by Jane Gillespie from Life Celebrations
- Marriage Celebrant from Life Celebrations...More
They Say I Need to Find a Wedding Officiant That I Feel Truly Comfortable With. I Do Not Know Any. Where Do I Start?
If you've been to a civil marriage ceremony and liked the celebrant, ask for their contact details from the couple whose wedding you attended. You could also simply Google "marriage celebrants in (your area)" or look for marriage celebrants on Facebook. Join a group on Facebook and ask others if they can recommend some celebrants to you. In Australia, you can also go onto the Attorney-General's website and find a... Read More »
Does the Celebrant Have to Stay for the Wedding Reception?
Unless you know your celebrant personally there is no need to invite them to your reception. Many have other commitments after solemnising your marriage so unless they are a family friend or relative, they wouldn't expect to be invited to stay on after the ceremony. Even if invited because a couple think it is polite to do so, I never stay if I don't know them outside of being their... Read More »
If a Couple Wishes to Elope How Soon Should They Contact You?
Regardless of how large or small, your wedding is, you must still lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage at least one month before the date of your ceremony. I specialize in elopement ceremonies with just the bride, groom, and two witnesses and usually, the couple contacts me around 5 or 6 weeks before. Jane Gillespie
Can Our Friend Do Our Marriage Ceremony for Us?
I can only answer for marriages in my country, so I'm not certain if my response will be relevant for Sophia. In Australia you may have a friend handle most of the ceremony but there are certain elements that only an authorised marriage celebrant can perform for the marriage to be legal. To become an authorised celebrant (that is, appointed by the Federal Attorney-General), you must undertake training (a full... Read More »
Does a Couple Need to Provide Witnesses for Their Elopement Ceremony?
There must be two witnesses to hear you exchange your vows and to sign the legal documents with you and your celebrant. Most couples will ask friends or relative to fulfill this role, but it isn't essential for you to know the witnesses. I am sometimes asked to provide the witnesses for my elopement ceremonies and am happy to arrange this. Jane Gillespie
My Celebrant Said I Should Go to a Counselor, Is This Right?
From the spelling of counselor, I assume that this enquirer is in the United States. Here in Australia, we recommend that couples have some form of pre-marriage education, but this isn't mandatory. We don't tell them they should see a counselor because that implies that there is a problem in their relationship. However, an education course gives them tools to learn how to communicate effectively with each other, navigate difficult... Read More »
Can a Celebrant Do Last Minute Weddings?
If you are marrying in Australia you must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage at least one month before the date of your wedding. This document is lodged with a Civil Marriage Celebrant or at your Registry Office if you are having a civil ceremony or your priest or minister if you are having a religious ceremony. All Civil Marriage Celebrants are appointed by the federal Attorney-General and they can... Read More »
I Plan to Take My Husband’s Surname, Will the Wedding Celebrant Help Me Submit My Application for My Marriage Certificate?
Taking your husband's name after marriage in Australia is purely a matter of choice. When your Celebrant lodges all your paperwork with the Registrar of Births Deaths & Marriages, all documents must show the surname that you used prior to marriage. You do NOT sign the marriage certificates with your new signature. Once you receive your Registered Marriage Certificate (RMC) from BDM you use this as proof of your marriage... Read More »
Should I Include Personal Vows in My Ceremony?
I always encourage my couples to include personal vows but never pressure them if they don't want to. I explain that there are legal vows which must be spoken and suggest that they add something extra to these or include some special words with the ring exchange (if they are having rings). My feeling is that the words they say to each other that are truly personal to them are... Read More »
We’re Chinese Nationalities, Do We Need to Be Australian Citizens to Marry in Australia?
As long a couple is 'eligible' they may marry in Australia. Eligibility means that they are 18+, not too closely related and not already married. There are no residential requirements and many couples come from overseas to be married here because a civil marriage can be officiated by an authorized celebrant on any day of the year, at any time of the day and anywhere in Australia that a celebrant... Read More »
What Should I Ask When First Meeting a Potential Celebrant?
Give yourself enough time at your first appointment to get a genuine feel for the celebrant you are meeting. After all, you want to choose someone that you feel you have a genuine rapport with. Ask what services they provide, get them to talk you through the entire process from lodging your Notice of Intended Marriage to the marriage being registered. Ask for a detailed breakdown of all their fees... Read More »
To Get Married in Australia, What Documents Do We Need to Lodge?
