FAQ’S

When do I need to book a Celebrant?

What is the best time of day to have the ceremony?

Where can I have my ceremony?

Can we marry in Australia if we are from overseas?

What are the option for a change of surname?

How do I change my surname?


WHEN DO I NEED TO BOOK A CELEBRANT?

As soon as you have decided on the date, time and venue of your ceremony I suggest you make a booking. Most celebrants in the South West are busy, it is best to book well in advance.

Some couples now choose to be married on a Friday or Sunday which can give them more choice and flexibility with the services they need for their special day.


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WHAT IS THE BEST TIME OF DAY TO HAVE THE CEREMONY?

The most popular time in the summer is between 4pm-5pm. This can vary slightly depending on day-light saving. (click here for sunrise and sunset times). In spring and autumn the 3-4pm time is more popular.

Keep in mind that you may have to be flexible with times to secure the celebrant you want. Most full-time, professional celebrants will do 2 ceremonies on a Saturday afternoon in the ‘Wedding Season’.

I am available to conduct ceremonies from sunrise to sunset.

It is a good idea to consult with your photographer before you commit to a time.

Another option to consider is having a morning or lunch-time ceremony instead of late-afternoon / evening ceremony.

Some wineries will not allow ceremonies to commence before 5-5.30pm. If this is the case it may be wise to either have the ceremony at another venue and return to the winery for the reception. Another option would be to consider having most of your wedding photos taken before the ceremony.


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WHERE CAN I HAVE MY CEREMONY?

Your wedding ceremony can be anywhere you choose! At home, on the beach, at a restaurant, in the forest, in a garden, a winery or even on a boat (as long as it in Australian waters). The options are limitless.

If you choose to have an outdoor wedding it is recommended that you:

  • Check with the relevant council for outdoor weddings with regard to permits.
  • Have a "Plan B" in case of bad weather.

For beaches in the Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup and Bunker Bay areas please contact the Busselton Shire shire@busselton.wa.gov.au
For Gracetown, Prevelly, Margaret River, Ellensbrook and Hamelin Bay beaches please contact the Augusta - Margaret River Shire amrsc@amrsc.wa.gov.au

On a perfect day, there is nothing more stunning than a beach wedding, however you may need to consider

  • The flies in summer
  • Strong winds in the springtime
  • Lack of shade on very hot days
  • Glare from the sand
  • Access for the older guests


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Wedding Location

CAN WE MARRY IN AUSTRALIA IF WE ARE FROM OVERSEAS?

Regardless of nationality you are most welcome to be married in South West Western Australia. There is no residency qualification required. All that's required is:

  • You are free to marry
  • You have lodged a Notice of Intended Marriage form (this can be witnessed overseas by an Australian Consular Officer or a Notary Public), with your celebrant within the allowed time-frame (between 18months and 1 month and 1 day from the wedding date).
  • You must remember to bring all the necessary original documents with you when you come to Australia.

The rest can be done by email.


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WHAT OPTIONS ARE THERE FOR A CHANGE OF SURNAME?

There is no requirement for either the bride or groom to adopt the partner’s surname following the wedding. However, these are the options available:

  • Neither partner changes surname.
  • The bride takes her husbands surname.
  • The groom may take his wife’s surname.
  • The couple may wish to use both surnames (in either order, with or without a hyphen).
  • And some couples choose to use both a common surname for social situations (such as entertaining, enrolment of children in school etc) and also their professional surnames that might have already become well established prior to the marriage and which one or both partners may wish to continue using after marriage.


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HOW DO I CHANGE MY SURNAME?

There are 2 documents that demonstrate proof of marriage, and which support a couple wishing to change one or both surnames.

  • As part of the marriage ceremony a presentation copy of the Marriage certificate is given to the couple by the celebrant.
  • Additionally a certified copy of the Marriage Certificate may be obtained from the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages after the marriage has been registered. This is normally available 3-4 weeks after the ceremony, however it is possible to pay a fee to obtain a copy straight after the wedding.

These 2 documents together are evidence that one or both partners may elect to change his/her surname. They do not demonstrate a change of name – simply that now being married they may elect to change surname(s). Under Australian law, by showing the above marriage certificates as proof of marriage, a couple may change surname(s) on passports, rate notices, title deeds, insurance renewals, bank accounts, visas etc without the need to legally register a change of name.

ON THE WEDDING DAY, WHEN SIGNING THE CERTIFICATE, THE COUPLE SIGN THE NAMES THEY WERE USING PRIOR TO THE CEREMONY.


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Celebrating on the rocks