The Ultimate Guide to choosing the perfect Marriage Celebrant

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marriage celebrant

The importance of a Marriage Celebrant and why you need to find the perfect one?

Choosing the perfect marriage celebrant is like choosing the right pair of shoes.  You have to like them; you have to feel comfortable, and they have to be within your budget.

But there is so much more you need to know about a marriage celebrant and how you can find the right one for your wedding.

And it is not just you and your partner that has to feel relaxed with the celebrant, and they also need to be able to make your guests feel comfortable and relaxed.

Why is a wedding celebrant so crucial, and what is their role?

Let’s face it. If you do not have a marriage celebrant or someone authorised to perform a wedding ceremony, you are unable to get married legally.

And outside of a wedding planner and wedding venue, this needs to be one of the first things on your supplier lists to book.

Your wedding celebrant will help you plan your ceremony, and they will help you with vows if you do not want to write your own, and they will guide you through the entire process of your ceremony.

Research local wedding celebrants.

When you start looking for celebrants, it is a good idea to start researching.  Whether you use Google, Facebook or wedding directories to do it is up to you.

But start with local first before to widen your search.  To get an idea of who is closest to you or one that is close to your venue, especially if you have a tight budget.

Look at their websites and look at the weddings they have done.  If they have the info on there read what ceremonies they do.  This is good if you are after a particular type of wedding ceremony.

Read their website testimonials and google reviews to see what past couples have said about their service.

Email a few that you like to see who is available on the date you have set for your wedding.  And compile a list of those you love.

Some critical questions you need to ask your celebrant!

When you first email or chat to a potential wedding celebrant, you must ask the right questions to get the information that you need to see if they are the right one for you.

  1. How much does it cost?
    Celebrants vary in price, depending on their experience and travel.  It is also good to get a breakdown of the costs if you feel you need to.  But I can tell you the price will not just involve their service and the travel, but there is also the registration fee as well for you to get married.
  2. What is their Cancellation Policy?
    It is always good to know, as something unforeseen may happen, and you may need to cancel or postpone the wedding.
  3. What is provided on the day of the wedding ceremony?
    It is good to find out what they will have on the day.  Marriage Celebrants will provide their amp and mic, where some will bring the signing table and music to play during the ceremony.
  4. What happens if they get sick or are unable to perform the service?
    You have asked about the cancellation policy for you, but what if something happens and your celebrant is unable to perform the ceremony for you.  You need to make sure that there is something in place for if that happens.

When do I need to book a wedding celebrant?

It is good to book them as soon as you possibly can, usually within the first 12 to 6 months of your wedding planning, but no later than one month before the wedding date.

Meeting with your celebrant before hiring them is essential.

Every celebrant will want to hold a face to face consultation with you both before you hire them.

This is so the celebrant can get to know you both as individuals and as a couple.  And like wedding planners, they like to find out what you envision for your ceremony.  So they know how best to help you plan the perfect wedding ceremony.

It is also so you can make sure you can all connect and that you feel comfortable with who you will be choosing for the most crucial part of the day.

How important is humour at a wedding ceremony?

This section was written by a wonderful celebrant I work with Ken Hatherley from It’s Your Day Ceremonies – The People’s Celebrant, and he talks about the importance of humour at your wedding ceremony.

Having been a marriage celebrant since 2009, I have come to realise the importance of humour, when conducting a wedding ceremony.

To quote a yesteryear comic Milton Berle, “Laughter is an instant vacation”. Therefore, when I think of ceremonies, and how to convey the bride and groom’s story, a touch of humour lightens the mood and makes it an enjoyable experience for all concerned. Having fun is often contagious.

Careful consideration is always taken, respectful that everyone has different views on what is funny and what is not. Subtlety and timing mean everything.

Sometimes it can just be a particular look or an action, or even a pause when narrating the couple’s story.

The last thing I would want is for the bride and groom and guests attending, to be wishing and hoping that the ceremony would end, due to boredom.

A ceremony with laughter captures the moment and is spoken about in years to come.

It will be remembered for all the right reasons.

E.E. Cummings once wrote: “The most wasted of all days, is one without laughter”.

What makes a marriage celebrant great?

A great celebrant will get to know both of you, and get to know the story behind the couple.  Celebrants are storytellers; they are the ones telling your story to your guests.

And for this, they need to great with public speaking.  Not afraid to engage your guests and the bridal party.  Along with have some fun doing it and making it fun for all.

They can put you the couple at ease, while some people are ok in the spotlight, and some that are not.  Or the nerves can just get the best of you.  Your celebrant will help you keep calm and put your mind at ease while standing in front of everyone.

Your celebrant should be knowledgeable.  Here in Australia, we have so many different cultures and different beliefs.

Open-minded is another excellent quality for a celebrant, along with being multi-cultural, Australia now welcomes same-sex marriages, and I have to say I have not come across a celebrant that is not open-minded to that.  In fact, they have all embraced this change with open arms.

Do I need to have a wedding ceremony rehearsal?

No, you do not have to have a wedding rehearsal, but it is a good idea to have one.  It helps you to time how long everything is going to take, especially if you are going to be adding extra personal touches to the ceremony.

It helps you; your partner and the bridal party get familiar with how everything will be done.  Where they need to stand, who is walking down the aisle and in what order.  As well as giving you all a practice run of what will be said.

Other Wedding Suppliers, you require.

A celebrant is not the only wedding supplier you will need, and to help you work out what other vendors are available for your wedding I have written a blog on “What wedding suppliers you need for your wedding?”  Be sure to check it out so you can get a good idea what types of wedding suppliers are out there.

Share your thoughts.

I would love to hear about your experiences with choosing your wedding celebrant.  Feel free to put your comments below for others to read.

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