NOIM completion

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 - 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.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Legal proceedings. eg. One of you is going to prison within the next month and you’d like to get married before that.
  5. 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

  1. Complete the NOIM and sign it in front of your or prescribed witness.
  2. 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.
  3. Make an appointment with a prescribed authority. Eg. BDM (Births Deaths & Marriages) or your local court.
  4. 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.

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