Choosing your celebrant
There are so many celebrants in Australia,
how on earth do you find 'the right one' for you?
Personal recommendations from friends, family and colleagues who have seen a particular celebrant conducting a wonderfully warm and engaging marriage ceremony are a good source.
Other wedding suppliers such as florists, photographers, musicians and the co-ordinator at your chosen venue see celebrants in action, not just on the day but beforehand too - just ask!
Some celebrants advertise their services on dedicated wedding websites so, google away!
Then I suggest that you
- visit the personal websites of those marriage celebrants who appeal to you
- shortlist those whose information has been helpful and who you feel will best suit your needs
- phone / email to ask about their availability on your date, at the time you plan to begin your ceremony and your chosen venue
- after your phone calls or emails, decide together who you would like to meet
- make an appointment to meet!
As you make your enquiries you will find that each celebrant has their own style. They are as individual as you are! And that celebrant fees vary enormously - the average fee being around $600.00. Remember that the celebrant’s fee is probably the smallest expense in your wedding budget, even though this person has full legal responsibility to ensure that your marriage ceremony fulfils the requirements of the Marriage Act. This person also ensures that your marriage ceremony flows smoothly, is respectful and dignified - and fun! For a truly engaging and memorable marriage ceremony that sets the tone for the rest of the celebrations, and for your shared future as marriage partners, you will choose the celebrant with whom you feel most comfortable – the one who listens and works with you to craft your unique ceremony which will be remembered for its warmth and elegance.
Here’s a checklist to use as a guide when choosing your celebrant.
Does the celebrant
- show genuine interest at first contact?
- have a pleasant demeanour?
- listen to your ideas?
- outline the process for creating a marriage ceremony?
- explain the legal requirements?
- work with you to craft a very personal ceremony?
- provide a range of materials to assist in developing your ceremony?
- offer unlimited meetings to ensure your ceremony is perfect for you?
- offer to be available to answer any concerns you may have?
- provide as many drafts of the ceremony as required?
- offer a rehearsal for the bridal party and your key players at the venue?
- provide a good quality PA system if required?
- offer helpful suggestions about other aspects of your day?
Questions to ask yourselves
- is the ceremony itself important to us?
- will this celebrant respect and incorporate significant alternative belief systems?
- how much do we want to be involved in the creation of our ceremony?
- do we feel comfortable with this celebrant?
- is this the person we could trust with our marriage ceremony?
- should we see other celebrants before we pay a deposit?
- does the celebrant's fee reflect their commitment to deliver a top quality, highly personal ceremony? or does it sound like a 'one size fits all' approach? Having mentioned the celebrant's fee; we know everyone has a budget. Some good advice - never make your choice of celebrant on fee alone. While Civil Marriage Celebrants are appointed by the Commonwealth Government, they are independent, self-employed, professional business people with the usual overheads. Fees vary widely. There is no doubt you will be able to find a celebrant to suit your budget. For many couples, the ceremony itself is the wedding gift from close family.
Will the celebrant be
- well prepared?
- dressed appropriately?
- committed to professional development?
- a Member of a Celebrant Association?
YOUR CEREMONY ~ YOUR CELEBRATION ~ YOUR MEMORIES
Why choose me - Merrilyn Williams - as your Celebrant?
Because I believe that the marriage ceremony is the most important part of your wedding day!
I listen carefully to your ideas. With your help, I craft your ceremony using your love story as the centre piece, ensuring that your ceremony reflects who you are as individuals, and who you are as a couple. Together we add special touches that are meaningful to you, your family and friends.
Telling your story makes your ceremony unique and authentic. It’s about honouring the personal qualities you bring to each other and which enrich your relationship, it’s about remembering the beginning of your love for one another, recalling the ups and downs you’ve experienced so far, and it’s about publicly celebrating your commitment to one another. Importantly, it’s about what your marriage means to you!
And I help you to find the 'right' words to express your love, and commitment, and trust in one another through your marriage vows.
Your ceremony will be an engaging and memorable beginning to your shared future as marriage partners. It will be touching, elegant and relaxed, and there will be tears and laughter.
The magic of your wedding day begins with your marriage ceremony
to delight you and your guests