Port Douglas Wedding FAQs

The are plenty of Port Douglas Wedding FAQs that I’ve collected over the years and the list continues to grow. If you can’t find what you need just ask :-)

What is the first step?

The first step is to confirm your date and time for your wedding and get your paperwork started. You will need to complete the Notice of Intended Marriage and provide your original identification documents. Please also refer to Legal Requirements.

How far ahead should I book?

It is advisable to book your celebrant, photographer and as many suppliers as possible especially if you are looking at the months between April and November. The Notice of Intended Marriage can be lodged no later than one month prior to your wedding date and not earlier than 18 months of the date.

I don’t have one month, can I apply for a ‘Shortening of Time?

Shortening of the statutory period (1 month) of notice under the Marriage Act 1961 can only be granted in extraordinary circumstances. Below are examples of these circumstances.

  • Employment-related or other travel commitments
  • Wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations
  • Medical reasons
  • Legal proceedings
  • Error in giving notice

My fiance’s divorce has not been finalised, can we still lodge the NOIM?

Yes, you can lodge your NOIM with the celebrant pending the divorce being finalised. However the marriage cannot be performed until the divorce has been finalised.

My identification documents are certified copies, can I use these?

No, marriage celebrants are obligated to sight all original identification documents.

I have had a change of name, will I require further documents?

Yes, if you have had a change of name you will be asked to provide an original change of name certificate. Please let me know early in the booking if this matter relates to you.

My identification documents are not in English?

If any of your documents are not in the English language, it is your responsibility to ensure your documents are translated by an authorized person who is a legal translator.

You can go to www.naati.com.au (The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters )to find an authorized accredited translator in Australia or by contacting the Australian or English Embassy in your country of residence.

What happens after you lodge your Notice of Intended Marriage?

This is when it starts to get very exciting.

Once I have received your completed Notice of Intended Marriage, you will be provided with my 64 page sample ceremony package that provides unlimited choices for the wording for your ceremony.

There are endless choices in the package, everything from introductions, prose, poetry to vows and rituals. The booklet helps you create your own personal ceremony reflecting your own thoughts.

I also ask my couples to complete and personal questionnaire and any information you provide is written into the ceremony giving it an even more personal inclusion.

My ceremonies are presented in a light and happy manner with quite often some laughter as well. They are unique to my couple as no two couples are the same. Personal and intimate and fresh, your ceremony will be about you and for you so that you will come away feeling like you have been a part of something really special.

A beautiful copy of your ceremony as well as your presentation certificate are left with you after the ceremony as a keepsake.

Will my name be automatically changed after I get married?

No, you will need to send an application form to BDM Brisbane for your marriage certificate that will be your identification certificate to change your name.

Although the presentation certificate I give you on your wedding day is a legal certificate it is not an identity document and many institutions will not recognize it when you go to change your name.

I will explain the application form that needs to be sent to BDM Brisbane (this is where I lodge your documents) after you are married.

As a courteous service I offer to send this application form away with your documents. This makes the process easier for my clients as the application form will arrive with my documents and will start to be processed as soon as it arrives at BDM. Cost is $42.00 (subject to change annually) and I have the application form available.

Alternatively see:


Will I need a permit?

If you are planning on having your wedding on a beach or in a park you may need to contact our local council with regards to a permit.

I am more than happy to give you suggestions for locations e.g. entrance at Baler Street, Fourmile Beach or Little Cove in Rex Smeal Park are just two popular areas for weddings.

You will also need to contact our local Cairns Regional Council for availability.

Will I need a witness and how many?

On your wedding day you will need two witnesses over the age of 18 who speak the English language and they need to be present for the entire ceremony.

This can be anyone you like and if you are eloping please let me know as we need to make other arrangements.

Can I have a family member or friend read at our wedding?

Yes, I encourage this as it adds another dimension to your ceremony as well as recognizing important people in your lives.

Do I have to be given away?

No, remember this is your ceremony, your day. Besides a couple of legal requirements, the ceremony is your own personal reflection of your thoughts and ideas.

Who usually gives the bride away?

Again you can be open to options. It can be anyone or any two people if you desire.

Should we provide chairs for the guests?

With most outdoor weddings guests are happy to stand. If however you have elderly people or disabled guests, it is a good idea to hire maybe 12 chairs. This allows immediate family to be seated and comfortable throughout the ceremony.

We would like to elope, is this possible?

Yes, elopements are very popular in this area. What could be more romantic…. jetting off to a secret destination with your beloved…. and going home as husband and wife! Port Douglas has one of the most romantic surrounds in tropical Far North Queensland for beautiful wedding ceremonies, so take advantage while you’re here.

With a little help, you can elope and experience an intimate and personal feel for your wedding day. I marry many couples annually who choose to elope.

What name does the bride sign on the day of the wedding?

The bride signs with her maiden name or the name she is recognized as at the time of the marriage.

This will be the same signature that she has used when lodging the NOIM and declaration that is signed prior to the ceremony.

Do we have to pay for your PA system?

No, if a PA is required this is covered in the cost in my quote.

How long should our ceremony run for?

An average ceremony takes about 20 minutes. Anything less than this can seem rather short and rushed however this again is your decision.

Can we contact you for advice or information?

Absolutely – feel free to contact me as it is very important you understand the legal requirements as well as ensuring you choose the ceremony of your choice and feel comfortable with all your planning. I am available by email, phone and also skype.

Do we have to attend any pre-marital courses?

No, however all celebrants must provide information regarding Relationships Australia should you both choose to participate in any of these programs:

  • Relationships Australia 1300 364 277
  • Department of Families, Community and indigenous Affairs
    Ph: 1800 050 009
  • Prepare/Enrich 02 9545 4566

What does your fee include?

  • Professional, friendly advice and personalised service.
  • Guidance & assistance you require & carefully take you through your ceremony.
  • Attention to all legal documentation, including lodgement in Intention of Marriage Form and registration of your marriage.
  • Courtesy service of lodging the application form to BDM for your change of name certificate.
  • Unlimited phone and email contact.
  • An exclusive sample ceremony package from which you can select available options for your ceremony that will tailor make your ceremony with your personal choices.
  • A choice and variety of beautiful wedding ceremonies – with options to include your own material, family members and ceremonial rituals e.g. hand fasting, candle lighting ceremony.
  • Drafts of your ceremony until you confirm approval of the final draft that will be used on your wedding day.
  • A table, chairs, table cloth and chair coverings for signing.
  • A PA system so your guests can hear the ceremony for either indoors or outdoors.
  • A presentation certificate and booklet of your ceremony with magical memories to keep forever.
  • I wear an outfit/suit to fit in with your colour scheme/setting.
  • I also travel to the location of your choice, e.g. beach, chapels, rivers

Any other questions? Head over to the Contact Page.