What it costs to engage the services of a celebrant


So, how much DOES a celebrant charge?


My least favourite thing to talk about in life is money. However, it is completely reasonable that people want to know in advance what they will be outlaying, and exactly what that fee includes. You have a budget, and you need to work out what money is going where, and what the priorities are.


A common comment that celebrants hear is that they charge too much for ’20 minutes of work’.


Put simply, it is so much more than the 20-30 minutes everybody sees at the wedding ceremony.



A typical marriage ceremony will involve the initial contact with the couple via phone/ video call/ email. Or there may be a face-to-face meeting or three.  The Notice of Intended Marriage must then be filled out, and various documents need to be supplied to us in order for us to fill it out as per the law. We need to be satisfied that individuals getting married understand the nature of marriage and that neither is being coerced. That they are giving informed consent.


We need to have a thorough working knowledge of the Marriage Act and the Regulations, and be able to give the right advice pertaining to any marriage-related scenario.


Then, it’s our job to find out what we can do for you as far as the ceremony content goes. To create a ceremony for you that reflects those wishes. This differs greatly from couple to couple.


Writing a unique ceremony for each couple is wonderful and challenging, and it takes up much of the time involved as far as the celebrant’s job goes.


We offer couples guidance through the legal process, advice on various aspects of the ceremony where needed, and perhaps a rehearsal. I turn up to the ceremony about half an hour to an hour prior to its commencement and liaise with venue staff, musicians, the wedding/event planner, and photographers to ensure everyone is on the same page and things will run smoothly. I provide a PA system for the ceremony, the vows, and sometimes your choice of music to be played through it. It’s my job to make everything flows naturally so that all you need to do is turn up and enjoy!


After the ceremony we have the paperwork to lodge, ensuring it is all filled out correctly.


Conducting the actual ceremony- the ’20 minutes’- is the least time-consuming element!


There are other boring costs involved in being a celebrant- exactly the same as with any sole trader or small business. Annual registration. Annual Professional Development. Insurances. Equipment. Wardrobe costs to make sure we look professional and appropriate for every type of wedding. Legal paperwork… you get the drift!



Couples will sometimes spend a considerable amount of money on a venue, flowers, outfits, catering, photographer, and outfits. The celebrant’s costs are generally a very small fraction of what everything else costs. And yet, it is the ceremony itself that is the point of the whole day- creating meaning, emotion, and ensuring the party is kicked off with an awesome ceremony- not a boring when-can-we-end-this-and-get-to-the-drinks one! Creating a meaningful and personalised ceremony for each couple; going above and beyond what is expected of us; this is what you are paying for when you engage the services of a Commonwealth Certified Civil Celebrant!



My fee starts from $600 for a simple, no frills, paperwork only, legals-only at a cafe or your kitchen bench (in other words, when you don’t want a venue/flowers/photographer/guests/ceremony – you literally just want to get it done legally).

From there, the Ruby ceremonies are the next tier up- a short and sweet, personalised ceremony elopement or micro wedding- Mon-Friday only ranging from $750-$850.

Finally, the Diamond ceremony for Saturdays and Sundays with as many guests as you like, a rehearsal, personalised vow cards, a PA for music /voice amplification, a presentation copy of your ceremony, a bespoke ceremony written just for you is $1100.

I also offer MC services for your reception– a professional service that ensures that your friend/family member you are considering for the job can just relax, imbibe, not worry about keeping to schedule, coordinating other vendors, troubleshooting and trying to figure out engaging ways to introduce your speakers and grab attention when required. Please ask for a quote!


Contact me for any questions/my availability at heidi@byronbaycelebrant.com.au or ph. 0404047313 and I will be happy to help!

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