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How much does a marriage celebrant cost??

Civil Celebrants charge their own fee depending on the services they provide.  There is a myth that goes around from time to time that Civil Marriage Celebrants charge from $500 for 20 minutes work.  Let’s explore this myth a bit further and see where it takes us...
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How much does a celebrant cost

Between the time they met and the ceremony, Jill also went to her hairdresser to ensure her hair was neat and presentable. She al... Read More
Wednesday, 23 May 2018 17:28
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11 Questions to Ask Your Celebrant

First of all,  what is the role of the celebrant?

The role of a civil celebrant is to:

  • work with couples and families to create a beautiful, meaningful ceremony that suits their style.
and in addition for a marriage ceremony:
  • witness two consenting adults entering into a legal and binding relationship.  
  • complete all the legal paperwork and make sure that it is all done within the strict legal rules set in the Marriage Act of 1961. 

Here are some questions that you might consider when engaging a civil celebrant.

1. Are you available on the date I’ve chosen for my wedding/anniversary party/baby naming/funeral?
This is probably the most important of questions because if the celebrant is not available on your preferred day, then the rest of the questions are irrelevant.

2. What paperwork is required before we can get married?
This is a great question because there is a strict time-frame as to when you need to have initial paperwork lodged with your celebrant.
3. Can we meet and get to know each other before we decide?

Of course! It’s always a good idea to meet with your celebrant and make sure you feel comfortable with them and that you get a feeling of trust - after all, they will be taking care of a very important event for you and your loved ones.


Image source:

3. What services do you offer?

This can be used as a good comparison between celebrants, but it also gives you reassurance that you will be receiving everything that you want/need for your ceremony.

4. What happens during the ceremony?

If you’ve not been to too many ceremonies - weddings, namings or funerals, you may not be aware of how a ceremony works.  Asking this question will help to give you a visual of how the ceremony will flow.
For example in a marriage ceremony where everyone will stand or when you’ll be able to kiss your new husband.


Photo credit: Shell Brown

5. Are you willing to travel?

Fairly important if you’re planning to have your ceremony 500kms away from where the celebrant lives!

6. Do you provide a PA system?

As part of the Celebrant Code of Practice, celebrants must make sure that the ceremony can be heard.  So if you’re having your ceremony on the beach or in a field, it’s important that your celebrant is able to provide a good quality PA system.


Image source: Pixabay

7. Do you have or will you take any other bookings on the same day?

Some celebrants will book more than one ceremony on a day, which is completely fine – however a professional celebrant will make sure there is enough time to get between venues without rushing and missing anything. 


Image source:
8.  Why did you become a celebrant and what do you enjoy about being a celebrant?
Getting to know your celebrant a little and finding out what they love about being a celebrant should help you to decide whether they are a good fit for your style, your personality and your ceremony.


Photo: TCN Celebrant Scott Broadbridge-Brown - Beyond Celebrancy
9. Are you a member of a professional celebrant association like TCN?

Professional celebrant associations like TCN - (The Celebrants Network) offer their members support, assistance and ongoing professional development.  Celebrants who are a part of an association are able to network with colleagues and share their knowledge and experience whilst having access to a vast amount of information to help improve their skills.
10. What are your fees?
Once you’ve decided that you'd like this celebrant to be a part of your ceremony, that is the time that you’d ask them about their fees.  Obviously each element of your ceremony needs to fit into a budget, but try not to make your decision based on fees alone. The ceremony is often the part that makes the event different to other family gatherings or parties, and remembered most when beautifully designed and delivered.
In regard to weddings, an article was written recently about the costs of weddings and the break down listed the celebrant as the lowest cost item on people’s budgets, which is surprising when you think of the amount of work that is done to personalise a ceremony and the fact that your marriage can’t actually begin without a celebrant.


Image source: ASIC - Money Smart
11. Would you like to be our celebrant?

What a wonderful offer.  I’d be honoured!


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How does the cost of a celebrant fit in with your budget?

Congratulations, you are getting married and are busy working out where you want the ceremony and the reception, the wedding gown, the photographer, how many guests (and do you really have to invite all of the cousins?), who is in the bridal party, rings, cars, cakes, the list goes on. 

And the costs escalate.  Escalate very quickly.

So, where does the celebrant fit into your budget? Celebrant fees can range from $300 to over $1,000 depending on your location and the celebrant. A good tip is to check the fees for your state’s Registry Office, who provide a basic marriage ceremony and expect the fees of an independent celebrant, who comes to your venue of choice and provides a personalised service to charge more than that.

So, you are sitting there with your budget wondering why anyone could charge that much money for less than an hour’s work? 

A celebrant will spend an average of between 10 and 20 hours working on your wedding. Holding meetings with you, making sure all of the legal paperwork is correct, and then making sure the correct paperwork is lodged with the Birth Death and Marriages Section in your state. They will also write a special ceremony for you, with all of your wishes included, they will organise rehearsals of your ceremony and then, on the big day, they will perform your wedding ceremony and make sure that your wedding is legal. 

Without the celebrant, your wedding is just a great party. The celebrant ensures that your party is actually a wedding. 

SO, how do you budget for your celebrant? First, you need to select your celebrant, and do that based on which one feels right for you, not based on their cost. And make sure that you book the date with them, and pay your deposit. 

Then, you can work out the best way to budget for the celebrant, in the same way you would budget for your cake, your reception, the photographer, the hairdresser. 

Some celebrants will happily work with you to organise a “lay by” scheme, whilst others have a scheduled three payment option. Talk with your celebrant about the best options for both of you. 

Having your perfect celebrant perform your perfect wedding ceremony is something that you will remember for the rest of your life.

With your perfect celebrant you can create magic on your wedding day and you can find your perfect celebrant in the TCN directory by clicking here.

READ MORE about Civil Celebrants by clicking here. 

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Thank you for joining us....

?? We would love it if you would let us know what you think ?.  

There is a comment section ? at the bottom ⬇ of the blog for you to do just that.  

?Click on the word "Comment" and go for it!

? Don't forget to subscribe ? to this blog - the "subscribe" button is up the top of the page ⇞⇞⇞ and the blog will magically ?? appear in your email inbox ?.

Also please feel free to share ? our blog on your social media ? so we can spread the love ?! 

Please use this ? link: when you share. ?

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