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I’ve talked before about the legal requirements of getting married in Australia, but I wanted to clear up a common misconception about the first piece of paperwork we complete: the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM).

When I talk about “lodging” the NOIM, I mean lodging it with me as your authorised celebrant. Through lodging the NOIM with me, you are giving notice to the Australian Government (through me as the Government’s authorised representative) that you intend to get married in at least one month and no more than 18 months from the date of lodgement – lodgement with the celebrant, that is.

The words “lodging” or “lodgement” seem to confuse people: they simply mean giving your signed NOIM to your celebrant or priest.

I do not send the NOIM to anyone else (or “lodge” it with anyone else) until AFTER your wedding, at which time I send it to Births, Deaths and Marriages along with your Declaration of No Legal Impediment and your Official Certificate of Marriage signed at the ceremony, so that your marriage can be registered.

The same goes for any other authorised celebrant (including religious celebrants); none of us send your NOIM to anyone before the wedding.

So the next time someone tells you their celebrant (or priest etc) lodged their NOIM before the wedding, you can tell them how it really works!