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Perfect Wedding Gift Ideas for Real Couples

For couples, choosing wedding registry gifts can be a daunting task.

When considering what you and your partner want and need for everyday domestic life, remember that practical doesn’t necessarily have to be boring.

Here’s a list of top quality household items that are not only useful but will bring daily joy.

Cast Iron Dutch Oven

When including cookware in your gift registry, make sure one item is high end.  A sturdy cast iron Dutch oven will tick that box!

From hearty stews and soups to boiling past and even baking bread, the Dutch oven will inspire you to expand your cooking repertoire.

Cast iron lasts a lifetime and its non-stick feature makes cooking and cleaning easy.

Coffee maker

Imagine waking up newly married with a freshly brewed cup of coffee brought to bed by your beloved. Romantic, right?

Exorbitant barista coffee prices and long café queues can be a buzzkill.  A quiet cuppa at home has its own financial perks as well as save time.

A coffee maker with customised brewing options will guarantee your morning coffee be exactly how you like it – in strength, size and  temperature.

What’s it to be? A rushed takeaway or a lovingly homemade brew?

Vacuum Cleaner

Before you start yawning at this gift idea, there are plenty of models with lightweight and sleek designs that will bring domestic joy to every day married life.

Barrel or upright. Bagless or bagged. Manual or Robot. Choose a machine that will best suit the needs of your living space. When shopping around, take into account features like manoeuvrability, suction power and additional brush accessories.

Toaster Oven

The toaster is often the running joke as a last-minute wedding gift for couples. But laugh no more. The multi-function toaster oven not only toasts bread but can also bake, broil and even air-fry.

No bigger than a microwave, it’s a simpler alternative to the oven. Make your loved one baked eggs and bacon brunch every Sunday!

Chopping boards

Not just a dull wooden plank! A chopping board with personally engraved details of your names and wedding date can be a sweet daily reminder of your special day.

Whether choosing rectangular or circular in size, a chopping board can also be versatile. Use it as a cheese board or a beautiful serving platter for dinner parties and family gatherings.

Bath robes

What can be more heavenly than wrapping yourself up in a bathrobe? Both the bride and groom can take pleasure in soft and fluffy comfort after a long hot shower or deep soak in a bath tub.

Romantic. Practical. Luxurious. It ticks all the boxes for the perfect wedding gift!

Gift Card Registry

A gift card registry is the perfect solution that allows newly married couples to select their own practical gifts.

An account can be simply created online.  Guests can contribute securely to a special URL link especially set up for the bride and groom.

The gift card registry leaves guests feeling confident that they played a significant part in kick starting the couple’s new chapter in marriage.

Once the funds are loaded onto a prepaid credit card, the happy couple can enjoy buying top notch items for their home. They can officially start life in marital bliss.

Click here to start your registry.

What is a Virtual Wishing Well?

When it comes to planning their wedding day, modern Australian couples are steering away from the traditional wedding gift registry. With the growing trend of virtual wishing wells, requesting cash is no longer considered rude. Instead, it’s the perfect gift solution for the bride and groom who already have it all.

What is a Virtual Wishing Well?

While a wishing well allows guests to drop their physical cash gifts into a decorated box during the wedding reception, a virtual wishing well lets you make an online contribution.

Guests can discreetly choose how much they’d like to give. The newlyweds don’t have to worry about envelopes of cash being stolen or misplaced. Going virtual is undoubtedly the safe and secure alternative.

Why do you need it?

80 percent of Australian couples live together prior to marriage. Domestic life is already established. Their home is set up with all the necessary household items. If you’re part of this growing majority, a Virtual Wishing Well is the ideal gift registry option.

Creating a Virtual Wishing Well with Gift Card Registry is easy:

  • Simply register and choose your card design.
  • Include your details and the date of your special day
  • An account is set up and a personalised page is created
  • Share the page details to your wedding guests
  • Guests can then send through their contributions accompanied with a personal message
  • Track the funds online with excitement as you start the big countdown to your nuptials!
  • Your unique gift card will be sent via courier

Click here for further details on how to create your Gift Card Registry.

The Benefits of a Virtual Wishing Well

Your wedding day is a once in a life-time event.  Make it a joyous and memorable occasion by letting guests gift you with something you actually want. Whether the funds go towards your honeymoon or your new home, a virtual wishing well is the greatest kick start to newly married life.

With a Virtual Wishing Well you can:

  • Avoid unwanted gifts. (No more toasters or two of the same!)
  • Buy exactly what you want
  • Use your funds loaded gift card online and anywhere in the world that accepts Mastercard

With a virtual wishing well friends and family don’t need to second guess the wedding present they plan to give you.

Not Just Weddings

Besides virtual wishing wells for weddings, Gift Card Registry is a versatile option for any once in a lifetime event.

Maybe you’re the maid of honour organising a bridal shower or wanting to throw your best friend the best baby shower ever. Perhaps your child is reaching their 21st birthday. Think of the thrill and excitement when family and friends receive their perfect gift card.

Uncomplicated Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding can often be tricky to organise. Especially if time is limited. Yet, rallying a community or a large group to collect funds can be a huge act of kindness.

If you’re organising the office present for a colleague’s farewell or canvassing donations for a friend going through hardship, setting up Gift Card Registry is straightforward. Contributions and donations can be done online and donors can remain anonymous if they wish.

The Optimal Gift

Whether you’re organising a virtual wishing well for your own wedding or urgently need to help someone in the community with financial challenges, collecting cash has never been easier or worthwhile. Whatever the occasion, a Gift Card Registry will be deeply appreciated and forever remembered.

To find out more about Gift Card Registry, contact us here.

