Choosing Your Marriage Celebrant

by Louise Spedding

Congratulations! You are getting married!! And now you need to start to plan your Wedding Day. This can be a very daunting task: what date to I choose, what time of the day is best and where do I get married. How do I get there, what do I wear, will I have a Church wedding or a Civil Ceremony and the list goes on and on.

The one thing, which is very important, is to think about your Ceremony. If you wish to have a Civil Ceremony, you will need to find a Registered Marriage Celebrant. Choosing the right Celebrant is a very important decision and you should feel totally at ease with the person who you entrust this important responsibility to.

You should choose a Celebrant who you feel very comfortable with, someone who you can talk to easily and ask any question to no matter how silly you think it is – a professional Celebrant will be able to help and advise you in every way possible.

Look for someone who is willing to spend time with you and offer advice even before you have made your decision. You can tell a lot about a person from that first phone call or email enquiry and it’s always a good idea to ask for testimonials or referrals from previous clients.

Most Celebrants will take the time to get to know each individual couple and write a Ceremony which reflects that couple and have available to you sample Ceremonies from which to choose. I personally give to all my clients a Ceremony Guide with sample Ceremonies, Vows, Poems and other useful information to help with your choices. You are also most welcome to have as much input in your Ceremony as you like and you can write your own vows if you wish or choose one of the examples supplied to you.

Your Celebrant should give you the Final Choice in how your Ceremony will flow (there are certain legal requirements in a Civil Ceremony which your Celebrant will ensure are met, after that, your ceremony can be as formal or informal as you like). Once these legal requirements have been met, my advice to you is to relax, have fun, and enjoy every minute of this wonderful day. No two Civil Ceremonies are ever the same ensuring that yours will be unique and memorable.

You may also choose to have readings and other Ceremonies incorporated into your Wedding such as a Sand Ceremony, Rose Ceremony or Butterfly Release. These are totally optional and the choice is yours. Your Celebrant will be able to explain these ‘other ceremonies’ or ‘other symbols’ to you.

It is also a great idea, if time permits, to have a Wedding Rehearsal a few days beforehand. This way, both you and your bridal party (and Celebrant), will know exactly what to do and where to stand etc – most wedding venues will allow you to have a rehearsal a couple of days beforehand.

Also, you want to ensure that your guests will be able to hear the Ceremony, so you may need to have a sound system available to you. Once again, check with your Celebrant with regard to this.

Now that you know what to look for in a Celebrant, where will you find the right person for you. Ask family and friends for recommendations, ask your reception venue (they usually have a list of professional Celebrants that they recommend), look on the web, there are many websites available. Also try the yellow pages, local papers, bridal magazines and local wedding expos – you will find that you have a lot of choice.

As most Celebrants are busy and take bookings well in advance, it is best to book as soon as you have decided on the place, time and venue of your Wedding. Booking early will ensure you obtain the services of the Celebrant of your choice.

You may be wondering what the cost is for a Celebrant, well this varies from Celebrant to Celebrant and the cheapest cost may not necessarily reflect ‘value for money’. When making your enquiry, make sure you ask what is included in that cost.

Planning a wedding can be expensive and the cost of a Celebrant is probably one of the cheapest factors of the whole day, so make sure you choose the person you feel most comfortable and at ease with, you will be pleased that you did…..


Louise Spedding is a professionally trained Civil Marriage Celebrant. Her ceremonies are friendly and relaxed and she personalises each ceremony to suit clients’ individual requirements. For more information, visit: