Everyone has a different dream for their wedding day, and some people have been planning it since they were very young. Eloping to get married is becoming a rising trend, which allows couples to tie in a wedding and a honeymoon. Whether you’re trying to escape your family, take them with you, or hold a shindig with them when you’re back, there are many reasons why a couple may want to escape to the beautiful world Downunder. When you’re heading to another country to get married, you need to follow their rules and make sure everything is legal when you head home. Throughout this article, we will tell you how to get married in Australia successfully.
Who Can Get Married in Australia?
Luckily, Australia is fairly liberal when it comes to elopers because anyone can get married here as long as they are 18 years old (16-17 if the court approved), the marriage isn’t incestuous, and certain words are used during the ceremony. Of course, there is paperwork you will need to fill out beforehand, and you will need to take the relevant evidence, which includes:
- Original passport
- Original birth certificate – you can pay for a copy of this
- A Notice of Intended Marriage – mentioned above
- If applicable, proof of previous marriage termination (valid divorce papers or death certificate).
- A statutory declaration will need to be written by the celebrant
For the sake of taking a few documents with you, these are relatively low criteria for getting married in a foreign country. You should also note that before you travel, you need to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), which you can do online for just 20 AUD – you will have 90 days maximum validity, which means you can return if you need to.
Things to Remember
There are a few things to remember when you’re heading to Australia:
- All of the paperwork above needs handing in 14 days before the wedding – you should do this sooner rather than later to avoid any disappointments
- Same-sex marriages are legal in Australia
- Before you go, make sure you check the Attorney-General’s Department for any new updates
- Any celebrant can solemnize a marriage providing they have a Commonwealth registration
- There will be three copies of your wedding certificates to be signed – one of them is for you
- You will need to have at least two 18+ witnesses at your wedding – ministers and celebrants can’t be witnesses
- Make sure you include “I (bride/groom) take you (bride/groom) to be my wife/husband” – feel free to write the rest of your vows
A Note on Covid-19 Restrictions
Although the Covid-19 global pandemic is winding down in terms of restrictions, you need to keep in mind that every country is going about this differently. Before you go, you should check the Australian government’s website for any restrictions, as well as the wedding venue. You don’t want to be turned away before you get to the alter.
Will Your Marriage Be Legal at Home?
Some people are held back from getting married in Australia because they’re concerned the marriage won’t hold up in their country. Typically, you will need to check the guidelines for your own country, but for Americans, you can rest assured that any legal marriage performed in Australia will be just as legal as a domestic wedding.
Remember to Have Fun
Your wedding in Australia is supposed to be fun, so remember to get the paperwork completed and let your hair down. For the perfect escape, head over there before your wedding to eliminate the jet lag and get the pre-wedding celebrations underway. Whether you’re taking the entire family or having an intimate wedding on the beach, enjoy your time and make the most of the big day. When you’re finally married, there are plenty of exciting destinations to tick off your Australian bucket list.
Eloping to get married is rising in popularity, likely because it combines the honeymoon as well and saves time in this career-orientated world. If you’re an American looking to go to Australia, all you need to do is apply for an ETA, take all your documents, and plan an awesome wedding.
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