We are looking for a celebrant but don’t know where to start. How do we choose the right person?
Whatever your occasion, it is clearly a significant day for you and your family. It is therefore important that you feel comfortable with your celebrant and have confidence in their ability to conduct your ceremony in line with your ideas. Remember, the celebrant sets the scene for the whole celebration.
I suggest you meet with several celebrants to get a feel for how their personality and service will fit with you. I offer an obligation free meeting where we can discuss your occasion and share ideas. Face to face is the best option but if this isn’t possible then we can do this over the phone or via video Skype.
We have chosen you as our celebrant. What happens next?
Once we have confirmed my availability for the date of your occasion, we will organise a time to meet face to face. At this meeting we will complete any necessary paperwork and discuss ideas for your ceremony. A non-refundable deposit is payable at this point to hold your date. Following the meeting I will provide you with a range of resources to assist you in finalising your words. I will also email you a draft of your ceremony based on our discussions. We can then converse via phone and email to complete your ceremony.
About two weeks out from the ceremony we will confirm the final ceremony. The remainder of your ceremony fee is also paid at this time. Depending on the occasion we can also have a rehearsal about a week before the ceremony. At the end of the ceremony I’ll present you with your certificates and a keepsake copy of your ceremony. I’ll then complete any necessary paperwork and, if required, register your wedding or commitment.
Don’t worry, in our first meeting we will go through all of this to make sure we are all comfortable with what will happen and when. In my follow up email I’ll also give you a guide to refer back to.
What are the fees for your service?
The standard fees I charge are below. In some instances there may be additional cost, for example for significant travel (over 50km) or where overnight accommodation is required. All fees specific to your occasion will be provided to you in writing prior to any deposit being accepted.
|Occasion||Non-refundable deposit||Total fee payable|
|Renewal of Vows||$250||$650|
How long before our ceremony do we need to contact you?
This depends on the type of occasion and the time of year/week – Saturday afternoons are very popular particularly between September and March. It is important to remember that many ceremonies are booked at least 6 months in advance so the earlier you contact me the more likely it is that I am available on your preferred date.
For weddings you are required to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage at least 1 month before your ceremony. The Notice is then valid for 18 months. Without this Notice you cannot legally marry in Australia. For other ceremonies there is no specific timeframe but it is important that we have time to put together a meaningful and complete ceremony.
What should we bring to the first meeting?
For all occasions before we meet think about the type of ceremony you would like and bring along any ideas you have for words, music, people you would like involved, etc. If you are getting married the following information is required to complete the Notice of Intended Marriage:
- You must both be 18 years of age or older – please bring along photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport
- If one of you is under 18 years then you will require guardian and court approval – see the Marriage Act 1961 for more details
- Original birth certificates or extracts for both of you
- If born overseas, you can use either your overseas passport or birth certificate, with official translation if not in English
- If you’ve changed your name (other than through marriage) then a change of name certificate is also required
- If either of you have been previously married, I will need to see the Annulment Certificate, Decree Absolute or Death Certificate
- Details for the wedding including date, time, venue and the names of your two witnesses who must be at least 18 years old