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Shortening the one month notice period


When you get married in Australia the law is that you must give notice in writing by way of lodging a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form with your celebrant/registry office/clergy at least one (1) month prior to your ceremony date.  You can lodge your NOIM up to 18 months beforehand... but why the one month wait?  Celebrant Shell Brown takes us through the ins and outs of a Shortening of Time.

Well, it's a cooling-off period - to make sure that the couple has had adequate time to consider the type of relationship they're thinking of entering - Marriage.... remember it's not just a piece of paper, you are legally binding yourself to another person.

It also gives the couple time to gather the necessary documents ie: passport, birth certificate, divorce papers, change of name certificates - they may just be at the back of the 'everything' drawer, but sometimes they will need to apply for them from a different state or country - and this takes time.  This time also gives their celebrant time to check and site the couple's ID and all other relevant documents as well as write and prepare the ceremony.

What happens if you didn't know about the one month waiting period?

There are 5 specific circumstances where you may be eligible to apply for a "Shortening of Time".  The reason for wanting a Shortening of Time for notice must fall within one of these categories. There is no capacity to grant a Shortening of Time outside these circumstances and be aware that even if your reasons do fall under these circumstances, a Shortening of Time is not automatic - you will need to state your case to a Prescribed Authority and then it is up to them.

  • Employment-related, or other travel commitments
  • Wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations
  • Medical reasons
  • Legal proceedings, and
  • Error in giving notice.

What do you need to do?

  1. Contact a marriage celebrant who is willing to conduct a ceremony at short notice.

  2. Complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form and lodge it with the celebrant.  Make sure you do not sign the NOIM until you are in the presence of the celebrant or another approved witness.

  3. Choose a date and time for the ceremony - this can be changed if necessary.

  4. Ask the celebrant to supply you with a letter saying they have received a NOIM form you and that they are willing to conduct your marriage ceremony on the date and time nominated, provided the approval for shortening of time is granted.

  5. Make an appointment with a Prescribed Authority to request a Shortening of Time and take the NOIM with you so that it can be signed by the Prescribed Authority.  You must immediately return the signed NOIM to your celebrant.

  6. Make sure you take all documents that you would require to be married (birth certificates and/or passports, divorce papers) and documentary evidence to support your reason for shortening eg medical reports, employer evidence, wedding receipts, flight bookings, etc...

To avoid having to do this.....

There are so many things that you are probably juggling in the months and days leading up to your wedding, which is why we suggest that choosing and booking your celebrant is one of the first things that you do - AT LEAST ONE MONTH PRIOR TO YOUR CEREMONY - this way a diary, like this one below, can be avoided.

You can find a Celebrants Network Celebrant in your area to assist you.

For more information regarding the Shortening of Time: Click here


Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form

Prescribed Authorities



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Thursday, 25 April 2024

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