Considering becoming a marriage celebrant?

Considering becoming a marriage celebrant? Pixabay 542894
Becoming a celebrant is a journey into wisdom, maturity and understanding of self and others.

It could also be a journey into poverty .............. if one does not have the financial and other resources to do the work !

Have you seen some celebrancy course advertisements implying YOU can make  $75 per hour as a celebrant?

The current annual average gross income for independent civil celebrants from wedding work is approx. $6,000 per annum.

In 2018, the average number of weddings per annum  is ten (10) weddings per year.

Certainly after expenses, many celebrants do not make a reasonable hourly rate for this woork.

This webpage outlines some of the financial considerations of being a celebrant.

Hourly rates between $1.42 per hour and $ 29.30 per hour.

FAST FORWARD for the basis for this calculation

THINK AGAIN if you are tempted to

.... start an extremely demanding new home based small business
.... with no more information than the cost of the course and a promise of what could look like making big bucks at a happy event ?

THINK AGAIN if you think this is an easy way -  or 'anyway' - to add to your family income ..

The truth is that a large proportion of existing celebrants
* will not recover their real set-up costs in less than five years, and
* will never earn incomes over what the Tax Office considers a "hobby" income
* will not receive a professional hourly rate for their wedding work, after all expenses covered

The TCN recommends that before you enrol in the Certficate IV in Celebrancy course that you attend a Setting Up A Small Business Seminar or Workshop

Most State Governments, have a small business website,
with a range of valuable information - on line learning, or you can attend seminars/workshops at very low cost or for free.
The TCN makes these points because WE CARE that potential celebrants:
* do not lose precious family resources, without being fully informed of the choices they make
* plan well, if they decide to enter this "career" area
* do become caring competent knowledgeable well skilled and effective professional celebrants
* are capable of making a decent hourly rate from the work they do.
* understand that without government funding, or church incomes, independent civil celebrants have a long way to go to build successful careers.

The TCN believes to develop strong celebrancy practices in the long run, requires sufficient numbers of celebrants:
* being clear about the challenges they face and
* being prepared to work together  to create new celebrancy work opportunities for themselves and their communities.

If that's you, the TCN is here to inspire, encourage and support you.



So if you have been a salaried worker with little or no small business experience it will be hard to gain a clear picture of your true earning power.

What hourly rate do you currently earn ?

To work out a comparable hourly rate as a celebrant you will need to predict accurately :

* Annual Gross Income
* Annual Net Expenditure (to acquire that income)
* The full number of hours you work in planning conducting and reviewing the ceremonies you deliver, not just the time in front of the guests
* The full number of hours you work in establishing, developing, promoting and evaluating your celebrancy small business practice.

Then your Celebrancy Hourly Rate = Net Income (Annual Gross minus Annual Expenditure) divided by Total Number of Hours Worked.

* Annual Total (Gross) Income

* The types of ceremonies you perform
* How many paid ceremonies you obtain
* What fees you can charge for these ceremonies

This will depend upon
* Your age
* Your appearance
* Your personality
* Your image
* Your location
* Your competition
* Your small business knowledge and skills
* Your people
knowledge and skills
* Your celebrancy
knowledge and skills
* Your wealth
* Your family, friends and other contacts and support
* Your luck

* Net Expenditure

SET-UP costs
* proportioned across number of years practice
* Need to be covered before any "real" additional

* Training Costs
- 13 units of Certificate IV in Celebrancy course fees
- associated administration and travel costs for course

* Set-Up Small Business
- office equipment (Computer, Software, Camera, Desk, Phone/Fax, Filing, Cabinets, Fax, Brief Case )
- office stationery (business cars, certificates, ceremony planners, )
- mobile phone, reliable motor vehicle, umbrella, PA system
- Celebrant website
- Celebrancy library of legal and other resources
- Celebrancy clothing (higher quality than day-to-day wear)

This will depend upon
* How much of this equipment you currently have
* Whether it needs upgrading
* What quality and quantity of the items your prepared to or can afford to buy

* Phone rental, Internet connection /downloads/
* Power and office cleaning costs
* Clothing - dry cleaning and repairs
* Batteries, printing cartridges and other "disposables"
* Printing and stationery supplies
* Advertising costs
* Small business Networking costs
* Website maintenance and upgrade costs
* Yellow pages advertising
* Other Advertising - print and internet
* Promotions budget - eg wedding expos
* Office equipment maintenance and replacement budget
* Celebrant associations / network memberships
* Ongoing Professional Development - Compulsory
* Ongoing Professional Development - Voluntary
Say = $ 5,500 pa for 10 weddings
Say = $ 8,000 pa for 50 weddings

Your Net Income then = Annual Gross Income minus Annual Gross Costs

Let's say you were able to conduct 10 weddings per year, roughly the estimated average number available per celebrant per year.
At $ 600 each wedding, that is $6000 gross income.

This requires approx 10 hours of your time for each  wedding =100 hours
Plus the 5 hours per week spent in working on your celebrancy practice = 250 hours
This equals 350 hours

Hourly Rate for 10 weddings pa:
Net Income ($6,000 - $5,500) equals $ 500 now divided by the (total 350 hours )
= $ 1.42 per hour.

Surely you jest ?

... But let's say you are

a REALLY EXCEPTIONAL person and celebrant

Let's look at conducting 50 weddings per year (one a week), TEN times the estimated average number available per celebrant per year.
At $ 600 each wedding, this equals $ 30,000 pa gross

Your time for 50 weddings requires approx 10 hours of your time each (500 hours) 

Plus the 5 hours per week spent in working on your celebrancy practice (250 hours)

Hourly Rate for 50 weddings pa:
Net Income ( $30,000 - $8,000) equals $ 22,000 now divided by the (total 750 hours or 21.5 weeks of yours and your family's life)
= $ 29.30 per hour.

So now you have done some figures, do you think $ 75 per hour for celebrancy work is likely for YOU?

In 2016, the Coalition of Celebrant Associations (CoCA) Inc conducted a survey of civil marriage celebrants showed:

 67% of celebrants earning less than $10,000 pa gross.

78% of celebrants earning less than $20,000 pa gross.

6% of celebrants earning between than $20,000 and $30,000 pa gross.

and only 10% earning over $30,000 pa gross.

Reference: Question 15.

 Question 15 CoCA Survey

FAST RETURN to read more

Please note the above does not assess the non-financial rewards and costs of being a marriage celebrant.


Last modified on Wednesday, 29 January 2020 14:14