Your most important wedding professional
After you and your beloved, your celebrant is the most important person on your wedding day.
Ok, I agree that is a big call, but look at it this way - without a celebrant, your big day is just one great party.
That’s because your celebrant is the one responsible for ensuring that you are legally married.
All the other wedding professionals that you work with are there to make you look gorgeous, create atmosphere, entertain and feed your guests and capture your memories. That’s important and that’s why you should take great care in choosing the right people to work with.
So, what does your celebrant actually do?
There actually two elements to our role – your ceremony and the legal stuff.
For most celebrants, your ceremony is the fun part of our work. We get to use our creative side to craft a ceremony that reflects your personalities, personalises your wedding day, and introduces your guests to the theme of your wedding. Your ceremony can be formal, traditional, quirky, conservative, Pagan, religious, non-religious.
Anyone can perform this part of your ceremony but your celebrant has undergone significant training and obtained experience in crafting a variety of ceremonies and presenting them.
The second element of our role is legal. This is the stuff that makes sure that, at the end of the day, you are legally married to the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with.
And it’s stuff that cannot be done by just anyone.
Authorised marriage celebrants must complete training, apply to and be authorised by the Attorney General’s Department, and must undertake Ongoing Professional Development (OPD) every year.
We must verify your identify using specified means/documents. We must meet legislated timeframes from receiving your Notice of Intention to Marry through to submitting all of the paperwork for your wedding to the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriage. We must check your eligibility to marry (age, marital status. We must be satisfied that you are not being forced into marriage. During your ceremony we must make a specific legal statement and make sure that you make vows that meet legal wording requirements. In short we are agents of the Australian Government and we must comply with the Marriage Act 1961, Regulations and Guidelines, as well as a Code of Conduct.
As much as we love our jobs, it is not one to be taken lightly. Marriage has significant consequences (think wills, passports, even the name on your driver’s licence) and we have undertaken an obligation to ensure that the proper processes are followed.
That’s why we ask you the tough and sometimes personal questions. That’s why we need you to produce certain documentation. That’s why our Terms of Service are so detailed, yet so important. It’s not just a 30-minute ceremony. It’s the rest of your life.
As I said before, without the legal stuff, your wedding day is just one big party. But with a celebrant, you get your party off to a great ceremonial start and you end up married! That’s what I call, win-win.