Registry or Elopement Wedding

Registry or Elopement Wedding

Well, sadly, it seems that 2021 isn’t shaping up to be everything we’d hoped for – with lockdowns and border closures clearly set to continue for some time.


What does this mean for your wedding plans – especially if you have already been in a ‘holding pattern’ or changed your previous date.


You have already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with – maybe it’s   worth considering a short and sweet Elopement Style or Mobile Registry Wedding?


And then in a year or two, when life is more certain – have your Big Wedding Day, complete with guests, celebrant, vows, exchange of rings and everything you ever dreamed of.  The only thing missing will be the legal words of the Monitum stated by the Celebrant.  Everything else can be the same.


Australia is one of the simplest places in the world to have a legal marriage.  Below are the usual steps to be taken in order to fulfil the legal requirements:


Step 1:  Lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage: You can either meet with me for this purpose – or have an approved person witness your signatures-  and then you email the document back to me. The date that I receive your email, is the date that the NOIM is ‘lodged’.


Step 2: We organise a date.  We agree a price, depending on the date, time, place and number of people planned to attend.  (Prices start from $300).  You pay a deposit in order to secure that date and time, with the balance due 6 weeks prior to the ceremony.


Step 3:  Before the ceremony, the celebrant must sight…. ORIGINALS of your passports.  Plus any Death, Divorce, or Name Change Certificates as relevant.


Step 4:  We then meet for your ceremony at a place of your choosing.  A restaurant, Kings Park, a beach, your home, on a boat – in fact just about anywhere.  We will need 2 adults over the age of 18 to witness your signatures; but if you want to be really discreet, I can provide these witnesses for you.




If you want to have a more traditional ‘wedding’, of course I can help with that too: just give me your location, number of guests etc and I can give you a separate quote for this.


NB. I don’t charge a fee for actually lodging this Notice of Intended Marriage.  I provide this as a goodwill service – so perhaps do this part as soon as you can, then it’s another thing you don’t have to worry about later.  Nothing is payable to me until you decide on a time and date.  So for now, it’s probably a good idea to lodge the NOIM, as it lasts for 18 months from the date I receive it.  If you choose a different Celebrant for any reason, I can simply pass this NOIM on to them, or you can complete a new one.  Let me know if you have any questions about the above.

Wedding or Elopement

Australia Is The Easiest Place In The World To Get Married!

Australia Is The Easiest Place In The World To Get Married!

Below is some helpful information around getting married in this beautiful country….

  1. Traditional Weekend Weddings – at any number of beautiful venues and locations around Western Australia. Only limited by your imagination – on a boat, in a restaurant, in an aeroplane, at home, in a tree house – it really doesn’t matter. You just need to find the right celebrant for your style.
  2. Traditional Weekday Weddings – these are as above but are conducted midweek. This is a really good way to save money, as most vendors are happy to offer a small discount on weekday weddings as there isn’t usually such high demand. The British Royal Family used to have their weddings on Thursdays – but I doubt it was for the discount! Another advantage to the weekday weddings is that the venues themselves are often quieter. I recently conducted a Monday wedding at Caversham House and the couple and their guests had the whole place to themselves – it was beautiful!
  3. Registry Office Marriages – traditionally these took place at the government office in the city (Births, Deaths and Marriages). This does involve dealing with parking, traffic, office workers with coffees in hand, sharing the lift with the happy couple! Current fee is $390 and 2 appointments needed, so that the one month lodgment rule is fulfilled. Nowadays, Marriage Celebrants also conduct Registry Style Weddings – but these are more flexible and can be more fun/romantic. The celebrant can receive and lodge the Notice of Intended Marriage via email, or with a face to face meeting with the couple. The Marriage Ceremony itself can then be conducted in any location of the couple’s choice. Kings Park, Cottesloe Beach, in the couple’s home, at a local café, or even at The Lucky Shag!
  4. Overseas Weddings – including UK and Europe, but also Bali, Thailand etc. Many overseas countries have rules around their legal marriages, that can make getting legally married there, quite a challenge. For example in Indonesia (Bali), a couple must be of the same religion – and there is always a religious component involved. In the UK, I believe that the couple has to be physically in the country before a legal marriage can take place. The most common and simplest way to have an Overseas Wedding, is to actually have the Bali Wedding, or the Wedding Back Home as normal, but leave out the legal part until returning to Australia to ‘tidy up the paperwork’. Your Real Wedding is the day that you have a Celebrant conducting your ceremony; where you exchange your vows and rings in front of your family and friends and where you declare your love and commitment to each other. Then you can meet with a celebrant (or go to the BDM Office) and have a 5 minute legalising ceremony on your return to Australia (I can help put you in touch with celebrants in England, Bali or Lombok for those who might be interested).


