The Marriage Act 1961 allows for couples to be able to be married - at any time, day or night - on any day of the year including public holidays - at any place provided the ceremony takes place in Australian.
A Registry Office marriage ceremony has more restrictions than a wedding ceremony provided by an independent civil celebrant.
Being run by a government department, Birth, Deaths and Marriages staff (and local Court Officers in some states) are regulated by the rules of their employment.
This means the:
- time allowed for the wedding ceremony is restricted by their use of government buildings or venues paid for by the government.
- starting and finishing time of the ceremony is fixed so the Marriage Officer has no flexibility if the bride or groom is late.
- ceremony provided is very basic with limited choice by the couple
- Marriage Officer is determined by the Department's roster, and thus the couple have no choice of celebrant.
- use of confetti or rice is not allowed.
- number of guests are restricted by the size of the Government facilities offered.
An independent professional civil celebrant sets their own services, fees and program.
As independent celebrants are self employed, they can negotiate with couples the services they provide. Independent celebrants are trained and are able to personalise the marriage ceremony using their own creativity, skills and personality so marrying couples are able to find a celebrant to suit their own desires and needs.
- more choice about the day and time of your ceremony eg you may choose an early morning wedding and have a "real wedding breakfast" or a wedding at midnight!
- more choice about where the ceremony is held
- more choice in the theme of the ceremony, its participants, its wording, music etc.
- usually less stress for you and your guests in driving and parking as the celebrant comes to you, rather than you having to go to the Registry Office.
- you will be more relaxed because you'll be able to choose your celebrant and get to know them before the special day.