NSW Marriage Office

Planning A Ceremony Overseas?

What You Need To Know

Couples marrying overseas will have their marriage registered in the country of their wedding, rather than Australia, UNLESS the legal formalities are completed in Australia before their ceremony overseas.


This means all of your legal paperwork, marriage registration and history will not be accessible by the Australian Government if you have a wedding overseas under local law.

Therefore, if either of you wish to change your name, you will need to do so by Deed Poll / State Name Change in Australia, rather than using the Marriage Certificate, which will not be recognised as an authority to change a name in Australia.

However, by completing all of the legal marriage requirements in Australia before you go, couples will have their marriage registered in Australia and all of their paperwork and duplicates of their Marriage Certificate will be available in the State in which they registered their marriage.

For couples who are having, or have already had a civil ceremony overseas (not an official ceremony) and require their marriage registered in Australia, the NSW Marriage Office provides this service.

Marriages In Other Countries

Recognition of overseas marriages

If you're going overseas to get married, you must work within the legal systems of Australia and the country you're getting married in.

If you marry in another country, you cannot register your marriage in Australia.

Overseas marriages are generally recognised in Australia if the marriage is recognised by the country where it took place and they don't break the Australian Marriage Act.


If you're planning to marry in another country:

  • confirm any legal requirements by contacting the local representative for that country through the embassy or consulate
  • get a marriage certificate and any other supporting documents after you marry and before you leave that country.

‘Do The Legals’ In Australia


Sign the Marriage Register

This is the minimum requirement for couples to be legally married in Australia. There is no ‘ceremony’ associated with this process.  No vows are needed, only a simple ‘I do’ – it’s as easy as signing the marriage register and saying the legal words.  You, your celebrant & 2 witnesses are all you need and it can be done in as little as 5 minutes – talk about low fuss!

This option of signing the marriage register (also known as “legal’s only”) is typically for couples who do not want a formal ceremony, but still want to be officially married.

We are authorised, qualified and experienced commonwealth marriage celebrants who offer a complete registry wedding service. The closest government registry office is in Sydney so Marriage Office NSW fills the gap for you in the Newcastle, Maitland and Hunter Valley areas. 

Everything for your marriage is included. We lodge all of your legal paperwork and perform your marriage on the day.  Later that day your documents are filed and registered with the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. 

The Marriage Office allows for a variety of marriage options including registry weddings and courthouse style weddings as well as offering micro wedding packages.

The Marriage Office is staffed by Commonwealth Marriage Celebrants and marriages can be conducted in several locations, from our office, your garden, a park, or one of our beautiful venues.  The legal paperwork is signed and your marriage is solemnised according to law.

This marriage service is typically for couples who would like to be married in Australia, or just need the minimum legal requirements to be married. The Marriage Office also services couples who are requesting a Fiancé Visa Letter for the Department of Immigration for their Prospective Marriage Visa, or couples who require their marriage to be registered in Australia following a commemorative ceremony overseas, for example in Bali, Fiji or Thailand

The Marriage Office is available to take bookings for weddings in a registry office or courthouse wedding format, by appointment weekdays, after hours and on weekends.