Chris Stedman Celebrant

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the legal requirements before we get married?

    • Before you may marry, the law requires that you sign and lodge with me the Notice of Intended Marriage. I can assist you with this form at our first meeting. This form can be submitted to me 18 months prior to your wedding date, but the cut off time is a minimum of one calendar month and one day prior to the wedding. You can also submit your Notice to me via fax/email or mail. The form will remain active for 18 calendar months from the date of submission.
  • What other documents do we need?

    • You must be over 18 years of age to marry in Australia. If you are Australian born you must provide your birth certificate in English. If born outside Australia you are required to provide your birth certificate or passport from your country of birth.
  • What if either of us have been married before?

    • If either of you have previously been married you will have to produce your Divorce Decree Absolute papers and/or if either of your spouses are deceased, you must produce the Death Certificate.
  • Do you marry overseas couples?

    • Yes. It can all be arranged via email or skype. You can fill in the paperwork from overseas.
      Note: your signatures must be witnessed by an Australian Consulate official who will stamp the form. I must receive this form at least one month and one day prior to your wedding date. You can email it to me and then bring the original with you to hand to me when you arrive in Australia. You will be given a marriage certificate on your wedding day. In some cases you will need to obtain an Apostille Stamp from the Australian Office of Births Deaths Marriages on your certificate making your marriage legal in your country. Please check if this is necessary with your own Consulate before leaving the country.
  • How many witnesses do we need?

    • On the day of your marriage you must have two witnesses over the age of 18.
  • How long do you arrive before a wedding?

    • I am there approximately 1/2 hour before the ceremony and I allow 1 hour for the wedding. If you need to extend this time, just let me know at our first meeting.
  • What will you be wearing to my wedding?

    • I will tailor my wardrobe to whatever you wish in keeping with your theme and colours. This could mean a suit and tie or smart casual, and depends on the season and the temperature.
  • How many weddings will you be performing on my wedding day?

    • Either 1 or 2. I make it a practice to never rush my weddings.
  • What if you are sick on the day?

    • If I am in the hospital, on a drip, or suffering from something equally serious, I will get a replacement for you. For anything else, I will be there for you. I haven't missed a wedding yet!
  • Do you provide guest seating, carpets or props for the ceremony?

    • I am more than happy to assist in putting you in contact with people who will look after this for you.
  • The best place.

    • If your wedding will be an outside event visit your location beforehand at the exact time of your ceremony. Take note of where the sun is shining, how flat the ground will be for the seating, where you want the guests, where you will make your entrance and which area the ceremony will take place.
  • A hot day.

    • Please take into consideration direct sunlight, especially if your wedding is in the high end of summer: late November, December, January and February. It may be best to find a location that has shade for both you and your guests, especially if the temperature is in the high 30 to 40 degrees.
  • Wet day back-up.

    • We all hope that your day is shiny and bright blue – but you never know. It is worth spending a little extra, or making arrangements with your reception venue just in case. You don't want you or your guests to get wet on your special day.
  • Do we have to memorise our vows?

    • No. Nobody does. Just relax and enjoy the ceremony without having to worry about what you have to say, I will take care of everything. You just repeat after me!
  • Can we write our own vows?

    • Of course you can. If you need help getting them right, you can always ask me.
  • Do we have to write our own vows?

    • No. Writing the perfect vows for you is part of my service.
  • How long will the ceremony go for?

    • Approximately 15-30 minutes from the time we first see you walk down the aisle, until the time I pronounce you husband and wife.
  • Should I be late?

    • No. Think about your schedule for the day. You'll probably run out of time for your photos if you are late. If you are worried about guests arriving late time it so that you invite them 15 minutes before the ceremony starts.
  • What about music?

    • You can download to my/your iPod and play it through my PA System. You need to have someone pressing the buttons at the right time though.
  • How many songs?

    • I would suggest a song to walk down the aisle, a song for the signing of the documents and possibly one for walking up the aisle. Choose songs that are meaningful and personal, and fit the tone of your ceremony.
  • Rehearsal.

    • If it makes you feel more comfortable to have a rehearsal, I am available for you. If you don’t have to time or don't feel the need, no need to worry as I will be there in plenty of time on the day to run through everything.
  • Table and chair for signing of the documents.

    • Please have this included in the set up of the ceremony. If you need me to provide a table and chair, please let me know on our first meeting.
  • Other languages besides English.

    • If you have parents, guests and grandparents who don't speak much English it is important they feel included in your ceremony. I can phonetically practise some phrases in any language you give me, and I would be more than happy for you to coach me. I do speak Japanese fluently and I am happy to perform the ceremony in Japanese.
  • Intimate ceremonies.

    • Big or small, it’s your wedding day, so let’s make it as beautiful as we possibly can. Some of the most wonderful weddings I have done have been 10 people or less.
  • Changing your name legally.

    • Firstly you need to wait for me to file your paperwork with the Office of Births Deaths and Marriages. This will be done on the Monday after your wedding ceremony. After this you can contact the same office and complete a Change Name Form. After this is processed you can contact all the other offices such as Medicare, Passport, ATO, RTA your Bank etc. Don't use your new married surname until you have done this. Also, ensure your honeymoon airline and hotel reservations are not done in your married surname. Otherwise they may not be able to check you in.

Chris Stedman Celebrant

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