Are you in a rush to get hold of your legal marriage certificate as soon as possible after your wedding?

Perhaps you need to leave the country and want that certificate in your hand when you go to the airport.

Perhaps you need it to complete your application for moving countries.

This blog post lists 3 easy steps for you to follow in order to get your (legal) wedding certificate in your hand as soon as possible after your wedding.

Author: Meggan Brummer

If we haven’t met before - I am an award-winning Marriage Celebrant in Sydney, Australia.

I’ve married hundreds of couples over the last 13 years and have over 23 years experience as a professional writer.

What’s the difference between the certificate my celebrant hands me at the ceremony and the legal one from BDM?

The marriage certificate that your Civil Marriage Celebrant hands you on the day of your wedding is a ‘commemorative’ marriage certificate. This document is not sufficient as legal proof of your marriage.

For official proof of your marriage, such as changing your name or applying for an overseas visa, you need an ‘extended’ (legal) marriage certificate issued by NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (BDM).

BDM can only issue the legal marriage certificate for marriages conducted and performed in NSW.

Commemorative Certificate
Legal Certificate

3 Steps to Getting Your NSW Marriage Certificate In the Fastest Time


1. Get your Marriage Celebrant to register your marriage

The first step is of course, getting married!

Once you’re married ask your civil marriage celebrant to register your wedding straight away and to let you know as soon as they’ve done that.

Professional Marriage Celebrants have online access to apply for your marriage certificate online in just a matter of minutes.  So confirm with your celebrant beforehand that they will be able to do that for you immediately after your wedding.

2. Complete your wedding certificate application online

Once your civil celebrant has registered your marriage online, you use this link to apply online for your marriage certificate with NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (BDM).

This application process requires you to upload 3 forms of identification, which could include –

  • Passport
  • Drivers Licence
  • Medicare Card

Only one of you needs to complete this application and provide identification.

3. Collect your Marriage Certificate in Person from BDM

If you need to get hold of your marriage certificate urgently, you can either apply for it yourself or ask your celebrant to do it for you.

Whoever is doing the application needs to follow these 3 steps:

  1. When completing the application online, choose to pay the priority fee and select “for collection.” You will need to give a reason for wanting to collect it. eg. Leaving the country in 3 days/need it urgently for visa application.
  2. Then email BDM Sydney with the word URGENT in the subject line. Tell them you have completed your application and that you (or your couple, if you are a celebrant applying on their behalf), would like to collect the certificate asap. They will email you a link so you can book a time to collect your certificate from BDM in Pyrmont, probably for the next day.
  3. You can then collect your certificate from BDM in Pyrmont, Sydney at the set time.

As at April 2024, if you apply to collect your certificate in person, it will cost you a total of $96.

Alternatively, when you apply for your certificate you can request to have it sent by registered mail to your home with an optional priority service. (It will take up to 1 week for your certificate to be delivered by priority service).

How can I get my marriage certificate if I’m not in a hurry?

If you’re not needing your marriage certificate urgently, you can ask your civil marriage celebrant to apply for your certificate on your behalf.  Again, any professional celebrant will be able to do this easily online saving you considerable time and effort.

Different celebrants will have different pricing packages, so this may already be included or it may be an extra, you will have to check.

As at April 2024, BDM charge $65 for issuing your legal marriage certificate including postage by registered mail.

BDM will send you your marriage certificate within 2 to 5 working days.

Tip: If you are going to be away from home following your wedding and won’t be there to sign for your marriage certificate, ask your celebrant to either send it to a friend or family member who can sign for the delivery or otherwise to delay the application to coincide with your return home.

Not yet married and looking for a celebrant?

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