Everyone marrying in Australia must provide the same documents. These are your original birth certificate (if necessary translated into English by an accredited translator) + photo ID OR your passport. If you were born overseas and do not have a birth certificate and it is impossible to get one due to extraordinary circumstances, e.g. your country is at war and records have been lost or destroyed, you must make a... Read More »
Are There Specifications in Terms of Where, When and What Time a Wedding Celebrant Ceremony Can Take Place?
Couples marrying in Australia are very lucky in that they can choose any time of the day, any day of the week and anywhere in the country to be married, as long as their celebrant is available and willing. So if you're getting married and not in Australia but planning an overseas honeymoon, why not have your ceremony here too? Provided you lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage with your... Read More »
How Many Witnesses Do We Need For Our Marriage In Australia?
You must have two witnesses at your marriage ceremony. Most couples invite people who are close to them, like parents, siblings or best friends but with an elopement-style wedding, I am often asked to provide two people to act as legal witnesses. I have a few people who I can call on in these circumstances and they are always happy to oblige. Jane Gillespie
Do I Need to Hire a Marriage Celebrant with Fewer Guests?
Whether you have two thousand guests to witness you marry the love of your life or just the legally required two people, your authorised celebrant is the only person who can officiate your marriage. You can ask people who are very important to you to present much of the ceremony, however the celebrant must introduce him or herself and declare that they will be conducting the legal parts of the... Read More »
Do We Need to Be in Australia or Have Lived in Australia for Any Given Time Before You Can Marry?
There are no residency requirements for couples marrying in Australia. Provided you aren't already married, are 18 or older and not too closely related you could even get married on the same day that you arrive in the country! However, I wouldn't recommend that as you would most likely be jet-lagged and you need to be 100% sure that you fully comprehend the mandatory legal vows. However, you must lodge... Read More »
Are We Required to Attend Any Classes or Counseling Before the Wedding?
In Australia, it isn't mandatory to attend pre-marriage education classes but it is highly recommended. We don't call it 'counselling' because that implies that there could be some problems in your relationship. Education is about identifying any areas that might create conflict in the future. An example might be how you will discipline any children you might have or if you even want to have children. If you have different... Read More »
How Do Same Sex Couple Lodge Notice of Intended Marriage Paperwork?
Civil Celebrants have been allowed to accept Notices of Intended Marriage from SS couples from 9th December 2017. Lodging a Notice of Intended Marriage is the same for all couples. All couples are still required to give a month's notice, so the first legal SS marriages can now take place from 9th January 2018. Notices can be lodged at a Registry Office if couples wish to be married there but... Read More »
How do I Choose a Wedding Celebrant?
I recommend that couples meet 2-3 celebrants before deciding on who will guide you through the legal process of getting married. You need to feel a rapport with the person who will perform this service for you, feel that you can trust them to keep you on track and take as much stress as possible away from you in the lead up to and during the actual ceremony. Discuss together... Read More »
How Does a Ceremony With a Wedding Celebrant Differ From a Civil Wedding Ceremony?
Civil wedding celebrants in Australia perform all civil marriages. However, if this takes place in a State Registry office you will only get the basic legal wording, with the possibility of including short personal vows, but other than that the only difference between your ceremony and the ones before and after you will be your names. With a wedding performed by a Civil Marriage Celebrant, apart from a few mandatory... Read More »
Does a Wedding Celebrant Need to Attend Our Wedding Rehearsal?
There really isn't much point in having a wedding rehearsal without your Celebrant! This is the person who will be the Director of your special event. He or she will go through the ceremony with you starting with how you want to begin, where everyone in the bridal party will be standing, when to cue for music if you're having it, take any people doing readings through theirs as a... Read More »
Can We Use Legal Paperwork That Is in Another Language?
Documents that couples must provide to their marriage celebrant are passports OR original birth certificates and some form of photo ID and, if either has been married before, original divorce or death certificates. If paperwork is in another language you must see the document in the foreign language AND a translation in English done by an accredited translator. In Australia you can find a translator through NAATI but celebrants can... Read More »
Do a Wedding Celebrant Do the Same Job as a Registrar?
I can answer this question if you are enquiring about marriages that take place in Australia. An authorised marriage celebrant can solemnise marriages and, in most States, register the marriage online afterwards. In New South Wales celebrants can also apply online for the Registered Marriage Certificate on behalf of their couples. Jane Gillespie