Guide for Overseas Couples wanting to elope in Australia

Australia is a stunning place to have your elopement. I have put this little guide together for overseas couples looking to get married in Australia. There are a few things for overseas couples to consider to make sure your wedding is legal.

Yes, overseas couples can marry in Australia

If you are a overseas couple thinking of eloping to Australia, you can legally get married here!

You don’t need to be an Australian citizen to legally marry in Australia. And there are no residency requirements to marry here.

You can get married in any state of Australia and same sex marriage is legal in Australia as well.

There are a number of requirements to ensure the marriage is legal including:

  • You both must be over the age of eighteen.
  • Not already married in any other country.
  • You must provide some legal documentation like birth certificates, passports, divorce papers.
  • You have to have a registered civil celebrant to help with your paperwork and conduct your ceremony.
  • With your celebrant, you must lodge a “Notice of Intended Marriage” at least one month prior to the ceremony.
  • You must not be in a prohibited relationship. So not siblings etc
  • And you must have two witnesses over the age of 18 to witness and sign your marriage certificate.

A great registered marriage celebrant can help you through all the legal paperwork.

Elopement photographer at uluru
Photo by Cavanagh Photography

How to Elope in Australia for an overseas couple

For overseas couples, you should plan everything before you arrive in Australia. There are certain parts of the process that take longer than others.

For a more detailed approach to eloping, please read Ultimate Guide on How to Elope in Australia.

But a basic step by step process for a simple elopement would be:

  1. Decide on a location – Pick a region, a city or even an exact location where you would like to elope to.
  2. Research accommodation options – It is good to have great accommodation near or at the location. Somewhere to base yourself from pre and post elopement.
  3. Marriage celebrant – Find an awesome marriage celebrant. You need a celebrant to get the ball moving and the paperwork started. A ‘Notice of Intended Marriage” needs to be lodge at least a month prior to your marriage. So start this early enough.
  4. Photographer – Find an awesome elopement photographer. Find someone whose work makes you go wow! Photos you can imagine yourselves in.
  5. Lock in a date – Lock-in and book an elopement date based on your chosen celebrant, photographer and location availability.
  6. Book everything else – Book everything you think you want for your elopement. Wedding attire, stylists, planners, flowers etc
  7. Permits – You need permits or written permission for most things in Australia, particularly anything to do with wedding ceremonies and photos. Otherwise, you risk the embarrassment of a fine or having your ceremony stopped. And make sure you get everything in writing.
  8. Travel – Fly to Australia and have an awesome elopement.
  9. Honeymoon – Travel around Australia for your honeymoon.

Frequently Asked Questions about Eloping in Australia

Can overseas couples marry in Australia?

Yes you can!
An overseas couple can come to Australia and get married. You do not need to be an Australian citizen to legally marry in Australia. And there are no residency requirements to marry here.

Who can marry us in Australia?

You will need a registered Australian marriage celebrant to perform your wedding ceremony.

How much does it cost to elope in Australia?

At a bare minimum, it will cost you between $300 to $1500 AUD to be legally married in Australia.

That will be the cost of the ceremony itself and the legal paperwork associated with it. Marriages in Australia must be conducted by a registered civil celebrant.

You can do a simple registry office wedding, which will be the cheapest, simplest and most basic option. Or you can use an authorised marriage celebrant who can conduct a personalised ceremony for you, which will be slightly more expensive.

Do you need witnesses to elope in Australia?

Yes, you need two witnesses.
Under Australian law, you need two witnesses over the age of 18 to witness your ceremony and sign the legal documents.

As an overseas couple, can you get married in Australia and live in Australia as a married couple?

No, it is definitely not that simple.
You would have to apply for visas to live and work in Australia. And there are a number of requirements that are needed for an application to be successful. Like most things to do with the government, it is a long process.
If one of you is already an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia then you can apply for a Prospective Marriage Visa (aka fiancé visa) so that both of you can live in Australia as a married couple. Again it is a long process that takes around 12-17 months. It is best to visit the Australian Department of Home Affairs – Immigration and citizenship for more information.

Where can we elope in Australia?

Just about anywhere!
You just need to choose a location and get permission or a permit.
Check out some of the best places to elope here:
100 of the best places to elope in Australia

What is the best month to get married in Australia?

The best time to get married in Australia without a doubt is Spring and Autumn.
This is because the weather is mild and the Australian landscape is beautiful. But this also means that Spring at Autumn are the peak seasons for weddings in Australia. Everyone tries to get married at these times. So you will find venues, chapels, locations and photographers will book out a long way in advance

What is the worst month to get married in Australia?

It is the peak of summer, so temperatures are very high. It is also the holiday period for Australian’s. So beaches, parks, gardens etc are packed with people.

Will our marriage be recognised in our own country?

Yes, but as a rule you should check with your own government.
To ensure it is recognised you must get your stamped registered copy of your full legal marriage certificate, before you leave Australia.
You may also need to get an Apostille Stamp. Which is an official government certificate added to your marriage certificate so that it will be recognised by your country. Please speak with your marriage celebrant as they will be able to help you with this.

Celebrations By Candice
Celebrations By Candice