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The Registry Office versus a Celebrant? How to get married in Melbourne

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Are you confused about where to elope in Melbourne? Are you looking for a simple wedding? Maybe you just need the 'Australian Marriage Certificate' and want the cheapest wedding you can get? Do you need a ‘partner visa immigration wedding’? Are you unsure what is the difference between getting married at the Victorian Marriage Registry and with a Celebrant?

How do I get married in Melbourne, Australia? What are the legal aspects to getting married by a civil celebrant?
Nikki and Trent got married at St Kilda Botanical Gardens

Here are some simple answers:

What is the Victorian Registry Office?

This is a government building located at the Old Treasury Building in the city of Melbourne where you can get married in a simple wedding. You book a half hour time slot and get a generic wedding – mostly just the legal words required. Most of the rooms are small and you will not get to meet your celebrant, who is appointed by them.

Pricing is simple and affordable and is dependent on the time AND the day of the week you choose. Also, on the size of your gathering as there are a couple of larger rooms.

What is the difference in getting married by a Celebrant?

Basically, there is no difference. Not to the marriage OR the certificate anyway.

However, getting married with a celebrant allows you to get married in any location. In fact, you could get married anywhere – your home, the celebrant’s home or office, a park, on a boat, in a hot air balloon, restaurant or café.

Working directly with a celebrant of your choice also means you can discuss all of the paperwork and have your questions answered in a phone or Zoom meeting easily.

You will also need to negotiate a price or ask for a quote which will be different with every celebrant. As an authorised marriage celebrant, I offer very simple, legal-only ceremonies at the same price as the Victorian Registry Office. You just need to explain you want a ‘registry-style’ wedding.

Here are some options for locations to get married in Melbourne's Inner North, (close to where I live and work.) If you need questions answered, call me on 0414 475 642

How much is a wedding at the Victorian Registry Office?

The price for weddings at the Registry Office is listed here. For couples that mention they want a ‘registry-style’ wedding, I will match the price.

What paperwork is involved in getting married in Australia?

To get legally married in Australia you will need to fill in a Notice of Intended Marriage and have it witnessed by an authorised person. For more information on how to do this (or to get started) contact me here.

You must also provide ID documents. (If you both a have a passport this is sufficient. Otherwise, let me know and we can discuss other options.)

For legal purposes, all of this (above) must be done one month before your marriage

Then we will make a date to get together for the legal marriage, which will only take under 10 minutes.

This process is exactly the same if you get married at the Victorian Registry Office.

It sounds complicated…

The best thing to do is to speak directly with a professional celebrant who will patiently take you through the whole process. This is something you want done right by an experienced professional.

That’s what we’re here for, after all!

Good luck!!

. . .

Kate Morgan is a full time, Melbourne based wedding celebrant.

For more info visit the website:

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