On the day of the wedding you will sign 3 documents, as you know by now!
You also need two witnesses over the age of 18 to sign these. By the way the bride will sign in the name she has been using, or the name on her birth certificate. The signature should be consistent on all the documents of marriage, including the NOIM.
Once your commemorative certificate, my register and the official certificate of marriage are signed, we will stand up from the signing table and I will introduce you, in words that you have chosen, for the first time as a married couple.
I present you or leave you with your commemorative certificate of marriage and then I depart. If I don’t have a chance to say goodbye to you it is because you will be surrounded by family and friends and it would be inappropriate for me to catch your attention and break into this melée of goodwill and congratulating. It isn’t about me any more! So I will make a quiet departure, wishing you well nonetheless.
Then I have two weeks to send your official certificate of marriage to Births, Deaths and Marriages (I do this straight away, though). That doesn’t mean you are not married until the wedding is registered – you are married once you have made the legal commitment to each other.
I keep the register securely in my office. So, three pieces of evidence of your marriage will be signed by five people.
It is the official certificate that I send to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages that is evidence of your marriage AND proof of your ID. You are advised to apply for this from BDM on the form that I give you on the wedding day or which you can download form the BDM website. Then if you begin to use a different surname, or two surnames, you have proof that you are that person. When women change their name after the wedding on passports, licenses and bank accounts, this is the document they will be asked for as proof of ID.
In addition to obtaining this certificate, couples from some overseas countries will need to take it to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and have an apostille stamped on the back. They should find out what is required from their own governments before getting married in Australia in order to make the process smoother.