Getting married is a significant event in a person's life. Traditionally, people get married in a ceremony with their loved ones present. However, with the advancement of technology, there is now a new option available for people who want to get married: online marriages.
Online marriages are not currently recognized in Australia, but there are still options available for couples seeking a convenient and legal alternative. If you are considering getting married online in Australia, this article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to do so. We will cover everything you need to know, from choosing an online marriage provider to obtaining a marriage certificate.
According to the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) in Australia, marriages must be solemnized in the physical presence of the authorized celebrant, the couple, and two official witnesses. This requirement extends to signing the necessary paperwork for a legal marriage. Notably, Registered Commonwealth Marriage Celebrants, and similar authorities, are not permitted to virtually witness signatures or officiate ceremonies online.
Despite inquiries since 2020, the legal framework for marriages in Australia, governed at the federal level, requires any changes to go through the parliamentary process. Thus, the likelihood of virtual marriages being legally recognized in Australia seems distant.
However, the state of Utah in the United States has embraced digital innovation in marriage procedures. Before the 2019 pandemic, certain regions in Utah required the physical presence of the officiant and the couple for a legally binding marriage. Then in 2019, the Utah County marriage license office introduced a fully digital process, eliminating the need for in-person visits to obtain and submit marriage licenses.
Utah's online marriage system is inclusive and recognizes marriages throughout the United States. This implies that a couple legally marrying online in Utah will have their marriage acknowledged by other states.
Generally, marriages legally solemnized in one country are recognized by Australian law, as long as you possess a legitimate marriage certificate from the country of marriage; there is no requirement for an Australian marriage certificate.
The Marriage Act 1961 and Marriage Regulations 2017 govern the rules for in-person weddings in Australia. Here are the key requirements:
In December 2017, Australia marked a significant milestone in its history by legalizing same-sex marriage. This monumental change was driven by a nationwide postal survey that overwhelmingly reflected the public's support for marriage equality.
The amendment of the Marriage Act 1961 served as a pivotal moment, marking a shift from traditional norms to a more inclusive legal framework. The revised definition of marriage recognizes it as "the union of 2 individuals, voluntarily entered into for life, to the exclusion of all others," explicitly acknowledging the right of same-sex couples to legally wed.
This watershed event not only reflects the evolving attitudes of Australian society but also signifies the establishment of a legal system that upholds the fundamental right of all individuals to marry, regardless of their gender. This transformative progress paves the way for a more inclusive and equitable future for all Australians.
Shortening the Notice Period
Getting Married Overseas
Getting Married Online (in a different country)
Courtly offers an accessible and effective solution designed for couples in search of a simplified marriage process. This innovative platform provides couples with the flexibility to oversee the entire procedure remotely, eliminating the requirement for extensive documentation. With Courtly's efficient system, couples can quickly acquire a valid U.S. marriage certificate, enhancing their matrimonial experience with convenience and ease.
Courtly offers couples the flexibility to complete the entire marriage process online, regardless of their geographical location. The acquisition of a valid U.S. marriage certificate is made efficient and prompt, often achieved within 48 hours, eliminating the need for extensive documentation.
Follow this step-by-step guide to utilize Courtly's services:
1. Create an Account
Initiate the registration process by clicking on the "Get Married" icon in the top right corner. Follow the provided instructions to create your account, granting you access to the platform.
2. Select Ceremony Details
Take decisive action by choosing the ceremony format, setting, and officiant. Depending on your preferred time and day, Courtly will pair you with a legally qualified U.S. officiant.
3. Payment Confirmation
After selecting your desired wedding package, complete the payment process. Await the confirmation email from Courtly, signaling the commencement of your wedding arrangements. Detailed information on available packages and add-ons can be found on the Pricing Page.
4. Virtual Celebration
Tie the knot online from the comfort of your home or any location with a reliable internet connection. The ceremony typically lasts around 15 minutes.
Upon completion, you'll receive a digital copy of your U.S. marriage certificate promptly after the online wedding. A printed copy will be delivered to you within 1 to 2 weeks. Additionally, you can download your digital marriage license shortly after the wedding celebration.
The rules for overseas marriage validity are outlined in the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth). The Attorney-General's Department oversees Australia's policies on marriage and family law, including which overseas marriages are recognized.
If your overseas marriage meets the following criteria, it's automatically recognized in Australia and you don't need to register it again:
While your foreign marriage certificate is usually sufficient evidence of the marriage, it may not be sufficient for changing your name. Contact your local registry of births, deaths, and marriages for further information on this. However, there are some exceptions to the recognition of overseas marriages:
An apostille is a unique certificate that verifies the authenticity of a document for use in a country that recognizes the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961. This essentially allows your marriage certificate to be recognized as a legitimate document in countries that adhere to the convention, including Australia.
Obtaining an apostille is not necessary for your Australian marriage to be valid. The marriage certificate itself serves as proof of the legal union. However, if you need to use your marriage certificate in another country that recognizes apostilles, you can obtain the certificate through various government agencies or specialized services like Courtly. The process typically takes 15-30 business days and involves verifying the signatures and seals on your marriage certificate.
It's crucial to stay updated on the specific requirements and procedures for obtaining an apostille in your jurisdiction. You can consult Courtly or relevant authorities for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
While online marriages are not currently recognized in Australia, there are various options available for couples seeking a convenient and efficient way to get married. Whether you choose to get married online through a platform like Courtly or opt for a traditional ceremony overseas, it's important to be aware of the legal requirements and procedures involved.
For couples considering online marriage in Australia, carefully research the available options and choose a platform that meets your needs and legal requirements. With the right planning and preparation, you can experience a convenient and meaningful wedding ceremony, regardless of location.
Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online, including providing a licensed officiant who can perform a remote ceremony.Get Married
Getting married is complicated. Courtly simplifies the process and provides everything necessary to get married online.Learn More