Wedding Destinations – Domestic or International

Do you dream of a romantic barefoot beach wedding in Hawaii? Or perhaps you would prefer to say “I do” somewhere closer to home.  These days, with both international and domestic travel being easily accessible and affordable, the choices for a wedding destination are endless.

According to a recent survey by newly married couples, 90% of weddings were held in the couples’ home state or territory, 7% in another state and 3% were overseas.

But if you’re still unsure about whether to get hitched in a faraway, exotic location or whether to keep it local, we take a closer look at the benefits of both options.

Big or small?

One of the first questions to ask when planning the big day is how big or small would you like your guest list to be. More often than not, bridal couples who opt to marry overseas will also be wanting a small, intimate ceremony.

As time and finances will be main points for guests to consider, let guests know well in advance, giving them plenty of time to save up for the big day as well as make time in their schedules.

Even if you don’t have the venue confirmed, send out a “Save The Date” along with the country destination so family and friends can start making their own arrangements.

It will still be inevitable for someone who can’t make it for your special day. Be mindful that not everyone can take the time away or have the budget to travel overseas. Will you be fine if close friends won’t be able to attend?

A Wedding Planner or DIY?

If you’re a Type A personality and need to be in control of your wedding plans, perhaps somewhere closer and a little familiar to home is your best option.

If you’ve already picked your overseas destination, the easiest option for planning would be to hire a local wedding planner. Not only will they know the area intimately but can recommend the most reliable and reputable vendors and venues. They’ll even have firsthand knowledge of the weather and have back up options if nature isn’t on your side.

A huge advantage will be to make a trip to the destination before your nuptials. It’s a great way to get yourself familiar with the environment and location and find your own connection to the area. It’s also a great opportunity to get to know the local vendors yourself but also build trust with your selected wedding planner.

Don’t hold back and keep in constant communication with your wedding planner for that added peace of mind.

Budget

Contrary to expectations, a destination wedding doesn’t have to blow your budget. In fact, with less guests attending, exchanging vows in a faraway land can be cheaper.

As a thoughtful gesture, share with your guests on any hotel deals or airfare specials that you come across in your own planning.

Take the opportunity to make the trip as hassle free as possible for your guests. Instead of requesting wedding gifts that will be extra luggage, set up a Gift Card Registry account where guests send contributions for your new start together. Safer and more secure than wishing wells and money trees, once funds are loaded onto a Mastercard card, you have complete access. Avoiding unwanted gifts, you can buy whatever you want, wherever a Mastercard is accepted. Easy and simple! For more information, click to giftcardregistry.com or call 1300 354 362.

Straight from the aisle to the honeymoon

One of the biggest pluses of celebrating your nuptials overseas is that you’re also right there at your honeymoon destination too! It’s also a great opportunity for guests to extend their      trip to also having their own little getaway holiday.

Setting up a “Honeyfund” through Gift Card Registry is a great opportunity for family and friends to help make your honeymoon extra special.  Once contributions are made to your account, a prepaid Mastercard card will be sent to your chosen address. You then simply activate the card and it’s ready! Go on a shopping spree or upgrade to that luxurious hotel suite…kickstart married life with extravagance! To see the range of Honeymoon cards, head over to giftcardregistry.com.au.

What are you willing to compromise on

Marriage is a lifetime of comprises.  That journey will start when planning a destination wedding! At home or over yonder, wedding planning is never short on its stresses and hassle. To reduce stress and quieten down those bridezilla tendencies, remember that nothing will be exactly the same as back home.

When planning logistics and details for the wedding reception, consider the cultural aspects, local etiquette and even weather of your overseas wedding location. A beautiful, long sleeved laced number might not fare well in the tropics of a Fiji wedding.

And whatever you do – make sure your wedding dress is checked in as carry on luggage!

 Near or far, your wedding day will hold beautiful, lifelong memories, filled with laughter, emotion and of course, love.

Maid of Honours checklist to plan the perfect bridal shower

When bestowed the special task of maid of honour, planning the bridal shower will be one of your top priorities.

While the thought of organising such a significant event seems daunting at first, don’t fret!

The bride has picked you for good reason. Whether you’re her childhood best friend since childhood, sister or cousin, the bride has picked you specifically because she trusts you implicitly.

With every bride having her own individual taste, these days there are no set rules for the ideal bridal shower. What counts the most are your personal touches thoughtful gestures and the smooth sailing of planning and organising.

Whether you’re the social butterfly who loves to throw a soiree (think Rosie Byrne’s character in Bridesmaids) or just simply overwhelmed with where to start, here’s a checklist and timeline on how to plan the perfect bridal shower for your bestie.

2 – 3 months before:

Set a coffee or dinner date with the bride to be and have a proper sit down discussion about how the bride envisions her shower. An initial face to face meeting will allow both of you to brainstorm ideas but also set the excitement of what’s ahead!

Once you’ve had that first chat, keep the communication channels open and the ideas flowing through emails, phone calls and texts. Keep the bride updated as often as you can. You will help put her mind at ease and the two of you will share an even closer bond.

Here are the basics to cover:

  • Pick a date
  • Find a venue (make a booking, if needed)
  • Discuss the theme (tea party, champagne brunch, glam pyjamas – the list is endless!) and/or colour schemes
  • Determine guest list and contact information
  • Email or contact overseas or interstate guests to save the date
  • Pick out or create stationary for the invitations
  • Set a budget

5 – 6 weeks before:

Now you decided on the date, venue and theme, it’s time let the guests know! When sending out the invitations, don’t forget to include the directions to the venue as well as the gift registry.

If you’re stuck with bridal shower gift ideas, Gift Card Registry is the perfect solution. The shower guests can contribute to the Gift Card Registry and the funds are loaded onto a selected design Mastercard card. Imagine the look of delight when the bride receives her personalised Mastercard, knowing she can use it wherever and however her heart desires! To set up a gift registry, visit giftcardregistry.com.au.

