On the day of the wedding, there are three mandatory legal obligations to be fulfilled:

The Monitum: This is a prescribed statement that all authorised marriage celebrants in Australia must recite during the ceremony. The wording is as follows: “I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” This can be paraphrased as required by law.”

The Declaration of Intent: This is a legally mandated statement that all couples must recite during the ceremony, and the wording is: “In the presence of these witnesses, I (full legal name of party 1/2), take you, (full legal name of party 2/1), to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife/spouse/partner in marriage.”

The Signing of the Marriage Register: This involves two persons over the age of 18 acting as official witnesses to the marriage and signing the marriage register, which includes three documents:

  • Two copies of the official Government Certificate of Marriage – one to be forwarded to the Department of Births, Deaths & Marriages for registration, and one retained for record-keeping.
  • One presentation marriage certificate, provided to the couple as a keepsake.
  • Both witnesses and the celebrant will sign all three certificates.

These requirements are integral to the legal process and are strictly adhered to ensure the validity of the marriage within Australian law.