FAQs & Fiction


With close to 300 weddings and elopements under our belt, we are pretty confident that we can answer your questions.

Johanna, the Civil Marriage Celebrant at Vows Now, has married couples in secret; couples who booked us with only 1 calendar month notice; runaway bride; brides who ditched the big wedding; grooms who wore Crocs™; cousins who married each other; couples facing deployment; pregnant brides; barefoot weddings; couples who divorced and privately remarried each other; mature couples; couples facing illness; minor celebrity weddings; live video streamed elopements; clifftop weddings; beach weddings; no wedding rings exchanged; planned from overseas weddings; legals only weddings; funny weddings; Registry Office style weddings; marriages inside prison; surprise engagement party weddings; birthday parties that turned into weddings; double weddings with siblings; flexible date weddings; magazine worthy weddings; elopements that were blogged; marriages with no honeymoon; kids at weddings; weddings while camping; music festival nuptials; horse and motorbike weddings; sunrise elopements; sunset vows, restaurant vow exchanges; completely private weddings with supplied witnesses; jumping castle weddings; legalizing fancy destination ceremonies; vows exchanged in hospital, marrying long term de facto couples; quick weddings before childbirth.

If you can think of it, chances are we’ve done it or are up for the challenge!

So as we noticed, that there’s a handful of most popular queries that we’re being constantly asked about eloping, we’ve decided to compile a definitive FAQ for those… Here it is:

Q:    Why do couples choose to elope?

A:   Many reasons!

Some couples find the stress and expense of planning a “Big Wedding” to be overwhelming. Some dread the thought of standing in front of a large crowd as the centre of attention. Some choose to elope to make their wedding day a truly intimate, romantic experience. Some choose to avoid issues with family about religion or culture. Some people are so in love that they simply can’t wait to be married. Some have been down that aisle before.

Whatever your reason, be it wedding cost, ease, intimacy, that embarrassing Uncle who thinks he’s Elvis, Johanna will make your wedding day about you.

Vows Now offer Simple, Legal and Affordable Marriage ceremonies for those who want to Get JUST Married®

Q: How do I make a booking?

A:  Easy. Just click the booking enquiry link which can be found at the top of the page.

Once I have confirmed your booking, I will email you a link to where you can make your online deposit.

Q: What is the shortest ceremony available?

A:   At Vows Now we specialise in short ceremonies! You can Get Just Married® in as little as 3 minutes.

In order to have a legal wedding ceremony, as the Celebrant I need to say the Monitum, specific words to ensure the couple understand the significance of a legal wedding.  There must also be an exchange of vows in front of 2 witnesses over 18 years of age, that can be as simple as   “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I (First name, Middle name, Surname) take you, (First name, Middle name, Surname) to be my lawful wedded husband/wife/spouse”.

You’ll be off on your Honeymoon faster than I can say “You may now kiss the bride/groom/spouse/person standing closest to you”.

There are some people that are shy, prefer to avoid crowds or would rather the intimacy of just marrying without a cast of thousands looking on. Vows Now understand this as I chose exactly this style of ceremony when I married my husband. We had the Celebrant’s wife and a photographer act as our witnesses and opted to say the bare minimum wording. We signed the legal documents and headed off for a lovely lunch for two! Legal, yet romantic, intimate, fuss free and inexpensive.

Why not call Vows Now to Get Just Married®?

Q: What does it cost to Get JUST Married®?

A:   All of our pricing is clearly available on our Dollars and Dates page.

Vows Now Marriage Ceremonies are generally short, simple and relaxed and have been designed for couples who don’t want to spend a fortune on all the Wedding Bells and Whistles that come with a traditional wedding, yet still want a fun, personal and legal Marriage Ceremony.

You can have a stress-free, intimate wedding experience at a price that is competitive with a Registry Office Wedding at the location of your choice. Better still, our ceremonies are short and sweet so you can be on your Honeymoon in next to no time.

Q: Where can we elope?

A:   Vows Now is on the New South Wales Central Coast in Australia.

We are approximately 1½ hours north of Sydney on the shores of Lake Macquarie at Wyee.

Johanna can marry you in your own home or a location of your choice*.


*Additional fees may apply for return travel in excess of 100km.

Q: What do we wear to our ceremony?

A:   You can wear whatever you like!

At Vows Now we don’t expect you to conform to any traditional wedding attire. It is more common for a Vows Now nearlywed to wear a sun dress or jeans than a wedding dress. I’ve married couples who are barefoot and couples who have worn Crocs™ (yes, seriously). You can wear pajamas if that’s what makes you comfortable.

We’d prefer that you wear clothes of some description…Our ceremonies are brief enough!

Q:  What will the Celebrant wear for our wedding ceremony?

A:   You can tell me what you’d like me to wear. I have a range of outfits from formal dresses to jeans. My outfit will be chosen to suit your ceremony.

I can even wear Fancy Dress if you’d like to have a theme wedding. (Additional fees will apply for costume hire).

Q: Can we have a photographer at our wedding?

A:   Sure!

We can recommend plenty of professional photographers who can offer you a reasonably priced photo package. You could even consider asking the photographer to be one of your witnesses to your marriage (I did!).

Alternatively if you’d like to have some amateur photos taken of you on your wedding day, I’d be happy to take some for you using either your camera or mine. If we ask him nicely my husband will also take some shots if he’s available.

Q: My fiancé(e) is overseas. How do we organise to marry in Australia?

A:  The first thing that needs to be done to be legally married in Australia is to submit a Notice of Intended Marriage Form (NoIM). This can be completed a few different ways, given that your Fiancé is Overseas.

  1. You can complete the form and submit it to me, with your Fiancé(e) signing the form when he/she arrives in Australia – he/she can sign the form anytime BEFORE the marriage ceremony takes place.
  2. You can have your Fiancé(e) complete the form (his/her signature must be witnessed by – an Australian Diplomatic Officer, an Australian Consular Officer, an employee of the Commonwealth authorized under paragraph 3 (c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, an employee of the Australian Trade, Commission authorized under paragraph 3 (d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955 or a notary public). Your Fiancé(e) can send you the form with his/her signature witnessed by any of the above and we can finalise your section of the paperwork together. You can then submit it to me. Prior to the Marriage Ceremony I will need to see your ORIGINAL Birth Certificate and also your Fiancé(e)s Passport and/or Birth Certificate too. If you don’t have these available now, that is OK, provided I see them before the wedding takes place.

You can discuss together which option is easiest for you in terms of lodging the NOIM Form. Once I have the Notice of Intended Marriage Form, I can supply a letter to accompany the Prospective Spouse Visa (if required). It would normally only take me a day or two to organize and return this to you once I have all the information (fees apply for this service). Basically the form needs to say that I have been supplied with the NOIM Form and you are planning to marry and the wedding date. It is always best to seek professional legal advice, relevant to your individual immigration situation.

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Tara and Matt married on Saturday in front of their families on their 10th anniversary together. They had a fabulous catered dinner and the luxurious
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Contact Johanna at Vows Now

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