The Marriage Act 1961 requires that one calendar month notice be given by all couples wishing to get married. This notice starts when you provide your marriage celebrant with the Notice of Intended Marriage.

However, there are exceptions and a "Shortening of Time" can be aplied for.

The Marriage Regulations 2017 (Cth) Schedule 3 - Circumstances for authorising marriage despite late notice. The 5 prescribed categories are set out below.

They are;

    • 1  Employment‑related or other travel commitments
    • 2  Wedding or celebration arrangements
    • 3  Medical reasons
    • 4  Legal proceedings
    • 5  Error in giving notice

Please click and read Schedule 3 to see full details and documentation required

Please note;

  • the reason for seeking a shortening of time must fall within one of the prescribed categories before the application can be considered
  • a prescribed authority has no discretion to grant a shortening of time outside the circumstances covered by these categories
  • the granting of a shortening of time is not automatic, and
  • a prescribed authority may charge an application fee, celebrants should suggest that the couple check if a fee is charged when making an appointment, with a prescribed authority

The Process

Step 1. Contact your Local Court  registrar and explain that you require a meeting with a Prescribed Authority to arrange a Shortening of Time for your marriage Notice. Explain to them why you think you should get a shortening of time and ask what you will need to provide. They should be able to give you an indication at this point if your application for a shortening will be considered - and if so what documents you will need to bring to the meeting with the Prescribed Authority.

If you then wish to proceed

Step 2. Purchase a Lodgement Voucher from Simple Ceremonies for $110. This can be done here -  https://simpleceremonies.com.au/lodgement/ 

Step 3. Immediately complete your Notice of Intended Marriage form online with Simple Ceremonies - you will be directed how to do this once you have purchased a Voucher. NB. You will need to have lodged your Notice of Intended Marriage prior to your meeting with the Prescribed Authority.

Step 4. Sign and have your signature witnessed by an Authorised Person and upload it back to Simple Ceremonies, along with your IDs.

Step 5. Generally, within a few hours, you will receive an email containing a letter confirming your NoIM has been lodged (you will also receive a copy of the NoIM you uploaded) that has now been signed and dated by the celebrant. This is some of the documentation that you will be required to take to your meeting with the Prescribed Authority.

Step 6. Make an appointment with the Prescribed Authority - ensuring you have all the documents they require for you to bring to the meeting. To see documentation required please see Schedule 3 of the Marriage Regulations 2017

If you application is granted

Step 7. As soon as your application is granted contact Simple Ceremonies to confirm the specific location, date and time you would like to get married. Email us a copy of the NoIM/ Letter you received from the Prescribed Authority granting the shortening.

Step 8. Simple Ceremonies will provide you with a link to make your specific booking and make full payment.

Step 9. Love your ceremony!!!!