Newly authorised celebrant?

Wow - what an honour !

Congratulations on the beginning of a journey we trust you will find enriching.

The TCN hopes you will come to share our vision of celebrancy - "a celebrant for all occasions" .... even if you start out with weddings

After the initial excitement, you may find some anxiety and confusion about how to get started.

You will be bombarded with information about associations, ongoing professional development, celebrant equipment, wedding website advertising, and so much more ....

Everyone will want your business, including us :-)

So how do you decide what to buy, what to do?

10 tips from TCN fellow celebrants to new celebrants: 

  1. Take some time to assess what you need and when - click here
  2. Set up your basic resources eg Starter Kit - click here
  3. Think about your longer term goals click here
  4. Be optimistic but realistic - click here
  5. And do not expect a free ride! click here
  6. Nor every celebrant to share your excitement! click here
  7. Organise mentoring support - click here
  8. Join the TCN - click here
  9. Purchase a CAL copyright licence - click here
  10. Take out celebrant insurance - click here

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1. Take some time to assess what you need and when

  • celebrancy equipment eg celebrant starter kits (TCN sells these too), PA etc
  • celebrancy advertising and marketing eg business cards, website, office stationery
  • celebrancy resources eg resource books, cds, websites
  • celebrancy support eg celebrant mentor, celebrant associations,
  • celebrancy practice  "business" plan eg how are you going to fund your celebrancy?

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2. Set up your basic resources

Celebrant Starter Kits - The TCN sells  Celebrant Registers and  Marriage Celebrant Starter Kits (without the Forms 15 which must be purchased from Canprint.)

A Practical Guide to Celebrancy - Compiled by the Association of Civil Marriage Celebrants of Victoria (ACMCV) Inc.
An excellent and popular guide for new celebrants wanting to refresh their information, and for longer term celebrants reviewing theirs.

Purchase a Domain Name and Set up a Low Cost Website - Check out this section of the TCN directory for information on products and services available for celebrants such as books, PAs, OPD providers.

Have a Web Presence - Join TCN and find articles in our Members Only section.

TCN Low Cost Homepages Websites - Join TCN and find articles in our Members Only section.

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3. Think about your longer term goals

  • doing weddings only
  • offering ceremonies for all occasions
  • specialising in a particular way

See: Celebrancy Practice - Join TCN and find articles in our Members Only section.

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4. Be optimistic but realistic

If you think doing weddings only will make you income, you are likely to be disappointed

  • The TCN sees being a civil marriage celebrant a privilege.
  • The TCN sees being a celebrant as an opportunity to pioneer the next stage of celebrancy.
  • Our career or craft as civil ceremonialists is less than 40 years young, although there is an immense traditional upon which to draw from religious celebrancy.
  • Celebrancy will be hard work for most, but personally rewarding and enriching.

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5. And do not expect a free ride!

Please do not be offended by this statement. We are not suggesting new celebrants are lazy. However many, being new, expect long term celebrants to share their knowledge and skills freely.

Many new celebrants assume that they have little to offer, which the TCN believes is not true. Newer celebrants can bring their energy to promoting a range of ceremonies to their communities thus increasing the opportunities for ceremonies for all celebrants.

So what has changed ?


When the number of civil marriage celebrants was restricted per head of population (and the government set the fee), it was a privilege to mentor one's colleagues, as celebrants all had the same chance of gaining weddings.

  • Celebrants prior to 2003 worked via non-profit associations to better their skills and "craft". Again in that framework sharing was a win:win for all.
  • Now marriage celebrancy has been determined to be open to "market forces", celebrants do not have the same chance of doing weddings. Many areas have a much higher number of marriage celebrants per head of the marrying public than others.
  • All marriage celebrants now have a lower chance to do wedding work than prior to 2003. The number of civil marriage celebrants has escalated, whilst the rate of wedding work has remained the same.

• Now mentoring can be training up your competitors to take your clients!

