How to choose a Marriage Celebrant by Perth Marriage Celebrant
Congratulations on your engagement.
Now that you are getting married you can now go about organising your wedding ceremony and choose your Perth Marriage Celebrant.
Getting married is an exciting time and it is important that you are able to get the Wedding Ceremony that both you and your partner want. Most Marriage Celebrants are very interested in working closely with you to create a ceremony that will be remembered but most importantly reflect you as a couple.
What are the legal parts to getting married?
A Civil Marriage Celebrant will be authorised by the Attorney-Generals Department in Canberra and will be able to perform your Marriage anywhere in Australia or Australian Waters. They will have an appropriate A number and you can check that they are Authorised on the Attorney-Generals Website.
Anyone can marry in Australia as long as they are over 18, and have lodged the wedding at least one month and one day before the wedding date and no more than 18 months prior to the wedding date. This is done by filling out the NOIM form and getting it signed in front of an authorised person (Marriage Celebrant) and getting the NOIM to the celebrant at least one month and one day before the wedding day. Usually the NOiM would be completed with the Celebrant at the first meeting. If you are not near your celebrant as you are interstate for example or live overseas you can get an another Authorized person who is listed on the Noim (for example JP, Police Officer, etc..) to witness your signature and then send to the Celebrant within the time period by fax or Post.
It is usual that both parties sign the NOiM before the One month and One day period but sometimes it is acceptable for the celebrant to accept only one signature. These times would include if one party is unable to sign as they are intestate or overseas. A Shortening of time is also sometimes given for couples wanting to be married within the One month and one day period but this permission must be given under specific reasons in the Marriage Act by a Prescribed person such as the Registrar for Birth, Deaths and Marriages.
Required documentation can be produced at the first meeting but can be shown at any time leading up to the wedding date. You will need to prove to the celebrant who you are, where you where born and your birth date by using your Original Birth Certificates or if born outside Australia, an overseas passport. Unfortunately you cannot use your Australian Birth certificate. If you have been married before, the Celebrant will need to see a divorce/death certificate. Before the wedding the Celebrant will get you to sign a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration stating you believe there is not legal impediment to you and your partner to be married.
The Ceremony will be witnessed by 2 people preferably known to you, are over 18 and understand and speak English and of course are sober. During the ceremony the Celebrant will say the Authority and you both will say your vows to one another. Then the documents will be signed in front of the witnesses and the Celebrant. The Celebrant will straight away send the Marriage Certificate with the NOiM form to the Registrar of Birth, Deaths and Marriages for registration of Marriage. It will take the Registrar about 5 days to register the Marriage. Then from this point you can request your official Marriage Certificate (Your Celebrant will give you this application form if needed).
What should a Good Professional Celebrant offer?
A Good Celebrant will offer more than doing your paperwork, registering your marriage and writing and performing the Ceremony.
A Professional and Experienced Perth Marriage Celebrant will take a Holistic approach that will begin with you being confident with their approach from your very first contact.
You will be given a lot of choices and ideas for your wedding Ceremony. This may take the form of a booklet or catalog with ideas, verses, poems, readings and vows. The Celebrant will guide you in putting a ceremony together that best reflects you. The ceremony can be relaxed, informal, funny or a little bit more serious. The Celebrant can also suggest other aspects you may want to adopt such as rituals. For example combining coloured sands, a candle lighting, hand fasting, sharing of the wine, giving a rose as your first gift or even a beautiful Butterfly release.
You and the Celebrant will put the ceremony together up to the wedding date and then at the final meeting a few weeks before you can have a run through of the ceremony to a iron out any issues but more importantly it will give you confidence the ceremony will be how you envisage it.
The Celebrant will also be interested in a number of other aspects of the ceremony to promote smoothness at the actual event. By asking and being interested in many parts of your ceremony such as who is in the bridal party, introducing themselves to family members, talking to photographer and musicians, etc.. the Celebrant will be able to liaise with these important people to create a friendly and relaxed feel to the ceremony to make sure the ceremony flows with precision.
An important aspect of the ceremony is getting great photos. A Good Perth Marriage Celebrant will liaise with the Photographer and also take their time in parts such as the Giving Away, Vows, Ring Ceremony and The Kiss. This will be invaluable for an enjoyable ceremony and importantly for some great photos in these key areas.
On the Wedding day the Celebrant will arrive no less than 30 minutes before to set up their equipment, play some wedding music and to begin to mingle with the guests so you and your guests are ready for the ceremony.
They will have a top of the line PA system (Mipro 707 is the current equipment of choice) with portable microphones so they can move around freely during the ceremony and also for readings by your guests and the vows for the bride and groom. The PA system will also have facilities for CD or ipod/MP3 or flash drives so you can play your wedding music through the system. A lot of couples like to have a special song to walk down the aisle to and also a few songs for the signing of the documents and also when the bride and groom walk out at the end of the ceremony. The Celebrant will be happy to play this music through their system for you and may even be able to recommend some songs for you.
An important part of the ceremony is signing the documents at the end. This part can be co-ordinated with the photographer for perfect light and comfort so the best photos can be taken. Most Wedding Venues have a nice table with chairs for the documents but a Good Celebrant will always have these items as back up.
When should I book the Celebrant?
As soon as you can. Like Wedding Venues and Photographers, Celebrants book out up to 18 months in advance. When you decide on a day and time have a look around on the internet or ask your photographer to recommend a good Celebrant. Once you have decided on your Celebrant they can then begin the process of making a booking with you.
How much should a Celebrant Charge?
Celebrants can charge anywhere from $350 to up to $800 and beyond. Price won’t necessarily describe how good a celebrant is. When you contact the Celebrant ask for a guide of their prices and what they offer. You will then know in your mind if that price suits you and offers value for money.
How do I choose my Celebrant?
The most important aspect of your wedding day is that you are comfortable that all wedding suppliers will portray the image you are looking for. Therefore the best way to answer the above questions is firstly choosing a Celebrant you feel comfortable with and you are confident they will give you the best wedding ceremony.
- To feel comfortable with your celebrant you will get an overall feel by looking at their website. They will have lots of photos, Testimonials and even Postings of weddings they have performed. You will then speak to them on the phone and have a meeting with them. At the meeting have a look around their office for photos of couples with them and also a Great Celebrant will have lots of Thank you letters around their room. Ask them lots of questions about any aspect of the wedding ceremony. The Good Celebrants will have a lot of information and be a fountain of knowledge. This will give you a feeling about their style and if they are suited to you. Do they have a nice sense of humour or are they a bit serious…
- Secondly you will need to be confident the Celebrant will give you a wedding Ceremony that will best reflect you and your partner. What level of experience do they have as a Celebrant, how many weddings have they performed and are they familiar with the venue you have booked and also have they experience delivering your style of Ceremony. The Celebrant will be able to show you their Catalog of Ideas, Vows, Verses and Readings and more importantly show your exact examples of the Wedding Ceremonies they have performed recently.
In Summary your wedding day is your day and will be the one of the most important days in your life. You are entitled to have something that you will be enjoy. There are many good Celebrants out there that really want you to have the best day possible. All the best in finding that person…
Brad Whitelock, Perth Marriage Celebrant.
M: 0431 974 608
About the Author:
Brad Whitelock is a Marriage Celebrant (www.perthcelebrant.com.au) based in Perth, Western Australia. He is an experienced Celebrant performing almost 500 weddings in the last 3 years of being a Celebrant and is considered to be one of the new wave of Celebrants being authorised that offer a fun, meaningful and friendly wedding. Having a Bachelor of Commerce Degree he is a member of a number of Associations such as MCA (WA) and AMC.