Choosing your marriage celebrant

Choosing Your Celebrant

Your marriage celebrant should have the experience and knowledge you would expect from a professional.  Many are ‘weekend celebrants’ holding down a full time job and see their celebrant practice as a hobby.

Marriage celebrants come in all shapes, beliefs and capacities to give you the ceremony that you want.  Choosing your marriage celebrant should be done with care as you will entrust some rather personal information to her and you would want it to be treated with respect, dignity and utmost professionalism.

Questions to ask a potential celebrant:

1. How many weddings do you do each year? You want experience and professionalism without the celebrant being so busy that they don’t have time to attend properly to your needs.

2. How do you personalise my wedding ceremony? A personalised ceremony can mean many things – know what you are getting. Please take a look t my earlier post on a personalised ceremony.

3.  How long before the wedding can I expect a draft? You need time to digest and process the draft ceremony and the chance to make/request changes to ensure the ceremony is as you envisaged.

4. Do you attend an on-site rehearsal? Necessary to ensure everyone is comfortable on the day. A rehearsal is not about the celebrant or the venue – it is about ensuring you and your bridal party are comfortable and relaxed on the day.  At the very least, I recommend anon-site meeting to chat about hoe the ceremony will pan out.

4. Do you use a contract or service agreement? If not – RUN a MILE!  A Service Agreement allows you to know the specifics of what you are agreeing to and is your fall-back if the celebrant wishes to levy additional charges.  Some may be legitimate, others you may have assumed they were included.

5. Do you hold professional indemnity and public liability insurance?  So important if something goes wrong.  It most likely won’t, but better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.  Holding appropriate insurance is the mark of a professional.

6. What are your fees and what is included?  How do I pay?  This relates to the Service Agreement.  Ask, if it makes your budgeting process easier, about the option to make a series of part payments until the full fee is paid.

Information supplied by Montville Maleny Marriage Celebrant – Merlin Coughlan

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