  • Many celebrants are reliant on their work as celebrants for their "part-time or full-time wage"
  • As a new business in a village, you would not expect your established competitor to help train you up in areas where you are unskilled or lacking in knowledge or confidence.
  • As a celebrant "in private practice" neither should you expect any other celebrant to give away their hard earned wisdom "for free".

And please remember do not share  "copyrighted" resources you have purchased via celebrant services or gained via your membership in associations etc.

  • This can create legal problems for those who receive them without rightful proof of purchase.
  • Many resources have been provided at low cost for your benefit, not to be passed onto others for free.
  • Ongoing sales will ensure new products can be developed.

A win:win situation

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6. Nor every celebrant to share your excitement!

  • Some will.
  • Some won't.

Previous training programs have not explained the history of celebrancy in Australia to their trainees. Nor the realities of being able to gain a decent wage from wedding work.

The previous standard of training was too low to prepare many celebrants to function competently without any extra assistance and support. This has created false expectations of new celebrants and resentments amongst longer term ones

We suggest you take time to try to understand the bigger issues facing celebrancy and be sensitive to the concerns and needs of your colleagues.

TCN offers Gold Membership for celebrants who want or need to gain part-time or full-time income from celebrancy work, with three marketing strategies

  • Askacelebrant Gold Rose Promotion
  • Party with a Purpose
  • Funeral Options - Act Now before your final farewell

And PLUS membership so you get membership, Copyright & Insurance AND discounts for OPD, celebrant Stationery and more!

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7. Organise mentoring support

While you sort the wood from the trees, make sure you have someone to rely on to be your personal marriage celebrancy mentor.

  • We have some long-term celebrants with a wealth of knowledge, experience, patience and respect for new and longer term celebrants
  • Some training organisations offer mentoring
  • Others find celebrants via our forums to privately support them
  • But whatever you do make sure it's an equal exchange - If not money then ensure you can give back in some other way
  • Another great way to win:win.

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8. Join us - TCN Inc

The TCN  sees

  • celebrants as professionals in private practice, whether you are full-time, part-time or doing occasional ceremony work.
  • an opportunity to develop our celebrant roles into full-time occupations.
  • our role as assisting you to enrich your work in a variety of ways via TCN membership, directory listings, Celebrant Shop purchases etc.

New situations often need new responses.

Our joining fees are designed to encourage you to work with us, so we can all bring fresh approaches to celebrancy issues.

We believe our TCN membership  is a must for every celebrant who wants to be the best celebrant they can. But then we may be a little biased :-)

The TCN is a member of the Coalition of Celebrant Associations (CoCA) and is a celebrant resource service hosted by a non-profit community based celebrant association.

  • Celebrant associations are not-for-profit groups with a variety of aims and services for their members. Most associations do not have paid officers. 
  • Members "own" their association, and need to be more actively involved in making their needs clear to their Committees.
  • Their committees are served, mostly by volunteers, though some associations do allow for Committee members to gain income from their association activities.
  • Committees are there to serve their members, not vice versa.

    We strongly advise joining our association as CoCA associations work togeher for the advancement the celebrancy profession as a whole.
Join TCN now ! - or see: Benefits of TCN membership

PS Don't take our word for it. Take out Silver Membership to find out for yourself !

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9. Purchase a CAL celebrant copyright licence

  •  A low cost CAL group celebrant copyright licence which grants permission to use, email and store material  is available for all celebrants.

    This can be purchased through our TCN Shop either individually or part of our PLUS Gold or Silver Plans
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10. Take out celebrant insurance

  • There are individual plans and group plans for Celebrant Insurance

  • TCN now others a low cost Group Celebrant Insurance Plan for TCN members.

    This can be purchased through our TCN Shop either individually or part of our PLUS Gold or Silver Plans

  • Consider joining an independent Individual Arthur J Gallagher (prev. OAMPS) for Professional Indemnity and Public Liability.

    TCN members receive a $30 discount.

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If you would like more information, please contact us

Last modified on Friday, 29 January 2016 23:13

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