Marriage Certificates in Australia
Most people think of their ‘official’ Australian Marriage Certificate as the one they receive on their wedding day. Actually, the number of Marriage Certificates signed at an Australian wedding varies depending on who officiates at the wedding ceremony. For example, there are only two Marriage Certificates at a State Registry Office Wedding.
There are three Marriage Certificates at civil and religious weddings. A Commonwealth-registered Marriage Celebrant (CMC), or a designated person of a religious organisation approved by the Australian government officiates at these wedding ceremonies.
- The first Marriage Certificate is in the Marriage Register which I keep securely as the authorised Celebrant. This certificate contains all the personal identity details of the Bride and Groom, including their birth dates.
- The second Marriage Certificate is the Presentation or Ceremonial Marriage Certificate. This is the certificate that I present to the Bride and Groom at the end of the ceremony. This certificate is a legal document, however it does not prove identity as it does not show birth dates. This certificate proves that the persons named were married at a given place on a given date.
- The third Marriage Certificate is the Official Marriage Certificate. This certificate contains all the personal identity details of the Bride and Groom, including their birth dates.
The Commonwealth-registered Marriage Celebrant (CMC), or a designated person of an Australian government approved religious organisation, submits this third certificate to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State/Territory where you marry.
Legal Document of Identity
The ‘legal document’ that not only establishes your identity but also shows the details of your marriage, is the copy of the Official Marriage Certificate certified by the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry of the States/Territory where you marry. There is a charge for this certificate and costs vary across State Registries.
Finally, State Registries offer a decorative, Commemorative Certificate for a fee. This certificate is for display purposes only and is neither a legal document nor a proof of identity document.
How many Marriage Certificates do you need or want?
So, how many certificates do you need or want? That is up to you! If you want a certificate that you can use to change your name, then you need to purchase a copy of your Official Marriage Certificate. This is available from the Registry of the State/Territory where the marriage takes place.
Do you want more information about getting married? Do you want more information about marriage documents? Ask the right questions and get the correct information!