9 Common NOIM mistakes

9 Common NOIM mistakes

Avoiding 9 common mistakes on the NOIM form

First, the NOIM form

Ready to marry? Then you’re ready to fill in the first piece of paper to start your Marriage process;
the Notice Of Intended Marriage (NOIM).

The Australian Marriage Act “requires that a marriage shall not be solemnised unless a notice in writing of the intended marriage is given to the marriage celebrant.” This is done on the prescribed form, the NOIM.

Having been a marriage celebrant on the Queensland Sunshine Coast for more than 12 years, I have assisted newly engaged couples with their marriage forms.
After many hundreds of weddings, and thus hundreds of marriage certificates, I have seen a variety of mistakes that a marriage celebrant has to deal with.

All these can be avoided by asking Kari for access to your very own personal portal that has easy boxes to fill.  I will send you the link, and off we go together to get your paperwork perfect…. long before the wedding.  Once the portal is filled in, you can get back to the fun part of creating your unique wedding.

If you would prefer to full in a paper form, there is a link here (NOIM):

There are 9 common mistakes which occur on a NOIM form.  And they are all innocent errors. Perhaps this page can help.

NOIM form

9 Common Mistakes on the NOIM

The first form a couple wishing to marry must contemplate is called the Notice Of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form.

There are several common mistakes that are made on the NOIM. Let’s look at those:

1 Black – the official colour on paper forms

If you’re filling in a paper form, preferably use a black pen. Black is an official colour; easy to read. Use block letters or printing to fill in the form.
Or better still,      download an interactive pdf version.
This form allows you to fill in the fields on the computer, and save it as your own form.  Once saved, you can print it ready to take to your celebrant.

2 Names

In the Surname section, write your current surname. Make sure it is written as per your birth certificate, or previous marriage certificate if you took a married name. Use all hyphens, accents, apostrophes or capitals and lowercase as necessary.
For example :          MacDougal-Das Gupta    or    Mc Tavish    or    De Cruz    or    de la Cueva    or    O’Sullivan

Given Names section, list all your names except your surname; first and all your middle names. Make sure all the names from your birth certificate are listed on the form. Write them in full. Don’t leave any out.

For example :       Patricia Martinella Jane Francesca

Hang on…. there’s one exception … don’t include any names that may have been added as a part of baptism and don’t appear on your birth certificate.

3 Occupation

Write your occupation as a proper noun, the person doing the job, not the job or the department.
Thus use Administrator rather than administration, or Human resource manager rather than human resources

4 Conjugal status

I’m afraid “single” does not cut it in the world of government forms.  You need to be more specific!

There are a few choices in this category. It is important to choose the correct one that reflects your actual legal status.

The most common one is, Never validly married. Don’t forget the little word validly. It is also an important word. I mean, that wedding you had in preschool with your little mate, may have been as real as ever when you were 4 years old, and we don’t wish to discredit the sincerity of that occasion at the time..  But the crucial point here is that it was not valid!!!

Other choices are widower or widow if your previous spouse died. Widow for a woman whose partner died, and Widower for a man whose partner died.

Divorced – is the other option, if you have legally divorced from a previous spouse. You will need to present evidence of the divorce to your celebrant. This needs to be the original divorce decree document, not a photocopy.

Annulment –  if your marriage was dissolved through a legal annulment – a very rare scenario.

5 Birthplace

Check your birth certificate. You may have always believed you were born in “Sydney”, but perhaps your birth certificate lists “Darlinghurst” as your birthplace. You and I know this is kind of the same thing, because – yes Darlinghurst is in Sydney. But official departments in Cambodia, for example, may not know this. If your marriage certificates and forms, closely match your birth certificate, you are less likely to encounter difficulties in the future. Who knows what the future may bring. Let’s not create any potential room for future bureaucratic grief.

6 Parent one’s full current name

Some families have Mother and Father, other families have different scenarios.  The gender non specific nature of the current marriage forms allow for a parent to be a non specific gender.  This approach is inclusive of same-sex parents, parents who do not identify as male or female, and parties who only have one legal parent.

If Parent 1 is your Dad, then:

Even if the family just calls him Bill or Jazza , write your dad’s full legal name, including all his middle names;

For example :           Joshua Blake William Forsham-Smythe

6b Father’s full birth name

Occasionally people have a change of name during their lifetime.  What is Dad’s name on his birth certificate?

7 Parent two’s full current name

If Parent 2 is your Mum, what is her legal name today?

