Here’s What Couples Can Do Now Marriage Equality Has Begun

The first same-sex couples will be able to get married under Australian law from early January.

Following Thursday’s historic marriage equality vote, Governor-General Peter Cosgrove signed off on the laws on Friday, which was the final step allowing marriage equality to officially start on Saturday, December 9.

This means the first weddings could happen from January 9.

“From Saturday, same-sex couples will be able to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage to commence the one month minimum notice period required before the solemnisation of marriages under the Marriage Act,” Attorney-General George Brandis said.

“Marriage will now be defined in the Marriage Act 1961 as the ‘union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life’.

“Same-sex couples now have the same rights under the Marriage Act as all other couples.”

Updated Notice of Intended Marriage forms are now available from the Department of Attorney-General website here.

The department’s website also contains comprehensives information for couples and celebrants.

To complete the form you must give your personal information, as well as a declaration if you’ve ever been married, divorced or widowed.

You can lodge the completed form with the celebrant, minister or registrar who will be performing the marriage.

This must be done at least one month before the wedding, and it can be done up to 18 months beforehand.

From Saturday, thousands of Australian same-sex couples who have gotten hitched overseas will automatically have their unions recognised under Australian law.

The hundreds of Australia same-sex couples who have used the dual citizenship of one or both partners to wed in ceremonies at foreign embassies are also automatically recognised from Saturday.