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  • Writer's pictureSteve King

Just a few questions...

1. Where do we start? 2. How much will it cost? 3. Do we have to say anything? 4. What do we do during the ceremony? 5. Do we have to have religious wording?

I'm also asked about: Letters to immigration for visa applications, I’m always happy to help there.

And changing your surname after marriage, which seems to be a big deal.

Some people think that the bride's name will automatically change during the ceremony and therefore she will sign her new married name on the paperwork. I say 'bride' because it seems it’s only ever heterosexual couples who think this.

Some also think that by registering their marriage with BDM that all their official ID, which includes driver's license, passports, and all that other stuff you have in your pre-marriage name, will automatically change, it won’t, it’s something you need to do yourself. Find a celebrant who has the resources to help you through that minefield. I tend to give my couples a list to help them.

Just one of the forms that need to be filled

A lot of people don't believe that the groom can, could, or even have the choice to change his surname, sad to say in this day and age that some people even laugh at this suggestion. What happens if we have two “brides” or two “grooms” and they what to combine their names?

Also... I still get couples who have never heard of the one-month rule. Now we all know about that... Right! Well just in case, here’s what it is.

From the day to decide to elope and get married to the earliest possible date that the wedding can take place, there are rules that need to be followed. You simply CAN NOT go to a onlinecelebrant and say “we want to get married, are you free this afternoon?”. The very first thing we need to do is fill out the first of many forms. The Notice of Intended Marriage starts the ball rolling and it has what one of my couples called a ‘cooling-off period’. From the time your celebrant has the fully signed and witnessed form it takes a month BEFORE you can get married, that’s the law.

Most people these days do a little online research and have figured it out, but once in a while I still get the odd inquiry where the person says that they know absolutely nothing and don't know where to start; I try and be reassuring, and I encourage them to see me to sort out all their queries over a cup of coffee or a chat on Zoom, at the same time telling them that they need not worry, and that I can guide them through all the legal formalities without any worries. Seems to work...

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