A Celebrant Institute member asks:

I know celebrants are required send all the legal documents after the wedding day or submit via lifelink within 14 days of the ceremony but what actually happens if we forget?

Sarah’s on holidays this week but luckily for you, this is a question even I can answer.

The two week deadline for submission isn’t a guideline or a recommendation.

It’s the law, here’s a grab from section 50 of the Marriage Act 1961:

The authorised celebrant shall hand the certificate referred to in paragraph (1)(a) to one of the parties to the marriage on behalf of the parties, and where 2 official certificates have been prepared: within 14 days after the solemnisation of the marriage, forward the official certificate to which subsection (3) applies, together with the notice under section 42, the order (if any) under section 12 and any statutory declarations, consents and dispensations with consents relating to the marriage that are in his or her possession, to the appropriate registering authority of a State or Territory ascertained in accordance with the regulations.

So what would happen?

I’m no lawyer but it sounds like if you miss that deadline you’re in the criminal zone, in offence of federal legislation and the Marriage Act stupiulates that it’s to be dealt with according to the Criminal Act.