  1. A Notice of Intended Marriage needs to be lodged with a Celebrant, or with the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages (or with your authorised Church Minister) at least one month before the Marriage can take place. You do not have to be in Australia to comply with this: it can be lodged via email, but the witness for your signatures would need to be a Notary Public or someone of the Australian Consulate or Embassy in the country where you are staying.
  2. There is no requirement for the couple to physically be in Australia for any length of time before the wedding takes place. Effectively, a legal ceremony could take place at the airport as soon as you clear Immigration!
  3. On the day of the wedding, 2 people over the age of 18 need to witness the ceremony and sign the certificate to state that they have done so. These witnesses can be known to the couple, or not known.
  4. The legal part of the ceremony is simply the Monitum, spoken by the celebrant and 4 lines of legal vows spoken by the couple. That’s it. Sign the certificate and you’re on your way…. Usually we like to add more tradition and creativity, but above is the basis for the legalities.


  1. Lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage.  You can contact me (or any celebrant) and ask for this to be emailed to you, or you can download from the website of the BDM office.  Complete this document, either with me – or if it’s easier, have a police officer, a medical doctor, a JP or a lawyer witness your signature and email it back to me. The date I receive the email is the date that your NOIM is ‘lodged’.
  2. Before the Wedding takes place, you will need to show the Celebrant your passports as proof of ID. You will also need to show Original Certificates, as relevant, if a divorce or death ended any previous marriage – or if there have been any legal name changes.
  3. Just before the ceremony takes place there will be another Declaration to sign – either on the day, or at another earlier time.
  4. On the day of the ceremony, the ceremony takes place and the celebrant will give you your Presentation Certificate and will then register your marriage for you.

Millbrook Winery

How Much Does It Cost To Get Married?

How Much Does It Cost To Get Married?

How much does it cost to get married?

For many couples this is an important factor and is often a reason why couples keep delaying their wedding day. However, there are ways to keep costs down and still have a day to remember.  Besides, not everyone wants a traditional wedding with all the trimmings – some couples would rather just slip quietly away and have a no fuss wedding somewhere special.  Keeping it Short and Sweet.

I have conducted Surprise Weddings at pubs, backyard bbq’s, park picnics – and even, most recently, in the middle of Christmas Lunch when all the family were gathered together, glass of wine in hand. (That was fun!)  Go to my Reviews to read what Donna and Ed had to say about their Christmas Day Surprise Wedding.

I conducted a Simple Marriage Ceremony at the Crystal Room in Burswood Towers last year, which was perfect for this particular couple. The groom was shy and hated crowds, so their parents paid for a night at the Crown Towers as their wedding present. We met just before sunset and went through the 5 minute ceremony, with 2 staff members as witnesses. The views were magnificent. The couple had a memorable dinner and a wonderful mini-break in a fabulous setting. Next day, they joined their parents back at home for a family lunch. Perfectly lovely and no need to mortgage the house!

So how much does a simple, registry style wedding cost in Perth?

  1. Midweek, simple ceremony in a central location. Any time, from 6am – 7pm. Less than 10 guests.  From $300.
  2. Weekend, simple ceremony in a central location. Any time, from 6am – 7pm. Less than 10 guests.  From $350.   (Mid to late afternoons will cost a little more).

If you want something more traditional, then I can create a beautiful, fun and personalised ceremony for you. We would work together on this, so that we tell ‘your story’ and have your guests feeling truly present with you and hopefully having some fun – and maybe even a few tears – along the way.

How much does a traditional wedding cost in Perth?

  1. Midweek, traditional ceremony in a central location. Any time, from 6am – 7pm. $450 – $600
  2. Weekend, traditional ceremony in a central location. Any time, from 6am – 7pm. $550 – $800

In summary, there are a number of ways to keep costs down.  Some ideas below:

  1. Have no guests and no reception.  Elopement Style Wedding. At a park, at a restaurant or the beach.
  2. Have a Surprise Wedding.  This way you can keep things very simple at a gathering that has already been planned.
  3. Have a Traditional Wedding – but be creative with the timings.  Monday – Thursday will bring savings all round, as vendors will usually discount these days.  If a Saturday or Sunday, sometimes you can negotiate a discount for morning or lunchtime ceremonies.  Having a lunchtime reception works particularly well if there are young children involved.

Remember, you can always have a simple, registry style wedding now whilst funds are tight – and then have a Wedding Celebration (or Renewal of Vows) later.  Complete with Wedding Dress, Bridal Party, Reception etc…  How much fun would that be!

If you would like a chat about some of these options, I am happy to run through some of these ideas with you.  No ‘hard selling, I promise’ ?   Just click on the name here…. Liz Hayes Celebrant.

Perth Weddings

Budget Weddings

Budget Weddings

So it’s 2019.

And you have met the woman or the man of your dreams. The one you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Yes, you want to get married, but money is tight.  What should you do? Do you keep waiting for things to get better and keep saving up for that dream wedding?  Or do you bite the bullet and get married now?  Facing the challenges together, growing as a couple and building your solid financial wellbeing together, side by side?  For better or for worse.

Things to consider:

I have a couple of suggestions…. So that you CAN draw that line in the sand and face the future as husband and wife earlier than you thought.

