Category Archives: Legal Requirements

Family Relationship Services – why does your celebrant tell you about this?

You are happily planning your wedding and looking forward to a wonderful future of blissful married life together.

So why is your celebrant telling you about family relationship services or counselling or pre-marriage education – can they predict something about your relationship or are they just being pessimistic about the future of any marrying couple?

The reality is that each Celebrant must comply with the Marriage Act, which specifies that they must conduct themselves in accordance with a Code of Practice (contained as Schedule 1A of the Regulations).  Specifically, Item 6 of the Code states:  “Knowledge and understanding of family relationships services.  A marriage celebrant must: 1. maintain an up‑to‑date knowledge about appropriate family relationships services in the community; and 2. inform parties about the range of information and services available to them to enhance, and sustain them throughout, their relationship.”

Your celebrant will be able to provide you with details of services specific to your region, and will also provide you with a copy of the Government issued booklet “Happily Ever … Before and After”.  This booklet specifically discusses Family Relationships Online, which is an Australian Government Initiative.

Family Relationships Online provides all families with access to information about family relationship issues, ranging from building better relationships to dispute resolution. It also allows families to find out about a range of services that can assist them to manage relationship issues.

You can contact Family Relationships Online at: or by phone on 1899 050 321.

So your celebrant is not being negative by providing you with this information, they are meeting their legal obligations and also providing you with details of a service that could help your relationship should you ever need it.

Planning an Elopement?

For some couples, spending a day (or weekend or even a week) with their family and friends is their idea of the perfect way to celebrate their wedding.  Others prefer a low-key approach.

There are many reasons why couples choose to elope.  It could be the expense, not being comfortable being the centre of attention, hating the thought of the planning and organising for a big wedding, or dealing with difficult family relationships.  Some couples prefer to elope so that they have a wedding that is more personal and just about them.

While some couples may head off overseas on a fabulous holiday to get married, others may want a ceremony at home – be it at a registry office or in a setting of their choosing.

If you are thinking about eloping, then you need to consider a few points:

If you are eloping in Australia, there are legal requirements to be met.  You still need an authorised celebrant and to complete the Notice of Intended Marriage Form at least one month before your ceremony.  Your celebrant will talk you through the legal requirements and advise what is possible.

How will you deal with family and friends who are upset that they missed out – this is particularly important to think about if you have a close knit family.

What aspects of a ‘traditional’ wedding do you want to keep?  You may want a photographer to record your special day and use these photos to share the day with family and friends.

Do you include family or friends as your two witnesses, or will you ask your celebrant to provide witnesses?

Will you hold a ‘party’ afterwards and tell family and friends they are now at your wedding reception?

Ultimately, whether you have a wedding ceremony with a large guest list, a small intimate ceremony, or you elope, your ceremony should be about two people declaring their love for each and committing to a future together in a way that is meaningful to them.


  • Our written ceremony was perfect – it was clear that Rosemary understood what we wanted and delivered. On the day, the ceremony was above and beyond what we expected. We would definitely recommend Rosemary’s services to other couples planning their wedding.

    K and B

  • Rosemary was a friendly, helpful, thoughtful and professional celebrant who helped us create a ceremony that was perfectly suited to us. She was helpful throughout the whole process of planning and went over and above at the rehearsal and ceremony to make sure everything went smoothly.


  • Rosemary is a very calm, personable and professional celebrant. She helped us continuously in the lead-up to our outdoor wedding, ensuring our ceremony was wonderfully smooth. Of the many highlights of our wedding day, the ceremony was definitely one of them!

    Jaime and Nigel

  • For us, the ceremony was the most important aspect of our day and Rosemary helped us to find the right words to express our love and commitment to each other. Many people commented on how moving they found the ceremony and how well it reflected us as both individuals and as a couple. We would highly recommend Rosemary to anyone seeking a celebrant sensitive to and able to respond to the clients requirements.

    Karen and Grant

  • We’ve had great feedback about how lovely our ceremony was. Thank you for making this memorable not only for us but for our families and friends as well.

    Ruby and Mike

  • We really appreciated the work that you put into making the service just right for us – a great way to start our life together as husband and wife.

    Mark and Anna

  • Thanks for making our day so special for us. The ceremony was absolutely what we wanted and meant so much to us.

    Sandra and Terry

  • Rosemary was always very friendly and most helpful in providing suggestions. We were very happy and everyone commented on how wonderful the ceremony was.

    Laura and Tim