Can we get married with less than one month notice?

Can we get married with less than one month's notice?

There are some circumstances in which an application for shortening of time may be considered by a prescribed authority are set out in Schedule 1B to the Marriage Regulations 1963. These are:

• employment related or other travel commitments

• wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations

• medical reasons

• legal proceedings

• an error in giving notice

If a couple who intend to marriage have not provided the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form to an authorised marriage celebrant with the minimum one month’s notice, they will need to apply to a prescribed authority for authorisation before the celebrant can make or confirm any arrangements to marry them.

Where a marriage celebrant is asked to reduce the minimum notice period for the NOIM, the celebrant should see that the NOIM is in order and then refer the party or parties with the notice to a prescribed authority.

Please note the following key points when it comes to a request to shorten the period of time of notice:

• the reason for seeking a shortening of time must fall within one of the categories described above before the application can be considered

• a prescribed authority has no discretion to grant a shortening of time outside the circumstances covered by these categories

• the granting of a shortening of time is not automatic , and

• a prescribed authority may charge an application fee (please check if a fee is charged when making an appointment with the prescribed authority).

When you make an appointment with the prescribed authority, you need to take the completed NOIM and any other documentary evidence to prove why you require a shortening of time (for example, medical certificates or a travel itinerary). You will need to return the NOIM to the marriage celebrant after a shortening of time is obtained.

The Marriage Regulations list a number of matters the prescribed authority may take into account and material they may request when making the decision. You should put together this material before approaching the prescribed authority. Such material should include a letter from a medical practitioner if they are seeking a shortening of time on medical grounds, or receipts for payments or wedding invitations if the circumstance is wedding or celebration arrangements. The prescribed authority will be looking at the dates payments were made or invitations sent to gauge the genuineness of the need to shorten time.

If the circumstance relates to relocation for employment the prescribed authority will be looking for evidence of the date on which the applicant was informed of the posting or employment relocation as opposed to the date on which the posting is to commence (unless the posting or employment relocation has been brought forward).

Error in giving notice relates only to error on the part of the authorised celebrant, not the couple. For example, the celebrant may not have fulfilled their obligation to explain the notice requirements properly. Error in giving notice also includes invalid, stale or lost NOIMs. An example of an invalid notice would include a NOIM given to a person who was not an authorised celebrant. A reference to a lost NOIM refers to a notice that has been lost by the marriage celebrant not the couple.

If the prescribed authority is satisfied that the relevant circumstance for shortening the notice period to less than one month

has been met, they will make a note in the box provided at the foot of the NOIM on page four, sign it, add his or her designation and the words ‘Prescribed Authority’ and write the date. The original NOIM should then be given to the proposed marriage celebrant before the marriage is solemnised.

For any further information or questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Trudy the Marriage Celebrant xx