Sarah and I have been reviewing the Guidelines to the Marriage Act and one chapter caught my eye and I thought maybe you didn’t know how many things you could do that would end you up in jail for at least six months, or with “five penalty units” whatever they are.

You can find it all detailed heavily in the actual Marriage Act of 1961, but here’s the list of things a celebrant can do that could end them up in jail:

  • marriage of a minor without the proper consents or dispensations
  • if you’ve been removed from the register of celebrants
  • notice of intended marriage not received as properly required (before one month before the wedding and no longer than 18 months before)
  • evidence of place and date of birth of both parties not sighted
  • if the declaration of no legal impediment hasn’t been signed before the marriage ceremony
  • if the people in the ceremony aren’t the ones who gave notice
  • if the celebrant thinks the info on the NOIM, or the declaration or any other stat dec is wrong
  • if any of the parties to the marriage have a deceased spouse and you haven’t sighted that death certificate
  • if there are not two people witnessing the ceremony
  • if the parties to the marriage can’t speak English and there’s not an interpreter there
  • if you make out like you’re marrying a couple who are already married to each other
  • if you say you’re a celebrant but you’re not a Commonwealth-authorised marriage celebrant, even if you’re about to become one, or you’ve previously been one
  • if you don’t explain the nature of the marriage relationship
  • if you coerce, threaten or deceive one or both of the parties to the marriage ceremony into marriage
  • if one or both of the parties to the marriage ceremony didn’t really know what was going on, aka they didn’t know they were getting married
  • if you make a false statement in a declaration