All the information you need when planning and booking a registry wedding ceremony.
A registry wedding performed by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages takes care of the planning and legal requirements for you. Learn more about what’s included in a registry wedding.
On this page, you'll find all the steps you need to book and have your wedding with the Registry.
You need to book a marriage interview and submit a notice of intended marriage form at least 1 month before you intend to marry.
Choose a wedding venue
Registry weddings are available in several intimate wedding venues in Sydney and Wollongong, including:
- a wedding ceremony room at the registry offices in Parramatta and Chippendale
- Handpicked Cellar Door in Chippendale
- Old Wollongong Courthouse
- Manly Yacht Club
- Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club
The number of people who can attend will depend on the specific venue.
The cost of a registry wedding will depend on the venue and when you get married. It includes:
- the fee to submit your notice of intended marriage
- the ceremony and celebrant
- a standard official marriage certificate and a commemorative marriage certificate, which are posted to you after the ceremony
You can pay for the wedding either during or directly after the marriage interview, when you book the date and venue.
Learn more about registry wedding venues and how much they cost.
Book and attend a marriage interview
To book your wedding with the Registry, you'll have to attend a marriage interview and submit your marriage documents at least 1 month before the marriage.
Interviews are currently held over the phone. Both of you will need to attend an interview, either together or separately.
Submit the marriage documents before attending your interview.
The marriage officer will process the paperwork and help you plan the details of the wedding ceremony.
Prepare the marriage documents
Any foreign language certificates and documents must be officially translated into English.
Prior to your interview, you’ll need to email:
- a completed application for a registry wedding form (PDF 795.75KB)
- a completed notice of intended marriage form (PDF 883.06KB)
- an official birth certificate or passport
- other current photo ID, if passport not provided
If either person has been previously married, you’ll have to show proof that the marriage has ended, such as a:
If one of you is aged between 16 and 18, you will need to provide proof that you have the appropriate permissions for the marriage.
Bring the notice of intended marriage form and any other relevant documents, translations, or declarations with you on the day of the wedding. Your celebrant will need to see the original copies before the ceremony can take place.
Completing the notice of intended marriage form
Submit the notice of intended marriage to the Registry at least 1 month before the date you plan to marry. It’s valid for 18 months.
On the form you should generally use the name that:
- is on your birth certificate, or
- the name that is on your change of name certificate, if you have changed your name
If you’ve already changed your surname from a previous marriage:
- use that name on the form, if you’ve kept your previous spouse’s surname
- use your maiden name on the form, if you’ve legally changed your name back and have proof of that name, such as photo identification
Talk to your marriage officer if there’s a reason that you cannot use the name on either of these documents.
If you want to get married in less than 1 month
In some circumstances, you can apply to a prescribed authority for an exemption to the 1-month rule because of:
- employment related or other travel commitments
- wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations
- medical reasons
- legal proceedings
- an error in giving notice
You may need to provide proof and pay an application fee.
Talk to your marriage celebrant if you want to apply for an exemption to get married in less than 1 month.
Arrange for witnesses
You are legally required to have at least 2 guests at your wedding to witness and sign the marriage certificate.
The Registry cannot supply witnesses for you.
If possible, you should know the witnesses, as their evidence can be used to:
- establish the identity of the couple who were married
- testify to the circumstances in which the ceremony was performed
Your witnesses need to:
- be 18 years or older
- speak and understand English
- be present for the entire ceremony
Arrange for an interpreter
All wedding ceremonies are conducted in English.
You’ll need to arrange for an interpreter to be at your wedding if you, your partner or either of your witnesses do not speak or understand English fluently.
An interpreter can be either:
- an accredited interpreter, or
- someone who is fluent in both languages and is not one of the people getting married
Interpreters need to sign a certificate of faithful performance by interpreter form that includes:
- a statutory declaration that they are fluent in the relevant language
- a certificate of faithful performance of their services
Both signatures will have to be witnessed by the celebrant.
Download the certificate of faithful performance by interpreter form at the Attorney-General’s Department.
What happens on the day
You'll receive confirmation of all the details before the wedding date, including:
- maximum number of guests
- what to bring with you on the day
- when to arrive
On the day, be at the venue 15 minutes early. The wedding ceremony itself takes around 15 minutes.
Before the marriage ceremony, your celebrant will ask both of you to sign a declaration that there are no legal reasons preventing you from getting married.
They will also need to see your original notice of intended marriage form and any other relevant documents, translations, or declarations.
During the ceremony:
- your celebrant will say certain words required by law that make the marriage legal
- vows are exchanged and you may also exchange wedding rings
- you, your celebrant, and your witnesses will sign the ceremonial certificate and official certificate of marriage. You'll receive your ceremonial certificate on the day
Your celebrant will then register the marriage for you with the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages.
If you need to cancel your wedding booking
You can get a refund on the ceremony fee if you cancel 14 days or more before the wedding date. The cost of the notice of intended marriage form is not refundable. Learn more about the refund policy (PDF 335.77KB).
If you need to cancel the booking, email the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages or call them on 02 6885 9339 to be guided through the process. You will need to quote your marriage interview reference number.
Need to change your surname?
You'll receive a standard official marriage certificate as part of your wedding package. This is issued after your marriage is registered. You will need this document to change your name after getting married.
Find out how to change your surname after marriage.