A wedding ceremony with a celebrant

Did you know that over 70% of marriage ceremonies are now performed by celebrants in Australia? There are more than 9000 celebrants in Australia and we perform over 120,000 weddings a year. Here’s what to expect if you choose to have a ceremony with a celebrant;

What price will they charge and what’s included?

In NSW to have a simple registry wedding you can expect to pay over $600 for a ceremony with 2 witnesses, legal paperwork lodged and a marriage certificate. It’s not surprising that most celebrants these days charge between $500-$1000 for their services, depending on their experience and sometimes the type of ceremony.

What range of ceremonies do celebrants do?

Celebrants can officiate a variety of ceremonies;

  • Where? Anywhere you like! At home, a significant location to you, at a park, by the water, on the beach, up a mountain, by the forest, in a garden, on a boat, or at a venue of your choice. My top three would be Bilpin Resort – Blue Mountains, Narrabeen Beach + SLSC – Northern Beaches and Athol Hall, overlooking the harbour – Mosman.
  • Who with? You may invite any number of people but you must have 2 witnesses over the age of 18.
  • What happens? There will be a beautiful ceremony held and you will be legally married. This could take anywhere from 5 minutes – 30 minutes depending on what you include.
  • When can we get married? Any day or time (sunset to midnight) you like but you must give 1 months notice to your celebrant.

The process before the big day

A celebrant might like to offer you an obligation free meeting first to help you make your decision. You could go virtual and chat online or you might like to grab a coffee (or better yet a wine + cheese!). If you decide that celebrant is a perfect match for you both then we are usually pretty excited to hear about this as soon as possible via email, text or any other creative way. I’m the most excited when family and close friends announce ‘I’m engaged and you’re marrying us!’

After the celebrant is locked in then they’ll need to meet with you to sign the legal paperwork including the NOIM which has to be lodged with us a month before the day. Leading up to the big day a celebrant should make sure that the ceremony is perfect to deliver on the day. You can have as much or as little input as you wish and the celebrant also will have lots of suggestions they can provide to you to get ideas! A final meeting or rehearsal should be offered to make the couple feel comfortable on the day. On the day the celebrant will be ready and organised to make you legally married (partners for life)!

Length of ceremony

One of the biggest surprises to couples is that a wedding ceremony could actually be completed in just 57 seconds if it needed to be but ceremonies usually are a little longer than that. What we have to include and the legal wording required is very brief so the rest is completely up to you. It is the additional extras that are placed in the ceremony (aside from what is required by the government) that make your ceremony unique and special. Ceremonies usually run for approximately 20-30 minutes.

A celebrant for you

The benefits of having a celebrant that you can choose is they suit your style or reflect you as a couple. Research celebrants on their website, instagram and Facebook to get a feel if they would be a match for your wedding ceremony. View their reviews, see their photos and even watch a video example. When you meet with them (before you book) you can get a further understanding for who they are as a celebrant and ask any other questions to help make your decision.

What we like to do or wear

A celebrant should let the spotlight be on you (if you want it!). We can officiate the entire ceremony from anywhere… to the side or in the middle is popular. We like to make sure guests feel comfortable beforehand and during the ceremony to make everyone feel relaxed.
When you are ‘stalking’ your celebrant’s photos you might like to see what they wear to other weddings and think about an outfit preference for them on your wedding day. I’ve been asked to wear white, not wear black, wear bright colours to reflect their culture, wear florals to make the bridesmaids and other particular requests. We’d rather you be happy and want to fit in on the day with your ideals.

All about you

It’s important throughout the planning and on the day that YOU are the focus. You both have decided to get married and to celebrate your love for each other, with those that mean the most to you. Think about what you envisage your ceremony to be like with a celebrant. Ask yourself if your celebrant will help you to feel comfortable during the process, be relaxed with the ceremony proceedings and will you remember this important day forever with the perfect ceremony?