Who can officiate a wedding in Australia

Who can officiate a wedding in Australia


Congratulations on your engagement! After you’ve finalised the date and venue for your wedding, it’s time to start thinking about who will officiate. In Australia, you are required to have an authorised marriage celebrant to legally officiate your wedding, so here’s a quick overview of your options and what you should consider. 

Authorised marriage celebrant and officials

In Australia, anyone who is authorised by the state or territory to officiate a wedding can officiate a wedding. This includes religious leaders, civil celebrants, and marriage celebrants.

To be authorised by the state or territory, officiants must be over the age of 18 and must have completed an accredited marriage celebrancy course. In addition, they must be registered with the relevant state or territory authority. Once registered, officiants can apply to become a civil celebrant, a religious leader, or a marriage celebrant. Read a detailed breakdown from the attorney general’s website.

Regardless of who officiates a wedding, couples must complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form. This form must be received by the Authorised Marriage Celebrant and the legal documents sighted by the celebrant at least one month prior to the wedding date

Legal responsibilities when officiating a wedding

In Australia, officiating a wedding means you are responsible for overseeing the legal aspects of the marriage ceremony. This includes ensuring that the couple has completed the NOIM, produced the relevant legal documents for identification, and are legally allowed to wed.

The person officiating the wedding will also need to witness the exchange of marriage vows and declare the couple officially married. You are also responsible for registering the marriage with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State where the wedding service took place.

How marriage celebrants can go the extra mile

Typically, it is expected of a marriage celebrant to do more than just the legal requirements for the ceremony. A marriage celebrant does not only provide a personal and intimate ceremony that reflects your unique relationship, but will also be there with you each step of the way leading up to your special day.

Here’s what you can expect from a marriage celebrant:

  1. A marriage celebrant will get to know you and your partner. They’ll learn about your love story, what makes your relationship special, and what you hope to achieve in marriage. This allows them to craft a ceremony that is truly personal and meaningful.
  2. A marriage celebrant will help you choose the right readings, music, and other elements for your ceremony. They’ll make sure everything comes together seamlessly and creates the perfect atmosphere for your big day.
  3. A marriage celebrant will officiate your ceremony on the day of your wedding. They’ll guide you through each step of the way, from saying your vows to exchanging rings. And finally, they’ll pronounce you husband and wife!

If you’re looking for someone to create a beautiful and personal ceremony that reflects your unique relationship, you can find all of Kerrie’s wedding celebrant services.

Friend or relative conducting your wedding

A friend or relative can conduct part of the ceremony and marry you in Australia, but they will need the assistance of an Authorised Marriage Celebrant to take care of the legal side of the ceremony and legal paperwork.

Conducting a ceremony is a big responsibility, and it’s important to make sure that the person you choose is up for the task. They should be comfortable speaking in front of a large group and be able to keep the ceremony running smoothly. While it’s certainly possible for a friend or family member to conduct your wedding ceremony, it is important to remember you will still need an Authorised Marriage Celebrant there to ensure the legal side of the ceremony is performed according to the law as stated in the Marriage Act 1961.

The Pros and Cons of someone else conducting your wedding


  • They know you and your spouse well
  • They can personalise the ceremony to reflect your relationship
  • Having a friend officiate your wedding is a great way to show your appreciation
  • It can be more relaxed and informal than a traditional wedding ceremony


  • You may not be able to personalise the ceremony as much as you would like
  • Friends may feel obligated to say yes, even if they don’t really want to officiate
  • If your friend does a bad job, it can reflect poorly on both of you
  • There’s a higher chance that something will go wrong
  • You will still need to engage the services of an Authorised Marriage Celebrant.  There is a chance they will still charge you their full fee price even though they are not performing the whole service.

Your wedding day should be one of the most memorable days of your life. So, it’s important to choose a marriage celebrant who will make sure the ceremony is legal and personalised to you. An authorised marriage celebrant must meet certain legal requirements and can help you with everything from choosing readings and vows to lodgement of paperwork. When meeting with potential marriage celebrants, ask about their experience, what services they offer and whether they have any specialties or areas of interest. Most importantly, make sure you feel comfortable with them – after all, they will be a part of one of the biggest days of your life!

Contact Kerrie today or view her services to see how she can help create the perfect wedding ceremony for you.