I read that we need two witnesses for our wedding but we are eloping and no one is coming with us. We don’t know anyone in Hobart, help!
Our two friends will be our witnesses but they aren’t Australian citizens. Is this a problem?
One of the legal requirements for a civil marriage ceremony in Australia is that two witnesses must be present and be able to hear you state your vows and for the celebrant to say their legally required wording also.
There are only two things the witnesses must be:
– Over the age of 18 years
– Have the ability to hear your ceremony*
Yes, that’s it! They can be related to you. They can be citizens of another country. They can even be total strangers to you.
I regularly provide witnesses for couples who are eloping or those just wanting to have a private ceremony. So if the thought of organising witnesses was putting undue stress on your “stress-free elopement” plans, worry no more!
I don’t charge extra for witnesses but a token gift of appreciation (such as a bottle of wine or box of chocolates) is always well received by the friends and family who like to help out by being witnesses :)
* If one of the witnesses or the bride or groom are hearing impaired, then an accredited interpreter must be present at the ceremony so all parts of the ceremony are fully understood.
Did you heave a big sigh when you got told “I need to see your original birth certificate before the wedding”?
Does your memory let you down when you know you put it in a “safe place” but can’t quite recall where that safe place was?
Well, in an exciting turn of events from the 1st of July 2014 if you were born in Australia you can use your Australian Passport as proof of your birth and identity! No more having to search for that elusive piece of government issued paper.
Friends and family love to ask me this question: “What new trends are coming up in weddings?” It’s such an open ended question and when I think back to all the weddings I’ve done there is a recurring theme.
Almost 50% of the weddings I’ve done in the last two years have been elopements. There is something about the fresh air and pristine nature of Tasmania that brings people here from interstate and from overseas to get married.
It’s a great way to combine a special, intimate ceremony with a great holiday destination!
Here are some of the couples I’ve helped to marry who wanted a sweet, simple ceremony with just themselves and the required two witnesses.