The Life of a Northern Beaches Celebrant: What Does a Celebrant Do?

Did you know that over 80% of marriage ceremonies in Australia are now performed by celebrants? With over 9,000 celebrants conducting over 120,000 weddings each year, they play a crucial role in creating unforgettable wedding experiences. If you’re wondering what does a celebrant do, they are responsible for officiating weddings and ensuring the ceremony reflects the couple’s personalities and values.

Here’s what to expect when you choose to have a ceremony with a celebrant:

Why Choose a Celebrant for Your Wedding?

A celebrant brings a personal touch to your wedding ceremony. Unlike traditional religious or registry office weddings, a celebrant can tailor the ceremony to reflect your unique love story, values, and vision. Here’s a detailed look at what celebrants offer and why they might be the perfect choice for your special day.

What Types of Ceremonies Can Celebrants Perform?

Celebrants are authorised to conduct various ceremonies, including weddings, and offer flexibility to suit your needs. These can include:

  • Wedding Ceremonies: From intimate elopements to grand celebrations, celebrants can tailor the ceremony to reflect your love story and preferences.
  • Funerals: Providing compassionate and respectful services to honour and remember loved ones.
  • Renewal of Vows: Celebrate your enduring love with a vow renewal ceremony, customised to reflect your journey together.
  • Naming Ceremonies: Welcoming a new addition to the family with a personalised naming ceremony.

Where Can Celebrants Perform Ceremonies?

And, celebrants are authorised to conduct ceremonies at events of all locations and sizes to suit your needs. These can include:

  • Any location: Whether it’s at home, in a significant area, in a park, by the water, on the beach, up a mountain, in a forest, in a garden, on a boat, or at a venue of your choice, the possibilities are endless.
  • Any number of guests: Invite as many guests as you like, but you must have at least two witnesses over the age of 18.
  • Any ceremony length: From a quick 5-minute legal ceremony to a detailed 30-minute celebration, the length is up to you.
  • Any time you like: Want a ceremony at sunrise or or New Years Eve? Have a ceremony anytime you like, provided you give at least one month’s notice to your celebrant.

But, let’s focus on what a celebrant does when it comes to wedding planning.

Weddings: What Does a Celebrant Charge and What’s Included?

In New South Wales, a simple registry wedding can cost over $600, covering the ceremony, two witnesses, legal paperwork, and a marriage certificate. Given this, it’s unsurprising that most celebrants charge between $700 and $2,000 for their services. This fee typically includes activities including:

  • Initial Consultation: An obligation-free meeting to discuss your vision and requirements.
  • Ceremony Planning: Tailoring the ceremony to your preferences, including script development and coordination.
  • Legal Paperwork: Handling all necessary legal documents, such as the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM).
  • Rehearsal: A run-through of the ceremony to ensure everyone is comfortable.
  • The Ceremony: Conducting the wedding and ensuring all legalities are adhered to.
  • Post-Ceremony Paperwork: Lodging the marriage documents with the relevant authorities.

In essence, they are involved in your wedding before, on the day and after its finished.

Process Before, During and After the Big Day

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, but understanding the step-by-step process with your celebrant can ease the stress. This guide outlines each stage, from the initial enquiry to post-ceremony tasks, ensuring you know what to expect and how to prepare for your special day:

  • Enquiry: Make an initial enquiry and receive a follow-up email.
  • Obligation-Free Chat: Meet virtually or in person to discuss your needs and determine if the celebrant is a good fit.
  • Confirmation: Receive a confirmation email with all necessary attachments, including a booking form, ceremony guide, marriage education resources, and an invoice.
  • Documentation: Submit required documents such as birth certificates, photo IDs, and any previous marriage certificates.
  • NOIM Ready to Sign: Meet to sign the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM).
  • Ceremony Draft: Prepare a ceremony script
  • Declaration Signing: Meet to sign the declaration of no legal impediment to marriage.
  • Ceremony Revisions: Make final changes to the ceremony script if needed.
  • Rehearsal: Conduct a rehearsal or talk through the ceremony at the venue if possible.
  • Wedding Ceremony: Let’s get married!

So, are you interested in involving a wedding celebrant for your big day? My top tip is to get started early to ensure you have the right person available on your wedding day.

How to Choose the Right Wedding Celebrant for You

The benefits of having a celebrant are numerous, and finding one that suits your style is key. Here are some tips to help you choose the right celebrant:

  • Research: Look at their website, Instagram, and Facebook pages to get a sense of their style.
  • Reviews and Photos: Check reviews, view photos, and watch video examples.
  • Meet and Greet: Arrange an initial meeting to see if they are a good fit.
  • Ask Questions: Clarify any concerns and ask about their process, attire, and ceremony style.

See our blog for the top 20 questions to ask a celebrant to get started.

Making Your Wedding Day Memorable

Throughout the planning process and on the day itself, your celebrant’s focus is on you. They aim to make you feel comfortable, ensure the ceremony proceedings are smooth, and help you create unforgettable memories. With the right celebrant, your wedding day will be a celebration of your love, surrounded by those who matter most to you.

Choosing a celebrant means having the flexibility to create a ceremony that truly represents your love story. From the initial planning stages to the moment you say “I do,” a celebrant is there to support and guide you, making your wedding day everything you’ve dreamed of and more.

By understanding what a celebrant does and the process they follow, you can ensure your wedding day is tailored to your vision. The personal touch and flexibility they offer make celebrants a popular choice for couples looking to create a unique and memorable ceremony. ​​


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