Australia is always a favourite honeymoon destination, whether you want a dreamy resort location, an Outback or wilderness adventure, an exciting city interlude or a combination of different experiences. But getting married in Australia is also easy, making this is a very popular choice for overseas couples who want to get away from it all and to celebrate in a wonderful location.
There are a number of legal requirements and any couples intending to marry must have the right documents before leaving their own country. You must be over 18 and free to marry. All paperwork must be current and have been dated and witnessed no less than a month and a day before the wedding and no more than 18 months prior. The documents required are:
- Birth certificates
- Valid passports and visas to visit Australia. Passports should be valid for at least six months after the intended date of departure from Australia.
- The original Notice of Intention To Marry form which can be obtained from the nearest Australian Consulate or Embassy. This must be signed and witnessed as directed on the form and the original must be bought (or sent to a wedding planner) and not a photo-copy.
- The original signed and witnessed Notice of Intention To Marry plus copies of both passports and birth certificates are required to be lodged in Australia a minimum of six weeks prior to the wedding day.
- There is a minimum requirement of one day’s (24 hours) residency in Australia prior to the ceremony.
- If either or both partner(s) are divorced the decree absolute(s) will need to be sighted.
- Death certificate and previous marriage certificate if a previous spouse is deceased.
- Legal proof of any name changes by deed poll.
- If using a celebrant they will also need to see passports and decree absolute/death certificate/previous marriage certificate as applicable.
Making It Happen
Australia loves a wedding and many resorts, hotels and boutique guest houses are highly geared to them with packages and planners to make sure that all is required is to arrive and enjoy the big day.
Beach Houses and Rainforest
If you are thinking of a tropical wedding, then Port Douglas in Far North Queensland is a favourite for weddings. Executive Retreats have a portfolio of exquisite beach houses and rainforest hideaways, offering some of the most sought after wedding and honeymoon locations in the country. Local wedding coordinators Weddings By Design can work with you to plan your location which could be a beach, rainforest, resort, historic church or the Crystal Chapel on Four Mile Beach.
Resorts and Guest Houses
Many resorts around Australia are highly geared to weddings with all that is needed is to is choose the area. There are island paradise resorts such as Hayman Island with its spectacular Whitsunday views and luxurious resort atmosphere. The Whitsundays are a magical destination with its own comprehensive wedding industry directory.
The Peppers Group has a wide portfolio of lovely properties with resorts and retreats throughout Australia. There’s Peppers Palm Bay in the Whitsundays or Peppers Airlie Beach, just a couple of the properties in Queensland. Peppers Convent in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales might be your choice or Peppers Calstock in Tasmania.
Imagine a coral cay all to yourselves with 10 friends! Wilson Island is a tiny coral cay right on the Great Barrier Reef with designer-inspired tented accommodation for just six couples, each with a magnificent private ocean view. Days are filled snorkelling and exploring the island, or just lazing in a hammock. You’d need to rent the whole island but how special is that?
World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island is a very special place for a quite wedding in beautiful surroundings at Arajilla Retreat or Capella Lodge. Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island has stunning views and it’s not hard to imagine a perfect wedding in this setting.
Ayers Rock Resort or the palatial ‘tents’ of Longitude 131 could be the setting for a Red Centre wedding. At Longitude 131 in the wilderness of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, be married in style on a sand dune with Uluru as a backdrop. Ayers Rock Resort offers many options including a ceremony at the Uluru Lookout, in summer maybe at sunrise or sunset before or after the heat of the day. Later dine under the stars, at one of the restaurants or private dining spots.
In the Vineyards
Australia has spectacular vineyard settings for a wedding such as the Barossa, just one hour from Adelaide. The Louise is a luxury vineyard retreat on a hill with beautiful views across thousands of acres of vines. The Hunter Valley in New South Wales has many settings as does the beautiful Yarra Valley in Victoria and Margaret River in Western Australia.
Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef, in Western Australia, is a perfect setting for a romantic beach wedding. Sal Salis caters for small intimate weddings including accommodation, the ceremony and the reception with local suppliers to assist with additional services, such as the priest or celebrant, photographer and florist for your special day.
Up in the Air
Balloon With Hot Air Cairns offers one of the most romantic ways to start your life together. Catering for weddings for two to weddings for 62, imagine saying 'I do' in a hot air balloon flotilla. Afterwards there’s a champagne wedding breakfast, beach side at Palm Cove and an on-board photographer to capture every unique memory.
More Ways to Celebrate
- Have an underwater wedding at Seawalker, Green Island.
- Tie the knot on Dreamworld’s Tiger Island, with tigers roaming across the viewing platform. Or from the top of the Giant Drop.
- Surfers Paradise arranges weddings with 360 degree views over the Gold Coast from the QDeck Q1 apartments.
- Head outback to Longreach for a traditional wedding at the RM Williams Cottage.
- Charter a Whitsundays Seaplane to the famous Whitehaven Beach for an exclusive location on the world’s whitest sand.