beachside wedding venue nestled against the backdrop of a stunning secluded bay in the Margaret River wine region?