So, you’re ticking off your wedding planning to-do’s: Venue secured! Save-the-dates sent! Then you get to ‘book a celebrant’… There are no shortage of Commonwealth registered marriage celebrants in Australia (there are nearly 9,000 of us, actually), so how do you go about finding the right one for you? Your celebrant is the real party starter, responsible for kicking off your wedding and setting the vibe for the whole day – they’re also the person responsible for making sure you end up legally hitched. So you want to choose someone who is creative, confident, organised and able to work with your ideas. They’re out there, but meeting your celebrant match might not be as easy as a right swipe. Below are three steps to finding the right celebrant for you…
Step one: Figure out your ceremony style
As they say in The Castle, it’s all about ‘the vibe’. You want to make sure that the celebrant you choose is a fit for the type of ceremony you’re planning. Before you put out your feelers for a celebrant, think about the feel of your wedding day: Is it formal and traditional? Is it casual and a bit cheeky? Is it going to include religious and cultural rituals? Is it totally Star Wars themed? Your celebrant will be able to guide you through the finer details of the ceremony but it helps if you know what vibe you’re going for (in case, you know, the celebrant needs to be down for wearing a Darth Vader helmet).
Step two: Find someone who fits with your personality
This is a biggie. I joke that a celebrant is like a wedding third wheel, because when you’re standing up at your ceremony, making that monumental commitment to each other, your celebrant is right there with you. Which really isn’t awkward at all (it can actually be super calming and make you feel very supported), if the celebrant is a good fit for the two of you. How can you tell? Stalking wedding vendors on social media, checking out their website and any videos they may have posted, or just picking up the phone and having a quick chat should give you an idea if the celebrant you’re considering is your kind of peeps. You can always request a meeting with them if you want to get to know them better before making a booking.
Step three: Discuss exactly what you’ll need
Before you lock-in your celebrant, discuss what you’ll need from them to be sure they can deliver. You want someone who will listen to your ideas but also offer their own professional feedback (remember, you do this once in a lifetime, but celebrants do it all the time!). Can they talk you through the legalities of tying the knot? Will they work with you to create a completely custom ceremony? What kind of PA system do they use and can it play music for your ceremony? Do they provide you with resources like sample ceremonies, readings and scripting suggestions? Are they willing to attend a rehearsal at your chosen venue? Can they provide you with advice on weather alternatives?
Once you’ve nutted out all these details, you’re ready to book!