You are here:

Guide To Picking the Right Marriage Celebrant

Hey there, lovers! Today, we’re diving deep into the world of marriage celebrants—those special individuals who craft beautiful love stories into legally binding ceremonies. Put simply, a wedding isn’t really a legal wedding without them, so they are pretty essential to your day.

But where to start? Hold onto your veil, and let’s examine what celebrants do and how to find the right one for you.

Celebrate Celebrants

Picture this: You’re standing at the arbour, surrounded by your nearest and dearest, with your partner’s eyes locked onto yours with pure adoration. If you are like most couples on your wedding day, you are probably experiencing nerves right now as you try to remember everything you need to say and do.

This is the moment that a celebrant will step in and smoothly take control. That is why it is important to find one that reflects the vibe of your wedding day perfectly. Whether it is a laid-back approach, a nurturing, calm voice, a former reality star or someone who will give you the religious element you are after, there is a celebrant for every type of wedding. Yes, even ones that release doves.

Celebrants vs. Officiants: Explaining the Difference

It is important to know the difference between authorised wedding celebrants in Australia:

  • Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants. Perform non-religious civil ceremonies.
  • Commonwealth-registered religious marriage celebrants. These celebrants will usually only perform ceremonies that align with their religious beliefs. Before booking with them, they must let you know if this is the case.
  • Ministers of religion who are from a recognised Australian Religion
  • State and territory officers. While these officers do not conduct religious ceremonies, generally, judges, registrars, etc, they will run through all the legal bits to make you legally married.

In Australia, all authorised marriage celebrants are kept in a database managed by the Attorney General’s office, so you can easily check if a celebrant is legally authorised to conduct your ceremony.

So what does a celebrant do?

Your celebrant has some important jobs in order to make sure your wedding is legal. They will help you fill out all the relevant paperwork:

  • Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM): Think of this as your official heads-up to the wedding world. Fill out this form, slide it over to your celebrant or registry office, and voila! You’re officially on the wedding radar. Just make sure to do it at least a month before the big day to avoid any last-minute chaos.
  • Proof of Identity: It’s time to whip out those IDs and show them who you are!
  • Declaration of No Legal Impediment: the document you sign to confirm that you’re free and clear to say “I do.” It’s just a fancy way of saying you’re not already married or breaking any laws by getting married.
  • Marriage Certificate: Once the vows are said and the confetti’s flown, your celebrant will sort out this golden ticket to wedded bliss. Hold onto it tight – it’s your official stamp of “we did it!”

Your celebrant will handle the registration of your marriage with the Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in the relevant state or territory.

FCF Pro Tip – Your celebrant may also ask you to fill in some background forms so they can get to know you better. Take time to fill this out so they can personalise it, especially for you.

Eenie Meanie Minie Moe – Choosing the right celebrant for you

wedding flowers

So, where to start in your journey to find the right one for you? Here are some things to consider when choosing your celebrant:

  • Vibes Matter: First things first, you have to click with your celebrant. You want someone who gets you and your partner, who listens and understands what you’re all about. A great celebrant will be all about making your ceremony unique to your love story. Whether you’re into traditions, want your pet there, a dawn ceremony by the ocean, sound bowl therapy or whatever else is important to you, they’ll be on board.
  • Experience Counts: You want someone who knows their stuff so look for a celebrant who’s who’s done ceremonies like yours before. Ask about their background, qualifications, and all that jazz. Experience means they’ll handle any hiccups with ease, make sure all the legal stuff is covered and most importantly make your day extra special.
  • Do Your Research: make sure before booking your celebrant you have done your research so you feel comfortable with your choice. If you can’t meet with them in person, then arrange a Skype call and check out their social media so you can get a genuine feel for their style and see how many weddings they do. Ask for referrals from your other suppliers. Stylists, florists and photographers work with celebrants every day, so they are a good source of knowledge. Finally, have a look at their online reviews and visit their website and Facebook page. You’ll know them when you find them!

Go Like a Pro and Choose Local

As a wedding planner, we are always getting asked for celebrant recommendations. And our advice is always for local celebrants. Why? Because they know all the ceremony locations (including how long it takes to find a car park – even in Noosa in the school holidays!), are used to the weather conditions if you are planning an outdoor ceremony and work well with your other local vendors to get the best outcome. Plus, you are supporting a small local business!

So there you have it — the ins and outs of marriage celebrants unveiled. Ready to embark on your journey to “I do”? Let’s make a beautiful wedding day together!