How To Elope Or Get Married In Australia: A Destination Wedding Guide For Foreigners

destination-weddding-Guide For Foreigners who want to get married in Australia

Today I want to highlight yet another excuse…… I mean another reason for you to take time off from your busy life to travel. Not that you need one! 

That reasons is called  LOVE………..

In this post, you will get a high level view of everything you need to know to tie the knot in Australia, from the why to the how. 


*NOTE: This is a guide for NON Australians marrying non – Australians. Please contact the nearest Australian Embassy or consulate to confirm the details as these may be incomplete and rules are subject to change.

Why get married in another country like Australia?

Why not get married in Australia?

Whether you want to elope or you want an intimate wedding with family or you just want to renew your wedding vows, Australia is a great place to have your destination wedding; especially if you love to travel and you’re feeling a little adventurous.

Here are just a few other reasons to choose Australia. 

  • Charm and Beauty: Australia is a beautiful country with lovely people who love beer (pronounced Beeya) and say charming things like.. “That was heaps and heaps of fun”.
  • Easy: It’s fairly simple to get married in Australia compared to other countries like France which require you to be in the country for 45 days before you can marry.
  • Start Your Honeymoon Sooner: Having a destination wedding surrounded by beautiful coastlines and cosmopolitan cities means you can start your Honeymoon ASAP.
  • Heaps of options when it comes to hotel accommodations and lodging.
  • You Speak The Language: Australians speak English and if you are reading this than so do you. Imagine how hard it would be to arrange a wedding in Poland if you did not speak Polish.
  • It’s romantic!
  • It’s unique, it’s different like you!
  • You’ll spend less on the wedding and have more to spend on yourselves so you can take a longer honeymoon.
  • When you tell people you got married in Australia people will envy you and think you are cool!

Not convinced a destination wedding is right for you?  Read my personal story of “why my husband Blake and I decided to elope to mystical Scotland”. 

What Are The Requirements To Marry In Australia?

Below are some answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding getting married in Australia and the documents you will need to make it happen.

The info is a good start to get you going or to curb your curiosity on just what it takes to get married abroad. However; like anything, rules and regulations are subject to change and  this list may not be complete You will need to do your own research and due diligence and contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate.

Residency: Do I Need To Be An Australian Citizen?

No. Anyone may marry in Australia provided you meet the following criteria.

  1. You are free to marry, ( you are not already married to someone else.). Bigamy is illegal.
  2. You are over the age of 18.

Do I Need a Visa To Go To Australia?

Yes, you will need a visa, called an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to travel to Australia for a stay of up to 90 days unless you are from New Zealand.

You may be able to get a visa online. Contact the nearest Australian consulate or embassy.

What is a Celebrant and Why should I care?

All marriages in Australia are conducted by a celebrant. The celebrant will usually help you fill out the legal forms and explain all the details of the ceremony.  Here is a comprehensive list of all authorized celebrants given by the Australian Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department website: Click here.

You can have a civil or a religious ceremony.

General Questions

Can I marry anywhere in Australia?

Yes, you can  marry almost anywhere. On a yacht, in a park, at the beach and in a church. I bet you could even get married under water if you wanted.

Just make sure you get an authorized celebrant.

Will the marriage be recognized in my own country?

It depends. Many countries recognize marriages performed legally in Australia.  If in doubt about the legality of your Australian marriage in your home country,  contact your own government authorities which records marriages in your country.

Americans and Canadians, rest assured, an Australian marriage is valid in your home country and you don’t even need to register your marriage in your home country.

We’re already married, Can we renew our wedding vows?

Yes, you can hold a renewal of vows ceremony or a commitment ceremony.

We are a same sex couple, can we get married in Australia?

Unfortunately currently same sex marriages are not recognized in Australia. You can have a commitment ceremony performed in lieu of a marriage ceremony.

How many witnesses do we need?

You need two witnesses present at your Marriage Ceremony who are over the age of 18. Any person can act as a witness, even your parents or siblings. The wedding celebrant or religious minister cannot act as a witness.

What about vows?

During the ceremony the bride and groom must say: “I (groom) take you (bride), to be my wife” and “I (bride), take you (groom), to be my husband”. The remainder of the wordings can be created by the bride and groom. You write a poem, sing a song or say nothing more.

View all the rules and laws about getting married in Australia

What Documents Will I need to marry in Australia?

Getting your documents in order is pretty straight forward

First: You must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage (NIM) which you may be able to complete over the internet. The form must be completed 1 month and 1 day before your wedding day but no more than 18 calendar months before you marry. Contact a celebrant in Australia and they should be able to help you.

Next: You will need original (not photocopies) of the following

  • birth certificates,
  • passports,
  • divorce papers (if you were married before) or death certificate if you’re spouse is deceased.

I would make photocopies of all documents as well for good measure..

*Note* All documents and paperwork must be submitted in English by recognized/registered translator.


If you are looking to do something a little adventurous, you like warmer weather and you are not opposed enjoying the coast line for your honeymoon, Australia would make the perfect destination spot to get married, elope or renew your vows.

Question: Would you consider going to Australia to get married or renew your vows?  Leave your comments below.

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