Australian law requires couples to give at least one month’s notice before they may marry. The one-month period begins when you (the couple) give your celebrant a signed and witnessed Notice of Intended Marriage.
It does not start when you book the ceremony with the celebrant.
Circumstances for shortening the notice period
The law provides special circumstances for shortening the notice period. These are as follows:
- Employment-related or other travel commitments
- Wedding or celebration arrangements
- Medical reasons
- Legal proceedings
- An error in giving notice.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not adequate reason for a shortening.
How to apply to shorten the notice period
You must apply to a ‘prescribed authority (External link)’. Prescribed authorities include:
- Magistrates courts throughout Victoria
- Other prescribed authorities in Australia
- The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria (BDM).
If you’re applying with another prescribed authority, check their requirements with them.
If you’re applying to BDM, follow the instructions below.
Applying to BDM for a shortening
- Complete the application form below
- A signed and witnessed Notice of Intended Marriage form
- A letter from your celebrant. The letter must confirm that they are willing to conduct your ceremony on the new date (if approved)
- Copy of photo ID for both parties
- Evidence that one of the 5 circumstances above applies to you.
You must provide all the supporting evidence at the time you apply. Your application may be delayed if you don’t.
A prescribed authority can’t approve your application if you don’t meet the special circumstances above.
- Submit your application via the contact details on the form.
- Pay the fee.
There is a fee of $55.
How long will it take?
If you are submitting your application to:
- The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages: 2 business days
- Another prescribed authority (External link): check with them.
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