Some couples are content to tie the knot at the courthouse down the road. But for those who are more adventurous, a destination wedding -- and an international marriage -- are a must. The Huffington Post's guide to international marriages will tell you everything you need to know to get legally married in Australia. Read on to ensure all of your paperwork is in order before booking your ticket. --Marnie Kunz
Residency Requirement And Waiting PeriodThere is no residency requirement and no waiting period to get married in Australia.
Intent To MarryAmerican couples must file a Notice of Intended Marriage form with the celebrant -- or official presiding over the wedding -- within six months prior to getting married in Australia. The notice must be filed at least one month and one day before the marriage. Filing fees vary by state or territory, with Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Western Australia requiring $95 Australian. In the Australian Capital Territory -- or Canberra -- the fee is $30 Australian.
The Notice of Intended Marriage can be sent from the U.S. but must be signed by both partners and notarized by an Australian consular or diplomatic officer. The applicants must send birth certificates and passports with the Notice of Intended Marriage or show these documents once they arrive in Australia.
Applicants can find an Australian diplomatic or consular representative in the following U.S. cities: Washington, D.C., 202-797-3000; New York, 212-245-4000; Chicago, 312-645-9440; Houston, 713-629-9131; Los Angeles, 213-469-4300; San Francisco, 415-362-6160; and Honolulu, 808-524-5050.
The CeremonyAuthorized marriage celebrants perform weddings in Australia. A directory of authorized celebrants is listed in the Register of Marriage Celebrants. Celebrants can be from religious organizations or may not be affiliated with any religions. Celebrants may offer a range of location options for weddings or can help couples find the right place. A celebrant must preside over the ceremony, be present at the exchanging of vows and sign the legal papers for the marriage.
The Marriage CertificateA celebrant will give the newlyweds a Form 15 certificate after the marriage ceremony. The celebrant will prepare three certificates after the marriage, and the wedding witnesses are required to sign all three of them. One certificate goes to the couple, one is sent to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriage and one is kept on record by the celebrant.
Legal DocumentationEach partner must provide an original birth certificate and passport. In the case of previous marriages, applicants must show proof that all previous marriages have ended with copies of divorce decrees or death certificates.
Same-Sex MarriageSame-sex marriage is not legal in Australia. The Marriage Amendment Act of 2004 added a clause to the Marriage Act of 1961 to explicitly ban gay marriage, stating that marriage is "the union of a man and woman to the exclusion of all others." Despite later legislative attempts to change the clause, no further resolutions have been passed on the issue.
Additional InformationRegulations on marriage in Australia are included in the Marriage Act of 1961.
View the full set of laws and regulations regarding marriage in Australia.