We’ve talked before about the process of transferring a NOIM to another celebrant, but today Carmel is asking exactly what she needs to do to take over a wedding from another celebrant:

A celebrant friend has asked me to be a standby in case she cannot officiate her nieces wedding next month. The reason being she is about to start chemo and doesn’t know how she will be on the day. (understandably)

I am meeting the couple this week so we can all feel comfortable and I will also check ID’s so I am happy with that aspect.

The best outcome is that I am just there on the day and she is well enough but we are both wanting to be prepared so her niece has a legal and memorable wedding with no glitches. Is this enough?

Carmel has almost covered all her bases. However, I pointed out the following to her about the timing of a transfer of celebrant:
Remember if she does need you to take over, you can’t really do that mid-ceremony. One of you had to be responsible for all legal aspects. So if she’s going to be the authorised celebrant, she’ll need to witness their signatures on the DONLIM, say the Monitum, hear them say their legal vows, and manage the signing. If you’re going to be the authorised celebrant, you’ll have to do all those things as well as having her transfer the NOIM to you. You’re sighting the identity docs now, so at least that is covered.
If the plan is that you’ll be there to jump up and deliver the ceremonial aspects if she can’t manage, but she’ll still do all the legal stuff, you can take over mid-ceremony with no problems. But if there’s any possibility she won’t be able to complete the legal aspects of the wedding, she really needs to hand that responsibility to you before the ceremony so that you can have the couple re-sign the DONLIM with you as witness, and you can manage all the legalities during the ceremony.
After I sent the above response to Carmel, she came back with the following questions:
A few days prior we will know. I will attend the rehearsal when the DONLIM will be signed. I am just confused about how the transfer takes place. Anything to alter on NOIM? So then the DONLIM can be witnessed by me ?
The NOIM literally just needs to be handed or mailed to you; that’s how it gets transferred 🙂 The point is that you need to be in possession of it before you can perform the marriage. I usually write on page 4, underneath the section for recording evidence of dissolution of a previous marriage, “transferred from X to Y, received by Y on date”.
The DONLIM needs to be signed in front of whoever will perform the marriage. So even if you do attend the rehearsal, if your friend witnesses their signatures on the DONLIM at the rehearsal, and then decides to transfer the wedding to you, you will need to redo the DONLIM, they’ll need to sign it again with you as the witness.
If anyone is confused about any of this, please let me know!