Here’s your list of tasks:

  • Send invitations (including directions and gift registry)
  • Plan Menu and Order Food
  • Choose and buy “Thank you” gifts or goody bags for guests
  • Select games, icebreakers and other shower activities
  • Buy decorations, pick centrepieces and flowers (if needed)

1 month before

Not long to go! With the bulk of the planning done and dusted, there’s only a few party supply items to buy.

  • Purchase items for food serving and décor
  • Purchase paper products (paper plates, cups, bowls)
  • Follow up with anyone making or bringing items (cakes, desserts, games, music playlists)

2 – 3 weeks before

Getting closer to the big day! Here’s where you sharpen your leadership skills as there will be lots of following up and delegating tasks and responsibilities. It’s up to you that everyone is on schedule with their tasks – you’ve got this!

  • Follow up with guests who haven’t RSVP’d
  • Check on and confirm any specific fine details requested to venue/restaurant, caterer, florist, photographer (if using)
  • Delegate responsibilities for the day of the bridal shower
  • Choose outfit

1 week before

So, so close! Keep cool and calm because you’ve pretty much got it covered!

  • Keep bride calm, reassure her that everything’s on track
  • Prepare decorations and items needed for games and activities
  • Prepare “Thank You” gifts
  • Order balloons (if using)
  • Make schedule for food preparation or if at restaurant, check and confirm menu
  • Decide on seating and layout

1 day before

You’re at the home stretch, stay focused! Don’t be shy to delegate any last minute errands to others or anyone in the bridal party.  Everyone will want to do their part and pitch in so don’t feel you have to do it all!

  • Prepare food
  • Pick up flowers, balloons, cake and purchased food
  • Prepare and set table and seating areas
  • Set up food and drink areas
  • Confirm agenda and schedule of bridal shower with bridal party

Day of…

The big day you’ve been working so hard for has finally arrived!

  • Prepare fresh food (such salads, fruit and cheese platters, final touches on desserts)
  • Make sure venue is clean
  • Decorate space
  • Set up drinks and food
  • Have handy – scissors, large rubbish bags, tape, notebook and pen
  • Have fun, grab a glass of bubbles and enjoy!

Once all the preparations are done and before the guests arrive, try and grab a few minutes with the bride. Give her a big hug to chase away pre-bridal shower jitters. She’ll appreciate it as well as all the wonderful work you’ve done!

And when that last guest leaves, kick off those heels, put your feet up and pour yourself a generous glass of wine, you deserve it! Well done!

Everything you need to know about wishing well weddings!

Is having a wishing well wedding really that awkward?  With the increase of couples already living together or deciding to tie the knot at a later age, there’s less need for traditional wedding gifts or even a gift registry.

According to recent statistics, 60% of Australian weddings have a wishing well, indicating bridal couples already have everything they need. Rather than receiving something they already have or remain unused, requesting money from family, friends and wedding guests is becoming the social norm.

Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about wishing well weddings.

How other cultures do wishing well weddings:

While asking for money at weddings is becoming more of the trend in Australia, for many other countries and cultures, cash has always been a significant part of the celebrations.

In China for instance, a tea ceremony will be performed by the bride. She will serve tea to the groom’s family members in a specific order. Afterwards, each family member will in turn hand a red packet (Hongbao) containing money.

In Hispanic countries, guests can pin cash on the bride throughout the the evening of the reception.

In some cultures, couples will document what they received from guests and relatives. This will ensure they will give the same amount when it’s time for their guests’ (or their family member’s) own wedding.

In good taste:

Of course just because a wishing well is increasingly socially acceptable these days, there’s still an elegant, discreet approach when asking for cash at your wedding.

When sending out the invitations, you can include a separate card with a cute poem or sweet verse that explains your hopes for cash gifts. Regardless, it’s nice to leave the option for to those who’d still rather stick with traditional wedding gifts.

Here’s an example of what you can send in your card:

“If you were thinking of giving a gift to help us on our way.

A gift of cash towards our house would really make our day.

However, if you prefer a gift, feel free to surprise us in your own special way.”

An online wishing well:

Gift Card Registry avoids the awkwardness of cash wedding gifts and allows guests to congratulate you by contributing to an online wishing well.

The process is simple. Create  Gift Card Registry at giftcardregistry.com.au to set up your personal online registry. When the registry closes, Gift Card Registry will send you the total amount gift loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard that can be used anywhere in the world where Mastercard is accepted.

With a prepaid gift card, you can buy whatever you want and let guests know the special part they played in helping you start married life.

Spread the message:

The sooner family, friends and guests know, the better prepared and informed everyone will be on what to expect from a wishing well wedding.

The bridal party, immediate family and close friends can also inform other guests (especially if they’re too shy to ask) about a couple’s reasons and intentions in asking for cash gifts.

At a wedding reception, you will find the wishing well in a discreet spot. Guests will then slip their wedding card and cash in an envelope and into the decorative box. (Bird cages and mailboxes are also popular choices). Sometimes blank envelopes will be placed on the side for guests who made a quick last minute trip to a nearby ATM.

Money well worth spent:

For most couples, a wishing well is a special but also pragmatic way to start a new married life together. Telling your guests the financial goals or plans to how you’ll be using their cash gifts, is an intimate and courteous acknowledgement of thanks.

Couples can send a photo on how their financial contributions helped kickstart married life.

For some it may be a happy snap of their honeymoon, for others it may the first capture in front of their new home.

Putting a number on it:

Opinions often vary and differ when it comes to how much guests should give the couple. Some suggest contributing to the reception costs and feel that cost per head will be appropriate . However, this concept is has been considered a little outdated.

