Marriage without the ceremony

Hi! My partner and I would like to get legally married without a ceremony at this stage - is there anyone that can provide advice as to whether we can formally sign the legal documents without having a ceremony and saying vows? We haven't submitted the NOIM as yet but have it ready. Ive asked BDM however they arent able to provide me any advice. Thank you!

Question Asked: 17/02/2020

Wedding Date: 9/08/2018

Most Helpful Response

Amanda Louise

(6) · Adelaide & Surrounding Areas

Posted: 7/01/2023

To be legally married in Australia, the minimum requirement is a 'legal's only' ceremony, which does include you both saying vows. This type of ceremony is very simple however. In attendance would be you, me and two witnesses and would take approximately 5 mins, including signing the necessary paperwork. 

In order to hold a ceremony such as this, you would need to submit your NOIM with the celebrant at least one month prior to the date of your ceremony (only under exceptional circumstances can this time be reduced).  

Answered by: 8 Experts

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Heritage Celebrancy Services

(10) · Melbourne & Surrounds - Happy to travel

Posted: 25/08/2022

Yes indeed, all regular paperwork needs to be completed without the wordy ceremony, make sure to include the legal parts, but couples can be legally married and also make sure to have 2 witnesses at least 18 years old, job done.

Suzie Jones Celebrant

(3) · Brisbane and Gold Coast

Posted: 8/12/2020

Yes you can be married without the ceremony, the NOIM and other paperwork needs to be completed and then only a celebrant and 2 witnesses is necessary.

Phoebe Pham Celebrant

(27) · Sydney and surrounds

Posted: 29/10/2020

Hi there,

Congratulations of your decision to get married.

Yes, you can get legally married without a ceremony after you have lodged/submitted the NOIM with a celebrant for 30 days.

You can formally sign the legal documents with just five (5) people present including yourselves, your celebrant, and 2 witnesess who must be over 18 and understand English.

At a later stage, you can have a commitment ceremony  which has all the components of a wedding ceremony but none of the legals (because you are already married). The good side of this is you will be able to dress up and drink all the champagne you like without worrying about it impacting the legal capacity of your marriage.


Treasured Ceremonies

(16) · Byron Bay to Ballina , North Coast NSW and Gold Coast QLD

Posted: 21/06/2020

Yes, You can contact a celebrant, complete the NOIM, the celebrants would solmenize the ceremony one month after that signing and you are legally married without much ceremony. There are some requirements about what needs to be said but that is only takes about a 15 minutes. I do many of these.

Berenice The Cove Celebrant

(4) · Adelaide

Posted: 17/04/2020

Hi There

I have just come across your inquiry and would like to offer you the following information.

You can certainly get married without a ceremony.

You need to have 5 people at the ceremony, yourselves, the celebrant and two witnesses over the age of 18 who can understand English.

There are certain legal pronouncements that HAVE to be said, according to the Marriage Act in order to be legally married. The Celebrant will say these words. Included are the basic simple vows stating your name and intention. 

Formal Vows ( Must be said): I.......(name) call upon all present to witness that I take .....(name) to be my lawful husband/wife/married partner for life. ( That's it!)

The NOIM must be signed and handed to your celebrant at least ONE MONTH before your wedding date. The month starts when the Celebrant receives the NOIM.

The Celebrant must see your ORIGINAL documents ( not copies) of your ID,  passports/and or birth certificates and death/ divorce papers. These can be scanned and sent by email, but the original copies must still be sighted by the celebrant before the wedding ceremony.

As close as possible to the actual wedding date, you need to sign a Statutory Declaration in which you state that there is no legal impediment to you getting married. This can be done right up to the start of the ceremony if there is no other suitable time to meet with your celebrant. Without the Stat Dec, the marriage cannot take place.

After the legal documents are signed, the celebrant will send these off to BDM on your behalf. Depending on the State, it may take a few weeks before your official marriage certificate is ready for collection from your BDM at a cost of about $50.

I hope this answers your question. All marriages are bound by law to follow and include these steps.

Good Luck with your planning, if you have not already "tied the knot".

Please contact me if you have any further questions or concerns.

Berenice, The Cove Celebrant   Hallett Cove, South Australia                                              0431 199 072

Liz Manera Celebrant

(2) · Perth

Posted: 26/03/2020

Hi ya,

Yes, you can have a legals only ceremony with just the two of you, two witnesses (must be adults and speak English).

Any celebrant can do this for you, or you can go to a registry office.

You will need to submit a NOIM a minimum of 30 days before the ceremony.

The trick is that you cannot get married if you are already married, including to each other. This means that while you can have a ceremony at a later date it will have to be a commitment ceremony - you can have all the components of a normal ceremony but it cannot pretend to be your marriage. The celebrant can say something like 'While A and B took care of the legal parts of their marriage at an earlier date, this is the marriage of their hearts that they want to share with you, the people who matter to them most."

Hope all goes well


Beautiful Pea Green Weddings

(6) · Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast

Posted: 17/03/2020

Yes you can get legally married without a ceremony.  However, you are required, by law to say certain  basic vows at the time.  They just involve saying the full legal name of the person you are marrying and stating that they will be your legal spouse.

You would need to have two witnesses who are eighteen years or over to witness your signatures.  Easy!

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