Notice of Intended Marriage: Legal Process and Timelines

edmund blair leighton signing the register

The first thing you need to do in the legal process of getting married is to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage. This must be done no less than a month before your wedding and not more than 18 months out from the date.

Usually and ideally this form is provided by me and filled out in my office and witnessed by me.
Sometimes though it may be difficult to make an appointment to see me if you live somewhere distant and time is running out – in this case you can download the form from the website of Births, Deaths and Marriages in NSW at
You would then need to have it witnessed by a JP or any of the other authorities listed on the back of the form. After this you can either scan it and email it to me or post the original so that I have it a month before the wedding. Then your wedding Notice is “lodged”. However, bear in mind that I MUST be given the original before I am permitted to proceed with the wedding.
At the time of filling out this form you also need to show me your original birth certificates or your passports so I can verify your ID and age. If you’ve been married before I also need to see your FINAL divorce papers ( with the words “ final”, “ absolute” or “ termination” on them). If you can’t place any of these documents in time for filling out the Notice of Intended Marriage , you can show them to me later, as long as I see them before you can be married. Again, without them, I am unable to proceed by law. To get an original copy of your birth certificate, you can go to BDM, and to get an original copy of your divorce papers, you would need to go to the Family Court in which your divorce as granted. As there is quite a variation in these documents, it is important that I see them as soon as possible in case you have to do further searches.
What can you do if you need to get married and you don’t have the luxury of giving a month’s notice? I’ll tell you next time!

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