Marriage or Partner Visas for Australia

Simple Wedding

Are you planning to marry an Australian and want to live here?  Then you may be looking at your visa options for this purpose.

There are 2 distinctly different types of visa and it’s important to know the difference: the Prospective Marriage Visa, Subclass 300 – and the Partner Visa, Subclasses 820 and 801.  The information you need is all on this website, but most people find it best to employ an agent to help them.

Please feel free to contact me for names of agents who I have worked with in Western Australia and who I have found to be very helpful and reliable.

If couples wish to apply for a Prospective Marriage Visa, they will usually need a letter from a Celebrant, confirming that a Notice of Intended Marriage has been lodged and that a wedding has been booked.

My role would involve receiving (and lodging) a Notice of Intended Marriage for the couple and then to provide them with a letter for the relevant Embassy confirming that the couple has indeed lodged their intent with me

Bali Wedding? Think again!

Bali wedding celebrant Liz Hayes

  1. You should think again –  if you are easily upset when things don’t go according to plan.  Indonesians and Balinese are generally pretty relaxed when it comes to planning and organisation. Everything will happen. But maybe not exactly the way you envisaged or at exactly the time that you hoped.   If you ‘sweat the small stuff’ then a Destination Wedding in Indonesia might not be right for you.  I conducted one beautiful wedding on Gili Trawangan, where there were wedding planners and organisers galore.  Everybody had worked so hard to plan every last detail – and it was stunning.  However, that didn’t stop one hapless waiter from walking across in front of the bride and groom, at that very quiet part of the ceremony, just as they were about to speak their personal vows…. to put the wedding cake on a nearby table!  The poor wedding planner was going purple in the face with embarrassment and annoyance, waving frantically at the waiter –  but the fabulous Bride and Groom simply laughed good naturedly.  We waited for the poor waiter to turn around, still carrying the cake, and go back to the kitchen!  The ceremony continued……
  2. You should think again – if you want to control your guests’ activities.  You may think they have come to Indonesia for your wedding and that they should be joining in all the activities that you have planned for them.   However, for some of your guests this might be their one annual holiday – and so they might have other plans, that don’t revolve around your wedding.  If this is going to bother you, then maybe reconsider that Bali Wedding, preceded by days of well-intentioned Group Activities.   Many couples will plan hens and bucks ‘do’s’ in the days before the wedding, but perhaps have these activities available, but not compulsory?
  3. You should think again – if you are a very private person and don’t want onlookers.  Bali, in particular, is not a place where privacy is highly valued or understood.  Expect to see locals watching your wedding – in the same way as we watch their ceremonies….    And if you are in a beachfront hotel, or even on the beach itself, then expect to see bikini clad holidaymakers, clutching a beer in one hand and a mobile phone camera in the other, walking around your wedding ceremony – and getting up close and personal, if nobody has been asked to act as ‘security’ for you.  I was at a wedding on the beach in Seminyak recently and an overweight, middle-aged man in very tightly fitting Speedos, was standing right in front of the groom, taking photos of the bride as she walked down the aisle.   This very rude man, not only spoiled the moment for the groom, but would also have been in all those photos himself.  Make sure that you have an ‘assertive’ celebrant, who can help with at least some of this.  (Or stick to a more private villa wedding where this won’t happen).
  4. You should think again – if you are going to be upset if all the family and friends don’t want to travel to Indonesia (or to any wedding venue that involves more than 2 or 3 hours travel, in fact!)  Not everyone can afford either the money, or perhaps the time away from work. Or there might be elderly or nervous relatives who simply don’t want to do the trip.  Don’t project your disappointment onto them.  Perhaps have a second ceremony later that can involve those who can’t or won’t travel.  It can be lovely to conduct a Renewal of Vows ceremony over a lunch or a bbq at a local park, where everyone can feel that they are included and valued.  In fact, it can be a great idea to actually conduct the Legal Registration of your overseas wedding, at this smaller event.  That way, the second ceremony is also important, but in a different way.
  5. You should think again.  And if you have thought again – and you still believe that Indonesia is the perfect romantic destination.   If all the above, just made you laugh, or if you completely understood, then you should definitely go ahead and get Married in Bali or Lombok or Flores or Java – or indeed any one of the many stunning locations in Indonesia.  How about a beautiful deserted tropical island near Bali, with a dozen of your closest family members?  Contact me for ideas about this and other fabulous locations.

Indonesian Wedding? Saying “I do” in Bali

Below is an article about getting married in Bali, that I recently wrote for WA based online magazine, The Starfish.