1.     Meet with a Celebrant (mobile registry office ? ) at the park, with a bottle of champagne, some cheese and biscuits and a bunch of roses from the garden.


An Elopement Ceremony by the Swan River maybe? Or at the beach?  What could be more romantic.  <3


After this, perhaps you can just let people know what you have done and leave it at that – or you can invite everyone to the pub for a celebration drink at the weekend?


2.     You want something more ‘weddingy’?  Wedding outfits, Cars, Reception, Bridal parties etc.  A wedding ceremony with family and friends as your witnesses?  Well, why not try to plan a budget wedding?


If you choose a week day wedding, immediately you will cut costs considerably – plus you won’t have the problems with venue availability etc.  Yes, people may have to take a day or two off work – but you’re not asking them to go to Bali for a week!


The British Royal Family always used to have their weddings on Thursdays, but I don’t think it was for the discounts somehow ?


There are a number of DIY Wedding FB pages; and lots of ways to keep costs down – but the first saving will be on choosing a less popular day of the week.  I recently conducted a full wedding ceremony, with beautiful cars, full Bridal Parties etc, at a popular Perth venue, on a Wednesday.  It was wonderful…  This venue is usually difficult on Saturdays, with several weddings often at the same time. Traffic and congestion can be a problem. But for this wedding, it felt like marrying film stars or VIP’s, with having the whole venue to themselves.  Really special.

Time is not forever and each day is precious.

Wouldn’t you rather be spending it together? And in years ahead, when finances are stronger, you can organise your Big Wedding Day, perhaps with your children as the bridal party?  Your Certificate won’t be a legal one from BDM, but the day itself can be a wonderful affirmation of your love for each other and what you achieved together.  Very beautiful.

Contact me today, if you would like to talk through some ideas and see how creative you can be with this, so that you can work together to make your dreams come true – starting sooner rather than later!

Budget Weddings

Surprise Wedding?

Surprise Wedding?

Can it be done?  How is it done?  Is it legal?

The lovely thing about Surprise Weddings is that they take away all the stress and expense of organising a big event.  Usually a Surprise Wedding will be held at a gathering that has already been arranged.

It can be done in a matter of weeks (4 weeks’ notice to the celebrant needed if the wedding is to be fully legal on the day, so that the Notice of Intended Marriage can be completed).  Or you can arrange the Wedding in a matter of days, if you don’t mind the brief, legalising ceremony taking place at a later date.

I have just taken a booking for a Surprise Wedding to be held at the couple’s home on Christmas Day, with only 10 days’ notice.  We will have a short meeting 3 weeks later for the legal ceremony, with only 2 witnesses.  They realised that as the whole family was going to be together for the first time in years, that it was the perfect opportunity.


1.     No stress or anxiety for you in the planning.

2.     No pressure on your guests to take extra time off work, or to buy presents.

3.     Very emotional, exciting and fun.


1.     Can be difficult to keep the secret.

2.     Guests might be missing, who would have definitely attended had they known it was a wedding.

3.     No presents.

If you think a Surprise Wedding is for you, then contact me on my website:   or phone me on 0424703399.

Surprise Weddings can be such fantastic fun!!  (But no, you cannot surprise each other… that is definitely NOT legal. ?  Only the guests can be surprised.)

Surprise Wedding!

Legal Marriage Now: Wedding Day Later?

Legal Marriage Now: Wedding Day Later?

Sometimes couples just want ‘that bit of paper’, that a legal marriage provides – but the timing might not be right for the Actual Wedding just yet?  The reasons for having the small ‘legal only’ ceremony are varied……   Maybe it’s about moving to another country – or maybe it’s about applying for a visa – or maybe it’s about financial constraints – or maybe you just want to get married and set up home together – having the ‘Wedding Celebration’ later?

The later ‘Wedding Celebration’ in many ways, would be the ‘Real Thing’ – as that would be the day when you, as a couple, exchange rings and declare your everlasting love and commitment to each other, with your family and friends as witnesses.  That would be the day that you walk down the aisle and publicly declare your love for each other.  Missing would be the Monitum, which is the part spoken by the Authorised Celebrant during a Legal Marriage Ceremony.

I recently had the pleasure of quietly marrying a young couple who needed to marry earlier than planned due to a family situation.  They aren’t in a position yet, to have a ‘proper’ wedding, with family and friends present – so we met at a lovely restaurant, with two of their close friends as witnesses. (However, passers by can also be witnesses as long as they are over 18 years of age).  We sat quietly and discreetly at a corner table and the Monitum was said; the vows were spoken and the Certificates were signed…. even the staff didn’t know a Marriage had taken place! This took about 5 minutes.

In a couple of years’ time, once this couples families and friends can all be gathered in one place (currently scattered all over the world) – the Wedding Celebration will take place.

If this is something that appeals to you, for whatever reasons, ask me how we can set this up – under certain conditions this can cost as little as $300 – I think that’s less than the Registry Office charges?  (and without the inner city parking hassles!)

Contact me here if you would like a chat about this, to see if it would suit your situation.


the ring exchange