There are those who believe that depending how close they are to either the bride or groom, should determine how much to contribute.

Ultimately, there is no definite number or value. It’s entirely up to the guest and how much they can and would like to give.

Be gracious

Family and friends will give what they can so remember to accept all gifts graciously.

At some weddings, guests can remain anonymous as to avoid embarrassment. While other guests are happy to let the couple know how much they pitched in.

However you decide to organise a wishing well at your wedding, family, friends and guests will be happy to pitch in. Whether their contribution is big or small, their well-wishes and love for your new life together will be in abundance.

A gift with all the right numbers – makes it lucky!

You’re invited… to a wedding and you immediately start thinking about the wedding gift your friends would like. If the wedding couple are of a different culture to your own, its helpful to know about lucky numbers because if you contribute money to their gift registry, make it a lucky amount!

Australians are a multi-cultural society, with more than 75% identifying with an ancestry other than Australian and about 45% having at least one parent who was born overseas.

Lucky number for multicultural weddings

Here are a few tips to make sure you pick the right lucky numbers for the culture of the happy couple.

Chinese. Eight is a particularly auspicious number. Even numbers are better than odd numbers, except four which should be avoided because in the Chinese language, four sounds similar to death. In China, 666 is an auspicious number as it can mean “Everything goes smoothly”.

If giving cash, the notes should always be new and crisp. Folding the money or giving wrinkled bills is in bad taste. Put the money inside a red envelope as red is a lucky colour. Pink and yellow symbolise happiness and gold for fortune and wealth.

Avoid white, black and blue as they symbolise death and should not be used. Never write a Chinese person’s name in red ink as this is considered bad luck.

Hindu. At a Hindu wedding, numbers ending in one are considered lucky, so it is best to give money in denominations ending in one; for example $101, $151 or $201. Cash is preferable when giving money. Never give a gift made of leather as it is sacrilegious.

Buddhist. Giving money in denominations ending in one is also a Buddhist tradition. If you are giving cash, find a traditional red envelope with gold and black lettering to tuck the money inside.

Jewish. Give money in multiples of 18, which is the numerical equivalent to the Hebrew word ‘chai’ that means ‘life’ in English. Get your calculator out and do the math, as depending on your relationship to the couple, you might want to give $144, which is eight times chai, or 11 times chai, which is $198, or any other multiple of 18.

Lucky or unlucky? Pick a number!

Certain numbers can be regarded as lucky in some cultures, but unlucky in others. Here are just a few examples:

Lucky Number 3: China, Sweden, Italy, USA.

Reason: Considered to be lucky in Chinese philosophy. In Sweden, they say: ‘Good things come in threes’. In Italy, 3 represents a triangle, a symbol for strength and balance.

Unlucky Number 3: Vietnam, Japan

Reason: Superstition says that if a photo shows 3 people, the middle person will die.

Lucky Number 4: Germany

Reason: The number matches the number on the lucky ‘four-leaf clover’.

Unlucky Number 4: China, Japan, Vietnam, or any countries with a Chinese or Japanese influence.

Reason: In China and Japan, the word for number four is similar to the Chinese word for death.

Lucky Number 7: UK, USA, France, Netherlands, or any westernised country.

Reason: Biblical references, 7 wonders of the ancient world, 7 planets of the ancient world.

Unlucky Number 7: China, Vietnam, Thailand, or any country with Chinese influences.

Reason: July or ‘the seventh month’ is the month is where people pay respects to the dead.

Lucky Number 8: China, Japan, Vietnam, or any countries with a Chinese or Japanese influence

Reason: The number 8 in both languages sounds similar to ‘prosper and make money’.

Unlucky Number 8: India

Reason: This is the number of Sani which is a relation breaker, peace breaker.

Lucky Number 9: China, Norway

Reason: In China 9 is the number for the emperor. A sacred number in Norwegian mythology.

Unlucky Number 9:  Japan

Reason: The word sounds similar to ‘suffering’.

Lucky Number 13: Italy

Reason: The number represents St. Anthony, the patron saint of finding things or lost people.

Unlucky Number 13: USA, UK, Sweden, Norway, or any westernised country.

Reason: Associated with unlucky events, mainly the Last Supper.

Lucky Number 39: USA, UK, France, or any country that practices Catholicism

Reason: Sometimes regarded as the number of Divine guidance.

Unlucky Number 39: Afghanistan

Reason: Considered to be a curse as it sounds similar to ‘dead cow’.

Lucky Number 666: China

Reason: In China, 666 can mean ‘Everything goes smoothly’.

Unlucky Number 666: USA, UK, Brazil, or any Christian country.

Reason: In the Bible, 666 is the Number of the Beast.

 

With Gift Card Registry, contribute your gift in the luckiest denomination and wish the happy couple a wonderful future.

To find out more about setting up a registry for gift giving phone 1300 354 632 or visit giftcardregistry.com.au.

Happy ever after… sign the paperwork first!

Your wedding will be a day to remember for the rest of your life, so make it a wonderful occasion!

It sounds simple – just say your vows and sign some forms, then you are married and can celebrate the beginning of a life together. The legal requirements on the day can take just a few minutes.

Only in the movies is a wedding as simple as this! The legalities for your wedding actually start at least a month (and no more than 18 months) before the big day. One month is the minimum notice you are legally required to give before you can get married. And it all starts with the Notice of Intended Marriage, known as the NOIM (Form 13).

Weddings are automatically R18+

Weddings are R-rated in Australia. Not for the guests who can be any age, but for the couple intending to marry. Marriage in Australia is illegal if you are under the age of 18, unless there are special circumstances legally approved by a judge or magistrate.

Once you are 18 you are legally an adult and you can download your NOIM from the registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, or contact your chosen marriage celebrant and they will provide one for you to sign when they meet you person.

