We truly believe that a marriage celebrant/officiant plays one of the most important roles on your wedding day. He/she should guide you in obtaining the ceremony you’ve always wanted and must make you feel comfortable, and to achieve these, you need to find a good wedding celebrant.
But how to choose the right wedding celebrant?
Gold Coast, Australia, based marriage celebrant Josh Withers says you should find someone with the same worldview as you do, a person you like the sound of but also love their personality. You should be happy enough not just to have a coffee with them, but also during your most intimate and personal moment of becoming husband wife.
During your sit-down, you need to ask the right questions to know if they pass your standards and preferences.
What should I ask when first meeting a potential celebrant?
I compiled a short guide of questions from our experts (Melbourne Cityside Celebrant Benn Stone, Professional Marriage Celebrant David Schneider, and Civil Marriage Celebrant and Wedding Specialist Erin Rollason) which you should ask a potential wedding celebrant.
Some questions will be personal, which include talking about their profession and past experience such as: How long have you been a celebrant? Is this your only job?
Most will involve specifics for your wedding ceremony:
Ceremony and Vows
- How will they be written?
- Are they handwritten or made from templates?
- Will the celebrant be assisting with vows?
- How long before the ceremony will I get to see the script?
- Do we get a personal ceremony or a standard one?
- Do you give help writing the vows?
- What do you wear to the wedding?
- How can we involve family or special friends?
- What happens if you cannot attend the wedding?
Logistics and Equipment
- What will the celebrant provide?
- Do the do music also and does it cost extra for a rehearsal?
- How long before the wedding do they arrive and stay after?
- Do they have insurance to cover any damages that may arise?
- Do you have a PA system?
- Who will play the ceremony music?
Stationary and Paperwork
- Will the celebrant do the paperwork for us and lodge online?
- What will I receive on the day?
- Will I receive a proper invoice and do I have to pay GST?
- How much in total?
- Do you charge extra for travel?
- Do I pay a deposit or upfront?
A wedding ceremony is a time for you, as a couple, to officially declare your love and commitment to each other through wedding vows in front of family and friends. It might be that you want to opt for a traditional one that follows the standard setup and that is fine. Or, you might want to do something a bit unique, and that is fine, too.
How can a celebrant make our ceremony unique to us? According to I Do For You Proprietor and Civil Marriage Celebrant Tarn Bennett, a celebrant must be able to listen to what the couple wants for their special celebration of love. Each couple has their own rare and personal love story and so should every wedding ceremony.
Also, does the celebrant have to stay for the wedding reception? Joshua Lewis Berg, Paul Voge, Kat Taylor, Katherine Kulman — all of our expert agree to one answer: No, your wedding celebrant doesn’t have to stay for the wedding reception. However, if you’re friends with him/her or is comfortable with the idea, you can definitely invite your wedding celebrant.
But what about if you have fewer guests, do you need to hire a wedding celebrant? Yes, says Josh Withers, an Australia-based marriage celebrant. This is because he/she is responsible for making your wedding legal.
Therefore, whether you have a thousand guests or no one, you still have to hire a wedding celebrant.