If you’re a couple who wants to get married in Australia, you need to complete and send your celebrant a form called the ‘NOIM’, at least 1 month before your wedding day.
In some situations, you may not have a month. If that’s you, then read on, because you may be eligible to apply for a ‘shortening of time’, so that you can get married as soon as possible.
Author: Meggan Brummer
If we haven’t met before, my name is Meggan Brummer - I am an award-winning Celebrant in Sydney, Australia.
I’ve married hundreds of couples over the last 11 years and have over 20 years experience as a professional writer.
Under What Circumstances Can You Apply For A Shortening Of Time?
There are specific circumstances under which a shortening of time may be requested to waive the 1-month minimum requirement for lodging your NOIM.
This approval can only be granted by a ‘prescribed authority’ – not your celebrant.
A ‘prescribed authority’ in this context means a local court or registrar.
The situations under which you might seek a shortening of time are:
- Employment-related or other travel commitments. eg. if one of you has just got a job overseas that starts in less than a month and in order for you to go together you need to be married.
- Pre-paid Wedding or celebration arrangements. This is when you’re in a situation where you’ve booked everything for your wedding day, and have proof of that (eg. payment made to your venue), but you didn’t know that you needed to complete a NOIM one month before your wedding ceremony.
- Medical Reasons. This is where one of you or a very close family member of yours is dying and therefore will not be alive for the wedding if it takes place a month or more away.
- Legal proceedings. eg. One of you is going to prison within the next month and you’d like to get married before that.
- An error in giving notice. eg. If the Celebrant has made a mistake, eg. they’ve lost your notice or they haven’t given you the right advice.
How To Apply For A Shortening Of Time
- Complete the NOIM and sign it in front of your or prescribed witness.
- Obtain a letter from your Marriage Celebrant. This letter confirms that your celebrant is willing to conduct your ceremony on a specific, mentioned date – assuming that the shortening is granted. The letter should include both your names in full and the celebrant’s phone number incase the authorities wish to contact them.
- Make an appointment with a prescribed authority. Eg. BDM (Births Deaths & Marriages) or your local court.
- When you meet them, give them the following documents:
- Photo ID of both of you.
- As much supporting evidence as possible that your application is supported by an eligible reason. Your application may be delayed if you don’t do this.
- Your payment. It currently costs $55 to apply for a shortening.
I hope that’s been helpful.