Signing the NOIM has certain requirements and documentation is needed for proof of identity.

BEFORE signing the NOIM

As well as booking a date for your wedding, you both need to get together the documents you will need. These must be sighted and verified by the celebrant or other official witness (such as a Justice of the Peace), at the time of the signing of the NOIM.

What you both need:

  1. Your birth certificates.
  2. Your official papers – If one or other of you has been married before you will need to show divorce papers or nullity order, or death certificate.
  3. Your passports, drivers licence, or photo ID card for proof of age.
  4. Name and date of birth of any children from any previous marriage.
  5. Your parents’ full names and birthplaces.

SIGNING the NOIM

You must both be present with the celebrant or official witness so once you have the paperwork requirements, you can make an appointment at least one month (and no longer than 18 months) before the planned wedding date, to meet the celebrant and complete the signing.

AFTER signing the NOIM

Once you have signed the NOIM you can use the one-month waiting period to complete the arrangements for your wedding and countdown to the date.

Set up your Gift Card Registry

Contact Gift Card Registry to set up your online registry before the big day and let your guests know you would prefer them to contribute to the registry, rather than buy a gift. They will appreciate the idea of gift-giving the easy way! With a prepaid gift card you can buy just what you want to start your married life. Visit the website at giftcardregistry.com.au to find out more, or phone 1300 354 632.

On your wedding day

Your wedding can be as elaborate or as simple as you like! The legal requirements are minimal, and are usually included as part of your own personalised ceremony. Here’s what is legally required, everything else is up to you!

Who is legally required to be present?

  • You and your partner
  • The authorised celebrant
  • Two witnesses aged over 18.

What legally needs to be said?

There are many and varied versions of the ceremony, but the key legal components are:

  • The registered marriage celebrant introduces themselves and states their authority to perform the ceremony.
  • The celebrant reminds everyone of the ‘solemn and binding nature of the marriage relationship’.
  • The couple say their vows to each other. You can write the vows yourselves, but they should include wording along the lines of:

I call upon the people here present to witness that I, [full name] take you, [full name] to be my legally wedded husband/wife/spouse from this time onward.

  • The marriage celebrant then declares the couple to be married.

What legally needs to be signed?

Signing of the legal paperwork must be completed by the celebrant, the married couple and the two witnesses. The forms may be downloaded and printed from the Attorney General’s website, with the exception of Form 15, the Certificate of Marriage. The forms are:

  • Form 14: DECLARATION OF NO LEGAL IMPEDIMENT TO MARRIAGE. Each party must declare before the authorised celebrant as to their conjugal status and belief that there is no legal impediment to the marriage.
  • Form 15: OFFICIAL CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE. Given to the couple. This certificate can only be provided by an authorised celebrant.
  • Form 16: OFFICIAL CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE. This certificate must be lodged by the celebrant at the Births, Deaths and Marriages registry within 14 days.

What is the legal status after the ceremony?

Congratulations, you are officially married and have nationwide legal recognition of your status as a married couple. Enjoy your future together!

References:

Attorney General’s Department. Getting married.

https://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarriage/Marriage/Pages/Getting-married.aspx

Marry on Skype? Invite your friends to your wedding on the web

Sharing your wedding day with the people you care about most can be effortless with instant global communication.

In the internet age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Skype, family and friends who are on the other side of the world can be part of the ceremony and join the celebration with just the touch of a button or the swipe of a screen.

From internet dating to webcam wedding

Love has found a new meeting place with internet dating, so it’s easy to use Skype or Facebook to share your ‘virtual’ wedding ceremony and even the reception with family and friends wherever they are in the world.

If they can’t join you at the ceremony, invite them to share the virtual experience through videoconferencing so they can feel part of the special day.

Interstate or across the world

Your family interstate who can’t make it to the wedding can still watch you get married if they have an internet connection.

Your friends overseas who you will catch up with on your honeymoon can’t be there, but they can follow the ceremony as it happens.

Together for your wedding day

The internet that we take for granted and use every day is a network of networks, a global system of interconnected networks that use the Internet protocol suite to link devices worldwide and connect us wherever we are in the world.

Officially, you can’t legally marry online if you and your partner are in different places. This is because the internet is not recognised as a legal entity or a place. You have to be together in the same location, with two witnesses and a registered celebrant to make it legal.

But it is possible for the ceremony to be shared with others through the net.

Making it happen online

As long as the legal aspects are fulfilled in a real location, using video conferencing to include friends and family who are anywhere in the world can be done with some preparation and good timing.

Contact a video conferencing specialist or discuss with the professional photographer who is videoing your wedding to ask if they can set up the connections. Or ask a friend to Do It Yourself!

Planning to share your big day

Some things to consider when you are planning to DIY Skype or video conference your ceremony.

  • Time zones: Consider the timing of your wedding and what the time will be interstate or in the country you are going to connect with.
  • Technology at your venue: Does your venue have the technology you need, or can it be installed for your ceremony? If you are using mobile phone or iPad, is there consistent connectivity? If you are having the ceremony outdoors on the beach or at a park, can you get internet connection?
  • Technology at the destination: Do the overseas or interstate participants have the technology required and know how to use it? They will need to have the same application you are using whether it is Facebook live streaming, WhatsApp or Skype – or your preferred video service. Consider Google Hangouts, Zoom – there are many to choose from depending on the number of devices that need to be connected.
  • You want it to operate seamlessly on the day, so have a trial run a week or so before at the same time of day as the ceremony will be held. Try to make this at the actual wedding rehearsal, or a day in which you just make sure the technology connects.
  • Coordinate: Ask your nerdiest friend or relative to make your web wedding their special project. They should be someone who isn’t in the bridal party and has technical know-how.
  • Mute the guests: You want them to hear you and what is happening in the ceremony, but you may not want their comments broadcast during the event for everyone to hear. Turn the sound back on after the legalities are over.
  • Back up: If the whole technology project is critical to your wedding day success, have a back-up plan if the internet connection fails, the mobile runs out of battery or the project coordinator is unable to attend on the day.

