1.) How do I choose the best civil marriage celebrant?
Choosing your marriage celebrant
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. Choosing the right marriage celebrant will make sure your day is a memorable one.
You should ensure your proposed celebrant is authorised as a marriage celebrant under the Marriage Act 1961 by checking the Register of Marriage Celebrants or the List of Authorised Marriage Celebrants. You will find marriage celebrants from religious organisations as well as celebrants from non-recognised denominations on the list of authorised marriage celebrants.
You should make an appointment to meet a celebrant if you are uncertain. It is also advisable to confirm your wedding arrangements in writing in plenty of time before the day.
Marriage celebrants are encouraged to offer a choice of ceremonies where this is appropriate, or assist the couple in writing their own. You should feel comfortable with your celebrant and feel confident that he/she suits your needs and will complement your special day.
Providing notice of your intended marriage
Making a complaint
A mechanism has been developed to deal with complaints against marriage celebrants. If a complaint is found to be justified, sanctions may include a caution, a requirement that further professional development be undertaken, up to six (6) months suspension or deregistration.
Marriage celebrants have a right to be advised of a complaint against them and to put whatever material they think appropriate to the Registrar in their defence.
2.) Do marriage celebrants travel?
Does a Marriage Celebrant travel away from his/her local area?
Yes, most Marriage Celebrants are prepared to travel some distance from their homes, but there may be some who would prefer not to. However, you may have to pay an additional charge for mileage depending on the distance to be traveled; and if you require your Marriage Celebrant to travel other than by their own vehicle, you are responsible for the cost of airfares, ferry tickets or the like. You would therefore be well advised to check on this aspect with your Marriage Celebrant when you first enquire about the services he/she can provide.
3.) How much does a civil marriage celebrant cost?
Information on marriage celebrant fees
Civil marriage celebrants, authorised by the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department, are entitled to charge for any services that they provide. Fees for weddings are not fixed and may vary from marriage celebrant to marriage celebrant. Make sure you reach an agreement on the fees before asking the celebrant to hold a date. You should also ensure you understand what charges are non-refundable and obtain a written statement of all fees and charges. Quality civil marriage celebrants spend a considerable period of time planning for your wedding day and have associated costs like all small business. For budgeting plan on between $500 – $800 plus travel if more than about 30 minutes from the marriage celebants home/office.
4.)When should the marriage celebrant arrive?
How long before the wedding does the Marriage Celebrant have to arrive?
According to the Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants, your Marriage Celebrant should arrive at the venue for your ceremony no later than the time that had been agreed with you in your discussions with him/her prior to your wedding. Your Marriage Celebrant should allow sufficient time for laying out the required paperwork and for setting-up and testing his/her equipment (if it is to be used) in a timely manner.
However, where your Marriage Celebrant has been engaged to perform other marriages on the same day as yours, the Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants stipulates very clearly that he/she must be available at the venue for your marriage ceremony at least 20 minutes before the agreed commencement time (unless, of course, the Marriage Celebrant in question will be conducting consecutive ceremonies at the same venue).
5.) Do marriage celebrants need to provide a rehearsal?
Code of Practice re wedding rehearsals
The Code of Practice for Civil Marriage Celebrants states your celebrant, if requested, will conduct a rehearsal. The Celebrant may charge a fee for this service. Discuss options and costs with your Celebrant.
6.) How do we change our marriage celebrant?
Transfering your NOIM
If for some reason you need to change your marriage celebrant, it is the responsibility of the first marriage celebrant to ensure the Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) form is transferred safely to the second celebrant by hand or registered post. You must ask the celebrant to transfer the notice for you.
7.) Notice of Intended Marriage
Notice of Intended Marriage form to be lodged with marriage celebrant minimum i day and 1 month prior to wedding and up to maximum 18 month prior to wedding