Thursday, June 6, 2013

Choosing a celebrant - who will marry you?

Image from the wedding of Joel and Rebecca | Karen Buckle Photography
A celebrant is the person who conducts your wedding ceremony. The person who effectively 'marries' you. Choosing a celebrant can be hard, particularly if you're not sure if you want a religious ceremony or not, but we've come up with a guide to picking your perfect celebrant.

The best place to start is to visit the Australian Government Register of Marriage Celebrants website to see the List of authorised Marriage Celebrants and ensure your proposed celebrant is authorised.

Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)
You can submit your NOIM up to 18 months prior to, but no later than one month, before the marriage ceremony. Special circumstances to allow the shortening of minimum notice time of marriage is in the Marriage Regulations 1963.

From the wedding of Natasha and Roman | Photography by Kieron
Meet your Celebrant
You should make an appointment to meet your celebrant to discuss the procedure of the ceremony, any uncertainties and other wedding arrangements to ensure they suit your needs and will compliment your special day.

Written Confirmation
Confirmation of your wedding arrangements should be given to the marriage celebrant in writing ahead of time. You are also required to provide the original copy of your birth certificate and evidence of any prior marriages that has been dissolved by divorce or death. Your celebrant should have all the necessary paperwork to preform your marriage.

Under the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department, marriage celebrants are entitled to charge a fee for their service. Fees may vary and it is important you come to an agreement with your celebrant and obtain a written statement of all fees and charges before asking him/her to hold a date.

Change of Celebrant

If for any reason you wish to change marriage celebrants, ensure the Notice of Intended Marriage form is transferred to your new celebrant.

The Ceremony
On the day, it is important that the marriage celebrant identify themselves to the public, be responsible for validating the marriage by saying reading out section 46 to the required witnesses, hear the vows and sign the Marriage Act 1961.

Brisbane Marriott Hotel
Make sure that you are comfortable and on friendly terms with your celebrant. This means that you won't hesitate to ask questions if you are unsure about anything, and will feel more at ease during your ceremony.

Thanks to our guest contributor, Anna, for this helpful guide.

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