Then you’re ready to share your big day with the world!

Remember, you only need yourselves, two witnesses and the registered celebrant for you to legally get married in Australia. You can have the entire guest list somewhere else and they can watch you get married. It’s a real wedding blended with virtual participation – a day to remember for everyone.

A solution for gifts from distant destinations

Gift Card Registry is the perfect solution for guests to show their love for your both as they can contribute their gift to your virtual wedding. Wherever they are in the world, your guests can go online and add to your registry.

To make it easy for everyone, contact Gift Card Registry to set up your personal online registry a few weeks before your planned wedding day. Let your guests know you would prefer them to contribute to the registry, rather than buy a gift that will incur the high cost of postage from overseas.

Gift giving online made easy

Wherever they are in the world, they will appreciate the simple process of gift-giving online!

When the registry closes, Gift Card Registry will send you the total amount gifted loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard that can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted worldwide.

With a prepaid gift card, you can buy just what you want and let the guests know how you have used the money on the card to start your life together.

Visit the website at giftcardregistry.com.au to find out more or phone Gift Card Registry on 1300 354 632.

Let’s Elope! Can we do it in Australia?

You’re in love and just want to be together forever but feel that a traditional wedding is not your style. Let’s elope!

It would be just the two of you, making your relationship permanent without having to worry about the expense of a wedding, who to invite, where it will be held, and what to wear. Romantic and simple.

Can you just visit the Registry Office and get married tomorrow? It’s a romantic idea, but Australian law requires you to wait at least a month before you can get married.

You first need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NoIM) form which is available online from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in your state. The completed form must be given to your celebrant or lodged with the Registry Office by you and your partner in person at least one calendar month before the wedding.

As well as completing the form, you need to provide original birth certificates (you must both be at least 18), current photo IDs and evidence of the end of any previous marriages (a death certificate or finalised divorce papers). Note that after a divorce is granted, the final papers are issued one month and one day later.

Both parties must sign the ‘Declaration of no legal impediment to marriage’, to declare you are over 18 years, and that there is no legal impediment to your marriage.

The waiting period:

  • If this is the first marriage for both of you or a previous spouse is deceased, allow at least a month for the legal requirements.
  • If one or both of you is divorced, you will need to allow a minimum of two months and one day for the legal paperwork
  • Make an appointment to lodge your NoIM at the Registry office and be interviewed
  • Make an appointment for your wedding ceremony.

Your wedding day:

  • Take along two witnesses who are aged over 18
  • You can invite a few guests as some Registries allow for up to 12-20 people to attend
  • Both partners sign declarations that they are over the age of 18 years, not legally married to someone else and are not directly related to each other
  • Write your own vows or use the standard wording of the short civil ceremony
  • Your celebrant will solemnise your marriage and you will exchange marriage vows and rings
  • You, your partner and your witnesses will sign up to three marriage certificates
  • After your wedding, your marriage will be registered with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State or Territory where your marriage took place.

Check the details and arrangements required on the website for Births, Deaths and Marriages in your State of Territory.

Find out more here: https://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/Pages/marriages/registry-marriages.aspx

After the ceremony:

  • Keep costs down by asking a friend to take photos or book a professional wedding photographer within your budget and needs.
  • Celebrate with a post-elopement party with friends and family. You may have eloped Australian-style, take the opportunity to celebrate as a newly married couple!
  • Set up a Gift Card Registry for those who would like to give a wedding present.

For a whirlwind wedding, consider getting married overseas!

The Smartraveller website has detailed information about getting married overseas.

Find out more: https://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/all-travellers/birth-death-marriage/pages/getting-married-overseas.aspx

An overseas marriage cannot be registered in Australia, but will generally be recognised in Australia if it:

  • was a valid marriage in the overseas country
  • would have been recognised as valid under Australian law if the marriage had taken place in Australia.

In New Zealand, only three working days are required for a marriage licence and the marriage age is over 16.

Find out more at https://www.govt.nz/browse/family-and-whanau/getting-married/how-to-get-married-in-nz/

Buck the trend – your 12-point checklist for a great stag party

When you’re asked to organise the bucks party before your friend’s wedding, make it one to remember, not one you’d rather forget. If the bride-to-be has seen the movie The Hangover, she’ll want you to use it as a guide book for what not to do at the groom’s last party before the big day. So, break with tradition and make your own story!

Bucks parties can be in the news for all the wrong reasons – so here’s some ideas to keep in mind that will tick all the boxes and have everyone back home ready for the main event – the wedding.

Dos and Don’ts – Your Checklist:

