To my fellow celebrants, I have a proposal regarding the one month notice period, and I’d like to run it up your flagpole, so to speak, and then take it to the Australian parliament: that the one month notice period required by the Marriage Act, be reduce to one week. Or even better, abolish the notice all together.

Here’s my thoughts on the matter, and I’d like to hear yours in the comments below:

  • In most Western countries no notice, or short notice of 24 or 48 hours is required. Australia’s one month notice is unique and the longest in the world that I can find through my research. The UK is the closest at 28 days notice required.
  • What is the spirit of the one month notice and is that spirit not adhered in other ways by celebrants ensuring that the couple are consenting? If a couple is of age and of consent, what difference is it if they want to marry today or in a month?
  • The administrative burden the notice of intended marriage brings celebrants, the Attorney-General’s Marriage Law and Celebrants Section, and the state BDMs, seems to heavily outweigh the benefit the one month notice could bring.
  • The one month notice seems to be in conflict with the current government’s and the AGD’s reduction of red tape and encouragement of a free market.
  • The one month notice period is the most misunderstood element of the Australian marriage law, and yet it brings low value to marriages or the country.
  • If a shortening of time is required, this is almost always a painful process. Eliminating or reducing the notice would liberate this process.

I am taking this proposal to the AGD’s MLCS in our next meeting in May, and will also table the proposal, and your comments, with my local Member of Parliament.