Recognised religious denominations
For the purposes of the Marriage Act 1961.
Many religious organisations allow their ministers to perform marriage ceremonies.
For ministers to legally perform a ceremony, the organisation must:
- be listed as a recognised denomination under the Marriage Act 1961
- nominate its ministers to be authorised celebrants
- be registered by the relevant state or territory registry of births, deaths and marriages.
The Marriage (Recognised Denominations) Proclamation 2018 lists all religious organisations recognised for the purposes of the Marriage Act.
Ministers of religion not associated with a recognised denomination may be authorised as a Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant or religious marriage celebrant through the Marriage Celebrants Program.
Authorised marriage celebrants including ministers of religion can download marriage forms.
Becoming a recognised denomination
Religious organisations may apply for proclamation as a recognised denomination under the Marriage Act 1961.
The guidelines on how to become a recognised denomination were revised in May 2013. More information is available in the following information sheet:
Applications should be sent to:
Attn: Marriage Law and Celebrants Section
3–5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600
For more information about recognised denominations, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marriage Law and Celebrants Section
1800 550 343
Outside Australia: +61 2 6141 3111
3-5 National Circuit BARTON ACT 2600