Sometimes couples think they want to get married at the Registry Office. They go along to the Registry and lodge their Notice of Intended Marriage, and then sometimes it’s a few months before they can get an appointment for a marriage ceremony. In the meantime they find an awesome celebrant who convinces them they can do a much nicer ceremony at a much nicer place, and they decide to get married with the celebrant instead.

Given the couple has already completed a lodged a Notice of Intended Marriage with the Registry Office, they may not want or have time to lodge a new Notice with their new celebrant. In these cases the Registry Office can certainly transfer the NOIM to the authorised celebrant after a request from the couple.

In Victoria the process goes like this (and I imagine it wouldn’t be too different in other states):

  • the couple contacts the Registry Office to say hey, can you please transfer our NOIM to this lovely authorised celebrant?
  • the Registry Office says sure, if you can get the celebrant to send us an email saying they’re prepared to conduct your wedding and requesting the transfer
  • the celebrant emails the Registry Office noting they are available to solemnise the marriage and asking for the NOIM to be posted to them at the following address (you can download my email template by scrolling to the bottom of this post). I always ask for a scanned copy to be sent to my email as well so that I can start preparing the DONLIM and OCM before the posted copy arrives.
  • the Registry Office posts the NOIM to the celebrant (and emails a scanned copy if requested).

That’s it!

As far as I’m aware, all Registry Offices in the country charge a fee to receive a NOIM and book a marriage date, and the couple is unlikely to see any of that money back. It’s important to let them know that.

Legal stuff

The ability from one authorised celebrant to transfer a Notice of Intended Marriage to another authorised celebrant is outlined in section 42(6) of the Marriage Act 1961, and further discussed on page 61 of the Guidelines on the Marriage Act 1961 for Marriage Celebrants 2018.