One of the good things about competition is that it is supposed to help everyone lift their game.
Yes it certainly does. And the same is true for Celebrant Associations. There are many groups, associations and networks to choose from so it is good to consider your options.
Of course you want good value. If the group you are looking at has "Inc" or "Incorporated" as part of its name, that means it is a legally incorporated not-for-profit association.
Celebrant associations that are non-profit groups have the work done by a small team of volunteers. Volunteering to help your association can help to keep association fees down as the association will need less paid help.
Each state, except NT and Tasmania, has celebrant associations. Some state associations are for only authorised marriage celebrants. Some now accept student celebrants and non marriage celebrant members. All have broadened their geographic boundaries.
So why join a celebrant association?
It's a simple matter of "two heads are better than one"... and a hundred better than two!
The benefits of being part of a group is to improve what you offer and avoid problems by learning from other people's questions and/or mistakes.
- In celebrancy work, knowing people who can be called upon should you have an accident, become sick or have a family emergency that requires your attention is really an important part of being a professional celebrant.
- Also the Attorney General's department has made it very clear that they view celebrancy as a profession and membership of a celebrant association is evidence of your professional attitude to the role as a "Fit & Proper" person.
How do you decide which one is best for you?
Most incorporated celebrant associations and groups offer similar services:
- a website listing, with or without a photo and contact details, including a link to your website
- a committed volunteer Committee that listens to its members and tries to keep abreast of matters that affect their celebrant members
- discounts for OPD (if required by AGD)
- celebrant conferences or workshops or learning experiences either face to face or over the web
- a communication forum for members to link with each other - either via email, website forums or Facebook groups
- a social media presence
- access to information about celebrants stationery and related resources
- access to discounts for celebrants individual or group insurance and/or copyright licence cover
- a voice to government on celebrant member's needs and concerns
- ways for letting the general public know about their members and their services
Choosing a celebrant association is like choosing a celebrant - it needs a some research - just simply looking at fees alone is not the best guide.
- Some have few or no fees - but still offer services of some value to their members or they would not exist
- Some charge a "one price fits all" whether you need all the components or not ie: insurance
- Some charge only for the components you need, value and/ or can afford
- Some will claim they are "the Best" or "the Most ... " as marketing language is everywhere these days - so you need to do your homework.
- Some are only concerned with one type of ceremony; some with more local issues; some with promotion and marketing; some with the development of celebrancy - and all have their place. You need to assess the best fit for you and your celebrancy future if that's what you hope for.
- Check out The Celebrants Network Inc first - obviously we consider we have the most to offer you :-)
- Check out CoCA associations (Coalition of Celebrant Associations). CoCA is recognised by the Attorney General as THE representative body for commonwealth appointed marriage celebrants) on the CoCA website.
- Ask celebrant colleagues about their experiences of being with associations
- at celebrant network meetings
- through your connections with those students you did your training with
Think about what you need and question the feedback you get.
- is it easy to find out about the group or association - how do they respond to your emails or calls?
- Some people may not get very much out of an association because they do not put very much in.
- Some associations offer good face-to-face support but lack good online services, others the reverse.
All the very best with your investigations.
Feel free to contact us, if you have any questions