To kick everything off, firstly you need to lodge a Notice Of Intended Marriage (NOIM form) with me at least one month before your wedding date. You can download the NOIM here. Don't worry about printing it out as I'll take care of that and will bring a copy to the our NOIM meeting.
There's other paperwork you need to sign too - I'll go over this with you in person.
Documents to bring
I need to sight appropriate ID from you before the wedding takes place. The easiest is if you have an original passport (Australian or overseas is fine). The best time for me to sight your ID is is during our NOIM meeting, but it's also possible for me to sight this another time. As long as I see your ID before the wedding takes place, then we are fine!
If either of you were once previously married, you will need to bring with you the divorce paper or death certificate.
Your ceremony needs to include the following elements to make sure it ticks all the legal boxes:
I'm required to introduce myself as the celebrant, using my full name. The bride and groom’s full name must be said by either you or myself during the ceremony, before or during your vows.
Marriage vows must be exchanged by both of you. You need to each say at least the minimum wording:
"I ask everyone here present to witness that I, FULL FIRST NAME, take you, FULL FIRST NAME, to be my wedded wife/husband."
Before you exchange vows, by law I'm required to say aloud the following statement:
"I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to the law. Before you are joined in marriage, in my presence and in the presence of everyone here today, 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 a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life."
You will need two witnesses of at least 18 years present at the ceremony to sign the paperwork.
Aside from these four requirements, you can do anything else you like in your ceremony! The freedom is yours.