For example :             Maria Antoinette Forsham-Smythe       (This would include a married surname or current name)

7b Parent two’s full birth name

This is usually the name they were born with, a maiden/batchelor name; the FULL maiden name, which means all the names including the surname on their birth certificate, even if the name has changed since they or you were born.
For example :             Maria Antoinette Lisette de Vries

To satisfy the requirement under the Marriage Act 1961 it is up to the parties to list their parents using the names as they know them by. Parties do not need to supply evidence of their parents’ names or countries of birth, but it helps if all your ID matches into the future.  This is why a birth certificate can help with your marriage paperwork.

8 Divorce date

Another common error on NOIM forms is the DATE OF DIVORCE. This is the date the court decrees the divorce to come into effect – “becomes absolute”. It is not the date of application, nor the date of the court hearing.
It is the date near the end of the page.


…….and lastly

9 signing the form

Don’t sign the form yet. Your signatures need to be witnessed by an appropriate witness. Most often it is your celebrant who will witness your signatures.  But there are other options.
Here’s the list of “appropriate” witnesses as listed on the form:


There you go…. it’s all in fine print on the form itself.

Lodgement of the NOIM

This form is lodged with (or given to) the celebrant. It is from this form that most of the information for your marriage certificates is taken. So it is important to get it right. Thus your marriage certificate will also be correct. And you want it to be correct! Your marriage certificate forms part of your ongoing legal identity. So you want it to match your other forms of ID too. If it matches, you are less likely to come across issues with your ID papers in the future.

Once your NOIM form is with your celebrant, you can relax. Your celebrant should take care of all the paperwork from here on. A good celebrant will cross check all that you have filled in to make sure it is legal, and fulfils all that is required for your marriage to also be legal.

When to lodge

The NOIM must be lodged with your celebrant at least one month prior to your wedding.  So if your wedding dates is 25th August, then it must be lodged before the 24th July for example.  The form lasts for 18 months from the signature date.  So you may loge the form any time within these parameters, between one and 18 months prior to your wedding.

A Marriage Celebrant

Choosing a good celebrant is also crucial!

Contact me if you have any questions… even if you don’t book with me.  I am happy to assist where I can.

And know that once the NOIM is lodged, the hardest part is over!!!! From here on the fun can begin. Let me show you how.

Now you just need to find that perfect dress!

wine wedding dressThanks to my colleagues, celebrants Karen Faa and Merlin Coughlan, for their input into this article.
Another story will be about choosing your correct ID documents.

Lovebirds married in Byron

Lovebirds married in Byron

The lovebirds

One of the most memorable weddings I have ever had the privilege to attend was that of “the lovebirds”.  Married at dawn in a stunning and emotional ceremony, Alicia and Jimmy had been nicknamed the lovebirds for quite a while.

They asked if I would travel to Byron Bay for a wedding.  “Of course,” I answered.

“Would you be prepared to conduct the ceremony at dawn came the next question.”  “OF COURSE!!!”

How exciting.  How magnificent. What a privilege it was working for these two, who did everything with such joy and enthusiasm and complete openness to love.

Dawn ceremony

I was the first person on the beach that day.. actually it was still night as I needed to arrive before dawn to be ready.  In darkness I walked on the beach mapping out where we would stand, and where the lapping waves came to… trying to work out exactly which direction the sun would rise in.

Luckily we had walked through everything the day before.

As a completion of the ceremony, they walked into the gentle sea and sang to each other. Then wrapped their arms around each other and fell into the ocean’s sweet bliss.  A baptism of new beginnings from a love long held true.

Words cannot come close to describing the joy of this ceremony, the laughter, the wrap around love from close family.

But this video prepared by Jimmy may help to explain:

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere  –  they’re in each other all along,


[cq_vc_gallery images=”37914,37916,37910,37920,37911,37912,37913,37915″]

This is what they said…..

Please show others how magical you are and how magnificent love can be!!!

We are both truly blessed to have lived that day and to remember what a wonderful gift you gave us, 

……being the beautiful celebrant that you are allowing us to freely show our true wholesome love, completely being in the moment and just rolling with it….Utterly remarkable 

Love, love love ❤️ 

The Love Birds x x x

A winning wedding in Maleny

A winning wedding in Maleny

Maleny Wedding

Congratulations to Karla and Matt. Theirs was a winning Maleny wedding.
This wedding was nominated as one of only five weddings shortlisted for “Wedding of the Year” by Junebug Weddings.