Year: 2008

Location: Sanur, Bali. A smart coffee shop

Me:   “No. I can’t marry people!  I have never done it before!”

Bali Wedding Planner:     “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. We can’t let this couple down!”

Two days later, I’m hanging onto my seat in a speedboat, bouncing across mighty waves en route to Lombok,  Ceremony Script  encased in a soggy plastic bag. I am off to marry a couple of strangers on the island of Gili Trawangan!

I’m terrified – of the boat capsizing – and, of making a mess of this young couple’s wedding.  They’ve travelled half way around the world to have their ceremony on the beautiful isle where they first met.  And I’m just a little bit nervous, wondering whether what I’m about to do is even legal.

Thankfully, the boat doesn’t sink – nor the wedding. The  Wedding Planner had written a divine script, the venue was glorious, and everything went off beautifully.


Having lost my husband to cancer three years earlier,  I hadn’t been that sure how I would cope with conducting such a  romantic ceremony, especially one with the words, “Till death us do part!”  Thankfully, it all went smoothly…and I enjoyed my role so much, I’m now a professional celebrant!

The Sanur coffee shop meeting took place during my year living in Bali, soon after my husband’s death.  I had promised myself to say “yes” to every opportunity that presented itself.

After that first Wedding, I conducted two more ceremonies in Bali, before returning to WA and deciding to  train  to become Civil Marriage Celebrant.

I am now a full-time celebrant.  I conduct weddings in WA in summer, moving to Bali from June to August each year, to perform marriage ceremonies there.

Balinese flower girls

Balinese flower girls

Bali weddings have become increasingly popular over the past few years, especially among young Australians.  However, some 30-40% of these brides and grooms will conduct the ‘legals’ in Australia prior to travelling to Indonesia.

Of course marrying in Bali, while romantic, can present its own special challenges. For a start, there are frequent tropical rain showers to contend with.

But any wedding planner over there will tell you the way around that is to simply hire a Pawang Hujan (Rain Guide) for your special day!

These Holy Men, who many truly believe possess such magical powers, are said not completely stop the rain from falling: they just ‘transfer’ it to somewhere else!

Katrina Simorangkir,  owner of Bali Weddings International, is a big fan of using a Rain Guide.  “We certainly offer this service to our guests who are here for the wet season and in our 21 years, it has always worked”.

Katrina recalls one memorable ceremony: “We were the organisers for a large wedding group from Java – and the bride had her own Pawang Hujan. He was apparently sitting on a hill in Java and controlling the rain in Bali.  This couple married in a church in Tuban and their guests were transported by buses, first to the Church; then from the Church to the Reception venue in Seminyak.  I remember it poured with rain every time they were on the buses, but with the rain stopping every time they disembarked!

“The hotel had been so worried about the rain for this very big garden event due to the rain they had experienced during the day – but there was not a drop as the Bridal Party and guests walked from the buses to the garden of the resort!  The hotel management was stunned to learn that the bride’s Pawang Hujan was taking care of it all from Java!”

Rohan, of the wedding planning company, Beyond Events Bali, says, “We definitely use rain men all the time and they work too – we escaped any wet weddings so far, thankfully.”

The services of a Pawang Hujan (who might spend 3-4 days working and fasting on behalf of the bride and groom) would usually be between $100 – $300.

Apparently, when black clouds threatened John Paul II’s visit to Jakarta in October 1989, the talents of a Pawang Hujan were also on hand. (I wonder if the Pope knew?)

As you can see, Weddings in Bali can open up a whole new world…..

For more information about Rain Guides, or anything else to do with Getting Married in Bali, I can be reached via my website.


Wedding Etiquette

By Elysium Functions

By Elysium Functions

Wedding Etiquette Question 1.

The dreaded guest list…
When each guest might effectively ‘cost’ $150- $200 who is included? And who gets left off the guest list?
One of the hardest cuts is to the new partner of a good friend. How do you decide when someone has been dating one of your friends long enough to be part of the ‘wedding guest list’? Is there a time frame?

Or is it about whether you know the other person – sometimes we don’t see friends for months or years at a time, but still want them at the wedding. How do you handle the situation regarding their new (to you) boyfriend or girlfriend? Is there a rule? I would love your thoughts on this one! Or how important is it to you that all your guests are happy and also enjoying your wedding? It can be difficult as a single person to attend a wedding surounded by couples and feeling a bit ‘left out’. Sending out invitations with “plus friend/partner” can be expensive, but also inviting partners can make the day more enjoyable for your guests. But I know single friends who decline wedding invitations if they are expected to go alone… not easy is it. What is your view of this? Perhaps you could let me know either on facebook or through my website contact page.