Do we need a Celebrant?
If you are getting married, you need a registered and authorised celebrant to perform your wedding ceremony.
If you are renewing your vows, or having a commitment ceremony or a naming ceremony, there is no legal requirement for you to use a registered celebrant. A trusted friend or family member can do the role if you wish.
However, I would recommend that you use a registered celebrant as you can expect more from a professional. Celebrants have a reputation to uphold and they are trained to know what to do in any given situation.
How can we find a registered and authorised Celebrant?
A list can be found on the Federal Attorney General website, Marriage Celebrant Section (www.ag.gov.au).
Choosing a Celebrant for your special day...
What does a Marriage Celebrant do?
Registered Marriage Celebrants provide you with a legal wedding and are familiar with the law and all the legal documentations of a wedding. They are trained to know what to do at any given time before, during and after your wedding ceremony. They are reading the mood and the bride and groom as well as the guests and pre-empting situations and anticipating the next stage of the celebration.
What is required to get married in Australia
To be legally married in Australia, a man and woman must:
Complete a Notice of intended marriage and be given to the authorised celebrant within the required notice period of at least one month before the day of the wedding and no more than 18 months before the wedding. Your celebrant has copies and can assist you to complete this form correctly. It must be signed in front of your celebrant and lodged with them.
Each party has to produce the following original documents to be authorised celebrant:-
- Evidence of date and place of birth (birth certificate for Australian Citizens and a Birth Certificate (in English) and an international passport if born outside of Australia
- Evidence of identity (driver's licence or another document with your photo)
- Evidence of the termination of any previous marriage
Each party has made a declaration as to his or her belief that there is no legal impediment to the marriage
The authorised celebrant is satisfied that the marriage will be valid, including that each party has given real consent
The authorised celebrant must also ensure that information about marriage education and counselling is made available to the parties of the marriage
You must have at least two witnesses over the age of 18 years to attend your ceremony and vouch for the identity of the bride and groom
When should you choose a Celebrant?
As soon as you have a date and ideally, a venue you should find a celebrant. The Celebrant will ask for a non-refundable deposit to book your ceremony. Prior to your wedding ceremony all fees must be paid in full.
In Darwin, peak wedding season is around June, July, August, it is suggested that you book your celebrant at least 12 months in advance.
Venues and times for a Wedding Ceremony
Anywhere within Australia at any time that is negotiated with your Celebrant and appropriate permissions have been granted.
How much does a Celebrant cost?
Fees for ceremonies are not fixed and will vary from each Celebrant. Quaiity Celebrants spend a large amount of time planning your ceremony and have associated costs like all small businesses.
Usually Wedding ceremonies cost more than other ceremonies as the legal compotents take extra time to complete.
Please ask your Celebrant for their fees.
Can we write our own vows?
Of course, there are mandatory requirements within a wedding ceremony and within the vows. Couples can add their own words to their ceremony.
Can the witnesses be of the same sex and be relatives?
You must at least two witnesses that are over the age of 18 years.
Should we invite the Celebrant to our reception?
You have no obligation to invite your Celebrant to your reception.