A story

Most importantly, their day appeared as if out of a storybook. It was a fairytale come true at Maleny Retreat, which is one of Australia’s most breath taking wedding locations. Maleny Retreat offers you freedom. That is to say, you get to design your own wedding.  You are free to create your own style on a blank canvas. For a wedding in Maleny area, it is delightful choice.

Maleny Retreat is a sumptuous canvas to which you can add your detailing and style.

Looking out over the Glass House Mountains, Karla and Matt’s wedding ceremony looked picture perfect. The vista takes in the serene Tibrogargan, and his family of mountain peeks. Guests arrived to drop their gear in luxury tent style accommodation. The party began before the wedding even started!

A sultry sky provided an awesome and dreamy backdrop for the photos taken by the awesome Bec of Ash and Stone Photography.

Take a peek at the storyboard of their ceremony:


































Celebrant for mother AND daughter

Celebrant for mother AND daughter

Yes I was the celebrant for both, the mother and the daughter…. but not at the same wedding!

sunshine-coast-wedding-photographer-matt-rowe-324Two views from on high. Two very beautiful brides. Two weddings. One family!

As a Sunshine Coast celebrant, I often get called upon to marry daughters.  That sounds odd, doesn’t it!

But consider that for nearly every wedding a parent walks a daughter down the aisle.

Sometimes I get to marry a mother.  Often her son or daughter walks with her down the aisle.

But how special to be celebrant to both the mother on her Coolum Beach wedding day, then a few years later to the daughter for her Maleny wedding.

Let’s back track a little.

[cq_vc_gallery images=”37738,37739,37737″]

Camille and Simon were wed on the cliff top of Yaroomba Beach.  They wanted a casual ceremony, outdoors, and a reception at a long table under the trees.

When Simon and Camille met at Uni, Simon was instantly attracted.  That attraction never wore off!  It just took a while before Camille returned the notice.  Did she ask him out? No she asked for help with her homework.  Now there’s a good opening line!  Over many years they had been friends, best friends and lovers.  They thrived on each others’ company. They said to me, why not marry your best friend?

Their wedding day was perfect; sunny, a small breeze, and a view out over a blue, blue sea. Their wedding on the dune top was just perfect looking over a perfect view of ocean magic.  Almost too perfect… Simon was just slightly tempted by the waves..!

When we were planning their wedding, I asked Simon about his Scottish ancestry.  He replied that there is no way he was wearing a kilt!  Okay, I said.  No reason to!

But then as we talked about rituals and weddings he noticed a section in my ceremony folio, which inspired us to create a custom ritual for their very own wedding.

This is what I said during their ceremony;

Given Simon’s ancestry he wished to draw on a Scottish Wedding tradition in which the Groom presents the Bride with a silver teaspoon on their wedding day to symbolise that they will never go hungry. 

Given Simon’s profession as a chef, he has decided on giving her a soup ladle. He is adamant that she will NEVER go hungry! The spoon they have chosen is made by the Ndebele tribe of sth Africa, well known for their colourful artwork.  It was bought via a fair trade collaboration community project.

Also a traditional sword dance is often performed at a Scottish wedding reception.  We look forward to Simon’s dancing on his carving knives after the dinner!

Take note of the bridesmaid in lavender pink….

Fast forward a few years and I get a phone call from Jiline, asking me to be her celebrant.

And delighted I became the celebrant for the daughter.

Jiline had in mind a very different wedding.  Djoel and her chose an elegant and serene wedding in the Chapel at Weddings at Tiffanys in Maleny. Another clifftop, possibly somewhat higher than the dunes at Yaroomba.  But with an equally splendid view, this one of the Glass House Mountains.

Thanks to Matt Rowe Photography for these amazing images:

[cq_vc_gallery images=”37759,37760,37762,37763,37765,37777,37775,37773,37772,37767,37776,37780″]

Yes I was the celebrant for both, the mother and the daughter…. but not at the same wedding!

Two views from on high. Two very beautiful brides. Two weddings. One family!

As a Sunshine Coast celebrant, I often get called upon to marry daughters.  That sounds odd, doesn’t it!

But consider that for nearly every wedding a parent walks a daughter down the aisle.

Sometimes I get to marry a mother.  Often her son or daughter walks with her down the aisle.

But how special to be celebrant to both the mother on her Coolum Beach wedding day, then a few years later to the daughter for her Maleny wedding.

Let’s back track a little.