In order to get married - whether it's in a large-scale ceremony or at your kitchen table - the first step you’ll need to take, is to complete a “Notice of Intended Marriage” or “NOIM”.
To get married in Australia, you need to give your chosen authorised marriage celebrant at least one month notice of your intended ceremony date. A Notice of Intended Marriage is valid for up to 18 months.
You can find information about your eligibility get married, as well as instructions on how to complete your NOIM, on the Service NSW website:
But as a marriage celebrant, it's my job to guide you through the process with your eyes closed.
Therefore I proudly present, the "Becky Married Me Guide to Completing your Notice of Intended Marriage!"
PART ONE: Complete NOIM and have signatures witnessed
Download the NOIM form and fill in your details on page 3.
You should also fill in your celebrant's details on the top of page 3 (but don't stress if you don't have this information)
Do not sign the form at page 4 when you are filling out the NOIM, wait until you are in the presence of an Authorised Witness, who will witness you signing page 4.
You will both need to sign page 4, in the presence of:
- A Justice of the Peace (list of JPs online)
- A Doctor
- A Police Officer
- Other authorised person listed on page 4.
HINT #1: It is often easiest to take the form to your local police station and ask for a Police Officer to witness your signatures. They’re available all the time!
HINT #2: You don't have to sign the form at the same time, you just have to sign the same form.
PART 2: Send the completed NOIM to your celebrant
You can post your NOIM to your celebrant, deliver it in person, or, send them a copy via electronic means like email or text (thank you Electronic Transactions Act!)
I recommend downloading a scanning app (like Adobe scan) to your smartphone, and scanning the NOIM in. iPhone’s allow you to scan documents using the ‘Notes’ app (Click here for instructions). But you are also able to take clear photographs with your phone.
The day your celebrant receives your email - the NOIM will be officially “lodged”.
Remember: Your celebrant needs to receive your NOIM 30 days, or one calendar month, prior to your ceremony date.
e.g if you submit the NOIM on 17 August, you can get married on 17 September.
HINT: Any celebrant can receive and lodge a NOIM. NOIM's can be transferred to another celebrant all the way up to your ceremony. However - the celebrant who performs your ceremony needs to complete the information on page four (see Part 3):
Part 3: Provide evidence of date and place of birth (as well as the end of any previous marriages, or official changes of name if applicable).
Your celebrant will need to see copies of the following documents to complete page four of the NOIM.
- A passport
- An original birth certificate + photo identification (drivers licence/photo card etc.).
TIP: Find these now - you're not alone if you have no idea where your birth certificate is at this current point in time. Ask your parents.
Your celebrant will organise this with you, however, it can also be done all the way up to the ceremony (i.e. a replacement celebrant on the day can see your ID on the day).
The same goes for divorce/death/annulment/change of name certificates.
NB: It does not matter if you are an Australian Citizen or not, but if your identification documents are not available in English, your celebrant will require an officially translated version.