  1. DO talk to the groom about the date and style of party he wants and the activities he would prefer. You can outsource the planning to event companies that specialise in bucks parties!
    DON’T go ahead and make plans without talking to him first.
  2. DO set the date. A few weeks before the wedding, preferably on a weekend, but not the weekend of the wedding rehearsal.
    DON’T plan the party for the night before the wedding.
  3. DO set a budget. What’s affordable for you and the others who are coming?
    DON’T assume everyone will be happy to kick in for unlimited amounts of alcohol. The bills can add up quickly and no-one wants to pay extra.
  4. DO talk to the groom to choose some activities that the whole group will enjoy. Thrill-seeker or conservative, the party is for him, so tailor the activities that will suit.
    DON’T assume everyone wants strippers and alcohol.
  5. DO suggest a weekend away, a harbour cruise, paintballing, golf, water skiing, wine tasting, white water rafting, a celebratory dinner, a night out on the town, or a camping trip.
    DON’T include tattooing, base jumping, sky diving, cave diving, chartering a boat, motor cycle riding, wild boar hunting, or a rifle range if you are going to be drinking.
  6. DO prepare a guest list.
    DON’T leave the list to the last minute. The more notice you can give, the better.
  7. DO send out invitations – just to those you want to attend.
    DON’T end up with unwanted gate crashers. If you use social media, make sure you send the invitation to a closed group.
  8. DO keep track of RSVPs so you can make bookings for the right numbers.
    DON’T forget to follow up those who don’t reply on time. Last minute opt-ins can play havoc with reservations.
  9. DO ask the group to pay up front so you can make bookings for the event once you have the numbers. Use Gift Card Registry for a special party fundraiser so everyone can go online to make their payment for the event.
    DON’T over book for those who can’t give you a definite answer or you could end up footing the bill for those who don’t attend.
  10. DO plan for food as well as alcohol.
    DON’T buy the beer without the pizzas.
  11. DO keep it safe and legal. The object of the bucks party is to have a great time with the groom-to-be before his big day. Make it a memorable occasion for all the right reasons.
    DON’T forget, you are the organiser, bookings are made in your name and you will be responsible for any damage.
  12. DO vet what you plan to share on social media. Get everyone to agree not to upload photos if they could cause embarrassment later, specially for the bride-to-be.
    DON’T take photos you wouldn’t want the groom’s mother to see! Remember, ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’.

Set up a Gift Card Registry

To set up a registry specifically for the bucks party, go to Gift Card Registry at giftcardregistry.com.au, or phone 1300 354 632.

At Gift Card Registry you can set up a convenient, secure and easy-to-use registry for the people you want to invite, and they can leave messages for you when they add their contribution.

Once the registry has closed on the date you specify, Gift Card Registry will send the total amount loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard to you to use for travel, accommodation, food and beverages or party bookings. The prepaid Mastercard can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted online, in Australia or overseas. It’s the perfect solution to organising contributions for the bucks party!

Lounge in a limo or board the bus – it’s your hen’s party!

When your bestie is planning her wedding and you’re organising the hen’s party, make it one to remember, not one you’d rather forget. Break with tradition and write your own story!

Ignore the tired tradition of sparkly headgear and fluffy boas, take a look at these original ideas for a hen’s party that will have you thinking further than the local pub. Keep in mind that the celebration is for the bride-to-be to celebrate with her bridesmaids and friends before the main event – the wedding.

Check out these themes for a memorable hen’s party. Wherever you are, there are ideas for a fun occasion.

  • Weekend Wine Tasting – Try all the wines you ever wanted to sip at a cellar door. This can be a one-day experience or the highlight of a hen’s weekend away to a wine region such as the New South Wales’ Hunter Valley, Victoria’s Yarra Valley, Western Australia’s Margaret River, South Australia’s Coonawarra and Barossa Valley. The choice is yours!
  • Hire a Party Bus –Visit all the trendy venues in the city! You can tailor a party for your group and you won’t need a designated driver or taxis. You can pick and choose the locations. Some companies even provide on-bus entertainment, so you never miss a moment of fun!
  • Let’s Go Cooking – indulge in a cooking class with your hen’s team – everyone can join in and you can make it as up-market or casual as you like. For a no-frills day of fun, food and festivities, theme it My Kitchen Rules and hold it in the backyard for a girls-only barbecue. If MasterChef is more your style, check out the cooking classes in your city to find a fantastic hands-on chef experience with matching wines. You can book a bus trip for a seafood cooking class, find out how to bake bread and even take a lesson in how to make pickles!
  • Pamper Me – choose the best spa in your city and find a package deal for the whole group. An all-time favourite, there is nothing like an indulgent pedicure, facial and massage to prepare for the upcoming nuptials. Find a package that combines the pampering with champagne and a night out complete with stretch limo to make an unforgettable experience. Or make it an overnight stay.
  • Adrenalin Adventure – for thrills and excitement, consider overnight glamping, go-karting, paintballing, jet boating or party boat cruise. Consider the age group of your hens before suggesting this one!
  • High Tea Indulgence – Sip cocktails and champagne while sampling some elegant sandwiches and macarons. Research some of the city hotels that feature high tea events and make a booking well in advance. Perfect as a half-day party and the ideal celebration if you are including the mothers of the bride and groom on the invite list.

For a successful hen’s party, tick off this ‘chicklist’:

Your 8-Point Party Chicklist:

  1. BRIDE’S PREFERENCES: Talk to the bride about the date and style of party she wants and the activities she would prefer before you book anything. It’s all about her, so she has the final say!
  2. TIMING: Plan for a party well before the wedding.
  3. BUDGET: Affordable or indulgent? Ask the others what they are prepared to pay and set a budget.
  4. ACTIVITIES: Pick activities that the whole group will enjoy. Remember, the party is for the bride-to-be, so tailor the activities to what she is comfortable with.
  5. PAYMENT: Set up a Gift Card Registry for a special party fundraiser so everyone can go online to make their payment for the event. This ensures the group pays up front, so you can make bookings for the event once you have the numbers.
  6. INVITATIONS: Send out invitations and include the details of Gift Card Registry for payment. If you use social media, make sure you send the invitation to a closed group.
  7. RSVPS: Keep track of RSVPs so you can make bookings for the right numbers. Follow up those who don’t reply on time.
  8. SOCIAL MEDIA: Decide before the event what you plan to share on social media. Get everyone’s agreement not to upload embarrassing photos.

