Spring is the time when Celebrants start to get very busy with our inquiries for the Year ahead … You will find that the current Year is now fully booked …
You have now decided on your Wedding Date and created your Wedding Checklist … by the way, Kikki K have a fabulous Wedding Folder … Note: I do not get paid for any endorsements!
You have by now chosen your Venue and Photographer … Next is usually your Celebrant.
So what is the process when you contact a Celebrant?
Please understand, this is my guide only of the process … Many Celebrants have varying prices and procedures.
The only procedure that has no changes are the Legals.
The very first question I always get asked, is price. I am more than happy to advise of my price range for both Civil and Commitment Ceremonies at this point according to current Australian Law at the time of writing this article. I list my fees to save time for my couples.
However, as I have stated in my previous Article “Celebrant Costs” please don’t base your decision on price alone.
- Your first question to your Celebrant is to confirm their availability on your chosen date and time.
You will then arrange a time and place (usually a Cafe) for you both to meet and chat about your Ceremony – Your vision of how you see your special day – how you met and the proposal with your Celebrant … This meeting can often last more than the average 45 minutes to 1 hour … I have personally stayed for dinner and a wine with one couple!
Sometimes, you just click with your Celebrant – other times they may not be the one you see sharing your day … This is fine … I always recommend you meet 3 Celebrants before you make your final decision.
- The next step … after you have both gone away to discuss and have now decided on your Celebrant, is to pay your deposit to ensure your date is confirmed and booked.This is done in the usual way via Direct Deposit.A receipt will be forwarded to confirm all details.
Celebrants have various fees, therefore various deposits.
To help my couples, I have a variable Payment Plan. This is to relieve the financial pressures of planning a Wedding.
Celebrants (including myself) require full payment prior to your Wedding Day.
- Next, is to have a meeting to plan and construct your Ceremony. This is usually done 3 Months prior to your Wedding day.
On this day you will also be required to complete the necessary paperwork, as follows:
You must both be over 18 years of age. If one person is under the age of 18 … your marriage is still possible with Parental consent (as per section 12 of the Marriage Act)
A Notice of Intended Marriage (N.O.I.M) must be lodged with your Celebrant at least One Calendar Month prior to your Ceremony.
Your Celebrant will prepare the document and witness your execution of this document. Your Celebrant must also sight your Current Drivers Licences and Passports. If you do not have one of these documents … you will require your Original Birth Certificates … If either of you have been previously married … you will need to present your original Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate. (Certified copies of supporting documentation will not be accepted)
To obtain a copy of your Victorian Birth Certificate or the Victorian Death Certificate of your former spouse contact the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages.
If you require a copy of your Divorce Certificate or Decree Absolute, contact the Family Law Court in the state in which the marriage was dissolved. For further details contact Family Law Courts.
* If parties born overseas do not have a Passport and are unable to obtain a Full Birth Certificate, your Celebrant can prepare a Statutory Declaration for your execution.
* Foreign language documents must be translated into English and a NAATI accredited Translation Certificate supplied.
* The ceremony must be witnessed by 2 people … over the age of 18 years. Your Celebrant cannot act as a witness.
*The Marriage Act 1961 requires that certain statements are to be included included in your Ceremony.
What if you want to be married sooner than the minimum time permits.
If special circumstances exist … a Prescribed Authority may approve your Application to Shorten Period of Notice of Intent to Marry.
Special circumstances are the following:
- Employment related or other travel commitments
- Wedding or celebration arrangements, or religious considerations
- Medical reasons
- Legal proceedings
- Error in giving notice
You must attach documentation as evidence … such as letters of employment, travel documents, Airline tickets, receipts of payment, letters from your Medical Practitioner or Court orders. Your executed NOIM … copies of your supporting identity documents and a letter from your Celebrant should also be included.
There is a lot to absorb … however your Celebrant will be able to help you with all of the above.
- Your bespoke Ceremony will then be prepared and sent to you for final approval … as you may have missed something that is important for you to include.
Not all Celebrants will do this … It is a complete choice by both parties.
I prefer to send all or part, to be confirmed … (never the Vows)
- Your rehearsal is now ready to take place.
You can do this up to one week prior to your Ceremony.Your Celebrant will advise the best time based on your circumstances.
These are usually:
* Your Attendants are arriving from Overseas or Interstate, and can’t be available.
*Your Venue has another function on that day.
You can also conduct your rehearsal at a nearby park or even your backyard. Of course, it is always preferable at your Venue.
It is preferable your whole Bridal Party also attends the rehearsal.
- Finally your big day arrives.
Your Celebrant will arrive half to 1 hour prior, to ensure everything goes exactly to plan.
I do hope this has helped in the process of finding the right Celebrant for celebrating your perfect day.