Code Of Practice For Wedding Celebrants

Code of Practice for marriage celebrants
(regulation 37L)

1 Application of this Code of Practice
This Code of Practice applies to marriage celebrants (being persons
registered under Subdivision C of Division 1 of Part IV of the Marriage Act

Note: Under paragraph 39I(1)(b) of the Marriage Act 1961, if the Registrar of
Marriage Celebrants is satisfied that a marriage celebrant has not complied
with an obligation under section 39G of that Act, including this Code of
Practice, the Registrar may take disciplinary measures against the marriage

2 High standard of service
A marriage celebrant must maintain a high standard of service in his or her
professional conduct and practice.

3 Recognition of significance of marriage
A marriage celebrant must recognise the social, cultural and legal
significance of marriage and the marriage ceremony in the Australian
community, and the importance of strong and respectful family relationships.

4 Compliance with the Marriage Act and other laws

A marriage celebrant must:
(a) solemnize marriages according to the legal requirements of the Marriage
Act 1961 (Cth); and

(b) observe the laws of the Commonwealth and of the State or Territory
where the marriage is to be solemnized; and

(c) prevent and avoid unlawful discrimination in the provision of marriage
celebrancy services.

5 General requirements for marriage ceremonies
A marriage celebrant must respect the importance of the marriage ceremony
to the parties and the other persons organising the ceremony. To that end,
the marriage celebrant must do the following:

(a) give the parties information and guidance to enable them to choose or
compose a marriage ceremony that will meet their needs and expectations;

(b) respect the privacy and confidentiality of the parties;

(c) maintain appropriate facilities to interview parties and provide office
facilities, including facilities for the secure storage of records;
(d) within a reasonable time before the marriage ceremony:

(i) confirm all details with the parties; and

(ii) ensure the return of all personal documents belonging to the parties
(unless it is necessary to keep the documents for the ceremony); and

(iii) sign any necessary declarations;
(e) if requested by the parties, conduct a marriage ceremony rehearsal;

(f) ensure that his or her personal presentation is of an appropriate standard
for the marriage ceremony, and respect the expectations of the parties in
relation to the ceremony;

(g) make efforts to ensure that the marriage ceremony is audible to all those
present (using audio equipment, if required);

(h) ensure accuracy in the preparation of documents, and in the conduct of
the marriage ceremony;

(i) arrive at the venue for the marriage ceremony no later than the time
agreed with the parties;

(j) if the marriage celebrant has agreed to perform more than one marriage
ceremony on the same day:

(i) ensure that the parties to each marriage receive a level of service that
meets their separate and special requirements; and

(ii) be available at the venue for each marriage ceremony at least 20 minutes
before the agreed commencement of each ceremony (unless, in the case of
consecutive ceremonies, the ceremonies are to be held at the same venue);

(k) ensure that all relevant documents are completed and sent to the
appropriate registering authority within 14 days after the marriage ceremony,
as required by section 50 of the Marriage Act 1961;

(l) in relation to the provision of marriage services, accept evaluative
comment from the parties, and use any comments to improve performance;

(m) give the parties information about how to notify the Commonwealth
Attorney-General’s Department of any concerns or complaints they may have
regarding the marriage services provided by the marriage celebrant.

6 Knowledge and understanding of family relationships services

A marriage celebrant must:

(a) maintain an up-to-date knowledge about appropriate family relationships
services in the community; and

(b) inform parties about the range of information and services available to
them to enhance, and sustain them throughout, their relationship



Leisa Stenton 
M: 0402 826 161