Gift Card Registry makes planning easy

Once you have organised the style of event, booked the date and decided on the guest list, it’s time to set up a registry to collect the payments specifically for the hen’s party. Before you send out the invitations, go to Gift Card Registry at giftcardregistry.com.au, or phone 1300 354 632.

Once set up you can include a link or web address for Gift Card Registry on the invitations. It’s easy to use, secure and convenient for the people you want to invite, and they can leave messages when they add their contribution.

Specify an end date and when it arrives, Gift Card Registry will send the total amount loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard to you to use for the bookings. As the prepaid Mastercard can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted in Australia or overseas as well as online, it’s the easy solution to organising payment for the hen’s party!

Planning to wed – 12 point checklist for your same-sex wedding

Wishing and hoping for a happy marriage? The stats are on your side – research predicts your same-sex relationship and marriage is destined to be happy. It’s time to stop procrastinating and start planning to formalise your relationship by marrying the one you love.

Recent research from the University of Queensland* analysing data from 9,206 individuals in Australia showed:

  • Relationship quality in same-sex couples in Australia is higher than in heterosexual couples.
  • Gay and lesbian couples are well placed to raise children in warm and loving environments.
  • Men in gay unions were rated as having the highest quality relationships, followed by women in lesbian unions, men in heterosexual unions then women in heterosexual unions.

You and your partner know ‘love is love’ and now the research proves it.

Since 9 December 2017, same-sex couples have the legal right to marry in Australia. So, if you are amongst the gay couples thinking about making a commitment to marry, now is the time to start planning.

How do we start the process?

Everyone planning to get married in Australia must complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM), available from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in every state.  The completed form must be given to your registered celebrant at least one month and one day before the intended date of marriage.

What’s next for our wedding?

For the wedding of your dreams, you need to look for people who will be supportive and happy to be involved in a gay wedding, from the venue, caterers, celebrant, entertainment and even when buying the rings and the suits.

Where can we find gay-friendly wedding professionals?

Equally Wed, Australia’s leading same-sex wedding directory is a good place to start when you are looking for gay-friendly wedding professionals.

Covering Australian states, New Zealand and the Pacific, the directory is the go-to destination for everything associated with planning a gay or lesbian wedding. You’ll find a range of celebrants, suppliers, venues and entertainers who are supporters of Marriage Equality to make your wedding a day to remember.

Your wedding countdown

When you’re planning a wonderful wedding together, start with a budget – how much you want to spend (or can afford) and what sort of wedding you want:

  1. BUDGET – start with what you can afford.
  2. DESIGN – decide on the style of wedding you want.

Date, venue and celebrant are co-dependent. You need to negotiate to align the three.

  1. DATE – depends on where you want the wedding and finding a gay-friendly celebrant.
  2. VENUE OR VENUES – ceremony and reception or combined?
  3. CELEBRANT – Check the Equally Wed directory or ask gay friends for a recommendation to find a gay-friendly celebrant. Book well in advance.

For a memorable experience, you need to work out who to invite, what to wear and all the details for the wedding day.

Add these to your checklist:

  1. WHO TO INVITE – Best man, groomsmen – it’s your choice! Sort out your guest list.
  2. GIFT CARD REGISTRY –before you send out the invites, set up a Gift Card Registry and add the details to the invitations. No unwanted toasters or crystal glasses. Guests can contribute to the gift card registry and with the prepaid Mastercard you can buy the gifts yourself, in your own time. Gift Card Registry makes gift giving easy and no need for refunds or returns!
  3. WHAT TO WEAR – Do it your way – both of you in black/white, or complementary suits?
  4. WEDDING ARRANGEMENTS – find gay-friendly suppliers and discuss what you both want. You may be able to negotiate a discount for your special event invitations, photographer, florist, cake, wedding cars, entertainment/music, personal grooming.
  5. THE HONEYMOON – in Australia or overseas? Your choice.
  6. MEET THE CELEBRANT – at least one month before the intended date of your wedding you need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage and give this to your celebrant. Take the opportunity to talk about the ceremony and your vows.
  7. WEDDING DAY COUNTDOWN – finalise the arrangements a few weeks before the wedding. You need to confirm:
  • dates and times with venues and participants
  • RSVPs, finalise guest numbers, arrange a seating plan
  • an MC for the reception
  • hotel bookings for out-of-town guests
  • final suit fittings and any accessories
  • music, order of service for the wedding
  • wording of vows and wedding speech
  • a rehearsal with all members of the bridal party
  • honeymoon arrangements.

Your wedding day

It’s your big day. Research says you are beginning a lifetime of happiness. The data confirms – love is love!

Gift Card Registry makes gift giving easy

Using Gift Card Registry is secure and easy for everyone to use. After the wedding, Gift Card Registry will send the total amount loaded onto a prepaid Mastercard for you to buy the gifts you really want. For more information on Gift Card Registry phone 1300 354 632 or find out more at giftcardregistry.com.au.

Reference:

*Sexual Identity and Relationship Quality in Australia and the United Kingdom. December 2017. Francisco Perales and Janeen Baxter, Life Course Centre, Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland.

Data from 25,348 individuals in the United Kingdom (Understanding Society study) and 9,206 individuals in Australia (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey) were used to estimate regression models predicting relationship quality while adjusting for confounds.

Results showed relationship quality in same-sex couples was as high as in heterosexual couples in the United Kingdom, and higher in Australia. The lowest relationship quality in both countries was reported by bisexual individuals. This can be taken as evidence that gay and lesbian couples are well placed to raise children in warm and loving environments.

In Australia, the analogous relationship quality ordering of couple types is men in gay unions, women in lesbian unions, men in heterosexual unions, women in heterosexual unions, individuals in other couples types, bisexual men partnered with heterosexual women and finally bisexual women partnered with heterosexual men.

The report can be read in full here.