How long does it take to get your official marriage certificate after the wedding?

Can't wait to change my name!

Question Asked: 22/06/2021 Wedding Date: 9/08/2018

Most Helpful Response

Chris White Celebrant

Canberra and surrounding Region

(5) Posted: 4/06/2022

The sooner the celebrant lodges the registration with the relevant BDM the sooner you get the certificate.  Yes, each BDM will have different processing times (and pressures - COVID impact on staffing is a real issue) depending on the size of the BDM and the juridiction i.e. NSW has many more weddings per week than NT, WA, ACT or SA so they may take longer than other juridictions.  But to be honest NSW BDM has been turning them around so fast that my couples have very little wait.  ACT acknowledge registration that same day and turn them around very quick. The celebrant has 14 days to lodge so to be honest that is likely the main cause for delay.  I tend to get it done that night so there is no delay from my end.  I've had no problems with ACT or NSW BDMs processing and having the certificates delivered via Registered Post within 14 days. 

Gippsland Celebrant Services

Gippsland and Surrounding Areas

(0) Posted: 3/06/2022

Each state birth, deaths and marriages office will have posted on their website normally the rough time frame, in Victoria its an average of 20 business days. I advise my couples 4-6 weeks to be sure. Adam, Gippsland Celebrant Services

Mr. Samuel James

Adelaide and Surrounds

(15) Posted: 9/01/2022

Hey there! Samuel here from Great question - and it really varies depending on which state you're in. I'm a South Australian based Celebrant and unfortunately we don't have an online portal to lodge our paperwork, we have to do it by snail mail! With Australia Post the way it is at the moment it can take a little while. The cool thing though is that the Births Deaths and Marriages office offers estimated processing times at this link - - not sure if other BDMs do that too? Would be worth checking it out!

(6) Posted: 15/12/2021

The Celebrant must provide you with an Official Marriage Certificate at the end of your Ceremony, so you get that one straight away, That Certificate is proof of marriage and is often referred to as a Ceremonial Certificate. That certificate is unique, numbered, and cannot be replaced. Look after it. It is NOT however proof of identity.

Within 14 days, the Celebrant must register your ceremony with the state's Registry of Births Deaths, and Marriages. In eastern states, that is now done online and the BDM can then issue another Official Marriage Certificate which is both, proof of marriage, and proof of identity. That is the one you need if changing your name on your licence or passport because it is proof of identity

The BDM does charge a fee for their certificate but the Celebrant can order it for you in most states and so in some cases, it can arrive within days. If there is an error that needs correcting, it can take weeks and so check and double-check names and data as you go. (We are all human and I have seen couples misspell their own names). The shortest wait I have had is two hours when the certificate was picked up immediately after registration and the longest has been three months when someone apparently forgot to print the certificate. Took some chasing up but the couple then got it within two days.

PH Celebrants

Melbourne and Statewide Victoria

(0) Posted: 10/11/2021

When I marry you on the day I give you a framed decorative marriage certificate. I then process your legals with the Births deaths and marriages department within 14 days. You should receive your actual marriage certificate approximate 7-10days later depending on the back-log of processing at BDM. I hope this is helpful, please don't hesitate to contact me should you have further questions. 

Kind regards,


(6) Posted: 1/10/2021

Your celebrant has 14 days to submit your marriage paperwork to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) in whichever state or territory you were married. BDM's processing of your completed paperwork depends on various factors such as the current backlog, but in many jurisdifistions your official certificate will be posted to you within a week.

Beccy Brooks Celebrant

Adelaide & Surrounds, South Australia, Hitching Australia-wide

(7) Posted: 25/08/2021

Celebrants have up to 14 days to lodge all of your marriage paperwork and it is all then up to the relevant BDM in your State and Territory. 

The timeline for your official marriage certificate to become available will depend on the time of year and backlog the BDM may be experiencing.

I do know in some states it is possible for your celebrant to apply for the Official Marriage Certificate for their couples, however, in South Australia, it must be a party to the marriage that applies for this documentation. 

I offer advice as well as a simple name change checklist to any of my couples looking at changing their names as it can be a daunting process! 

(3) Posted: 16/08/2021

Approximately 10 weeks after the ceremony, depending how much previous ceremonies had to be processed before yours.


(4) Posted: 26/06/2021

In Victoria, BDM takes around 10 days on average.  It really depends on their workload.  I hope this helps you. 

Jordan Vassallo - Celebrant & MC

Sydney Metro / Hills District/ Illawarra/ Central Coast / Blue Mountains

(80) Posted: 24/06/2021

Depending on how your celebrant lodges your paperwork.. For my couples, I have the life link service which is an online portal direct to Births Deaths and Marriages. This means that on the Monday after the wedding I process the application and lodge it instantly. Generally, my couples receive the marriage Certificate via registered post between 5-10 business days after the wedding. :)

If the celebrant lodges the paperwork via post it can take up to 8-12 weeks 

I hope that helps. All the best. :)

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