The Joyful Celebrant

(33 reviews)
Service Area
Byron, Ballina & Lismore and surrounds
Business Hours
By Appointment
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Questions and Answers

I am in a same-sex relationship. Can I legally marry my partner?

The Joyful Celebrant

YES!! The definition of marriage has been changed in Australia to be inclusive of same sex couples. This is so exciting and a very welcome change indeed.

What documents will we need to provide?

The Joyful Celebrant

If you were born in Australia you will need to provide your original birth certificate. If you were born overseas, your original birth certificate is preferred, however a current passport issued by your country of birth is acceptable. 

If you have been married before, you will need to provide the celebrant with proof that any prior marriage has ended whether by divorce or by the death of the other party. 

Should any of the above documents be in a foreign language, you will need to provide a certified translation in English.

If one of you is under 18 years of age, the written consent of your parents or guardian will be required.You will also need an order from the court. (Section 10-21 of The Marriage Act 1961) The Marriage Act 1961 can be downloaded for further information. 

Other Countries 
Please refer to the legal requirements in your country.

We want to elope. Do we need witnesses?

The Joyful Celebrant

Yes, you will need to have two witnesses over the age of 18. You may be able to ask staff from the resort where you are staying, or choose a photographer who has an assistant, or the celebrant may be able to organise for two witnesses to attend. At one ceremony I conducted, the couple had one friend come with them and then invited someone walking along the beach to be a witness. He was visiting from New Zealand and was delighted to assist. 

Can we get married next weekend?

The Joyful Celebrant

In Australia: 
If you have lodged a notice of intent to marry form in the required time - a month and a day before your wedding date, and fulfilled the required legal requirements, then yes, you can. If you haven't lodged the notice of intent to marry form within this time frame, then no, you cannot. The notice of intended marriage form needs to be lodged with an authorised celebrant (religious or civil). This form is valid for eighteen months from the date of lodgement. 

Under certain circumstances a shortening of this time may be granted by a prescribed authority. For more information ask your celebrant or download a free copy of the Explanatory Material on the Marriage Act which has a section on Shortening of Time.

Do we get a certificate for our Wedding Ceremony?

The Joyful Celebrant

Most celebrants provide a certificate for many different styles of ceremonies. A Marriage Certificate will be signed during the ceremony by the wedding couple, your chosen witnesses x 2 and the celebrant. This Marriage Certificate will then be gven to you on the day to commemorate your marriage, and once the marriage is registered with the Dept of Births, Deaths and Marriages, you can recieve a copy of your official certificate by applying to them directly.

Do we have to exchange wedding rings?

The Joyful Celebrant

You are not legally required to exchange wedding rings. However, it is a tradition since early times to honour the commitment you are making to each other.  The ring has come to symbolise the never ending nature of love.  

Nowadays some grooms are choosing not to wear a wedding ring due to occupational health and safety concerns. Some may exchange a ring on the day and wear it only on social occasions.  If only one ring is being exchanged, it can be acknowledged that this ring is the symbol for them both of their shared love and commitment. 

I had a couple who decided to buy a special gift for each other instead. His present was a set of golf clubs!

Do you bring a Public Address (PA) system?

The Joyful Celebrant

How disappointing is it not to be able to hear the wedding ceremony? I have received a lot of praise for having a fantastic public address system and high quality microphone. It can make all the difference to a ceremony - people love to hear what is being said! It is a legal requirement (according to The Celebrants Code of Practice) that all registered celebrants ensure the ceremony be audible to all of the guests. Make certain that your celebrant has a high quality and, if necessary, portable (not requiring mains power) public address system. Make sure they can still use it if it's windy if you are going to be on the beach and how they protect against surplus noise across the microphone. Ask if they have cord free hand held microphone for the delivery of readings, poems, etc. Do they have the facility to play your music through their system: cd's, iPod's, computers, connections?

Can I include my pet as part of the ceremony?

The Joyful Celebrant

Yes! All ceremonies can be tailor made to suit your requirements. If you would like your pet included in the ceremony, just let your celebrant know.

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