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What it costs to engage the services of a celebrant

Byron Bay Celebrant and the confetti throw

What it costs to engage the services of a celebrant

My least favourite thing to talk about in life is money. However, it is completely reasonable that people, whilst looking for a celebrant, 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/ Skype/ email followed by a face-to-face meeting.  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 each of the parties to the marriage understand the nature of marriage and what it means, and that neither are being coerced- that they are giving informed consent.


It’s then our job to find out what we can do for you as far as the ceremony content goes, and to write 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 a rehearsal. We turn up to the ceremony about an hour prior to its commencement and liaise with venue staff, musicians, sometimes the wedding/event planner and photographers to ensure everyone is on the same page and things will run smoothly. We provide a PA system for the ceremony, the vows and sometimes your choice of music to be played through it.


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- annual registration, Ongoing annual Professional Development, and insurances.


Couples will often (not always!) spend a considerable amount of money on the venue, the flowers, the outfits, the food, etc. 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 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 Celebrant!


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