Weddings in Vanuatu are recognised legally worldwide. At least a month prior to the ceremony copies of the following documents will be lodged with the Vanuatu Registry office on your behalf (so that you do not need to attend in person):
- Passports and birth certificates
- Divorce papers or former spouse’s Death Certificate if applicable
- A completed Notice Of Intention to Marry Form
- Completed Witness Forms – 2 witnesses are required but the wedding coordinator can organise witnesses if couples don’t have guests with them. Witness details needed include names, dates of birth, where born, parents’ names, place of residence and occupation.
On the day, following the ceremony, you will sign the Registry, have that witnessed and be presented with your Marriage Certificate. On return to Australia you can present your Marriage Certificate at your bank to change an account to the bride’s new surname and the Certificate and the new bank account details will be sufficient to change the name on your driver’s licence. To renew a passport with a change of name you will need to submit a form to Births, Deaths and Marriages requesting a change of name.
You can’t register the marriage with Australian Births, Deaths & Marriages as the wedding has been officially registered in Vanuatu. If this is of concern, it is simple to arrange for a civil ceremony in Australia and then have a romantic devotion ceremony in Vanuatu.