Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions
What are the legal requirements?
- Australian law prohibits persons under the age of 18 to marry without permission from a judge.
- A Notice of Intended Marriage (NIM) form must be submitted to the Celebrant a minimum of one month prior to the wedding. The NIM form will remain active for 18 calendar months from the date of submission – this form can be downloaded here. Couples should make an appointment with a Celebrant to get the form lodged and signatures witnessed. Please note that good professional celebrants get booked out as much as 12 months ahead.
- The following documents must be shown to the Celebrant:-
A Birth Certificate or Passport If you provide only a birth certificate then a driver’s license must also be shown.
- If either of you has been previously married, you must show evidence of how the marriage terminated – eg /Divorce Paper or Death Certificate of a previous Spouse.
- The law requires two witnesses aged 18 years or over must be present at the ceremony.
Can we choose our own words for the ceremony?
By all means. It is your ceremony and I will ensure that the ceremony reflects you as a couple. Marriage is a serious undertaking and not to be regarded lightly. As a celebrant, I ensure that this aspect is conveyed during the ceremony. However, it is still your personal ceremony and I work with you to develop your ceremony the way you wish it to be. This is very important to me.
What special services do you offer?
As your celebrant, I can give you choices to help you design a wedding that is truly yours to celebrate your special day. If you wish to write your own vows, please do so. There is nothing to memorise – you can read your vows from my ceremony folder on the day.
I can help you to include special poetry, music or readings and other rituals to ensure you are perfectly happy with the final ceremony. I am an excellent resource for other professional wedding suppliers and happy to recommend to you.
How long will the ceremony last?
This is one of the first questions couples ask. Your chosen ceremony is personal and it should reflect your own views. The required length of the ceremony is also a personal choice, however, too short a ceremony is not a good idea. An average ceremony will last approximately 15 – 20 minutes. When working out your timing for the day, please allow a ½ hour.
Wet Weather – what do we do if it rains?
An alternative venue is necessary with any outdoor locations and should be at the same time.
Can We Have Music During The Ceremony?
Music before and after your ceremony is entirely your choice, as are arrangements for photos, videos, candles, flowers, etc. However, music during the actual ceremony is not appropriate but if you do wish to have it, then it is suggested the volume is turned to very low so as not to detract from the ceremony words……..or we could incorporate a tune into they ceremony by introducing it and listening.
Are Table and Chairs required?
If you are having an outdoor wedding then you will need to provide a table and chair for the signing. For small weddings, I can provide a portable lectern. Some couples opt to utilize a nearby bench if available.
How far apart do you perform ceremonies?
As a professional celebrant, I often have more than one ceremony on the same day, however, I will allow for mishaps with time and travel. I like to arrive at least 20 minutes before starting time to set up the equipment and meet the family. I am usually at the venue 30 minutes prior to the starting time of the ceremony.
What about offshore weddings?
Offshore weddings require you to make arrangements to pick up the celebrant from the allocated wharf and drop her promptly back after the ceremony. Cost of water taxis will be borne by the couple.
What about Fees?
A Lodgement/Booking Fee is paid at the first meeting when you lodge the Notice of Intended Marriage. The balance of the Celebrant’s fee is generally at our final meeting prior to the wedding. Fees are never taken on the wedding day. All this will be covered under a Terms of Agreement which we will explain to you at the first meeting.
How can I ensure that my ceremony is heard?
I have an excellent state-of-the-art, non-intrusive cordless PA system. This also has the ability to play recorded music, which you should bring on your phone, etc.
What about a Rehearsal?
A rehearsal for a civil ceremony is not strictly necessary but a general run-through with just the bride & groom and the celebrant is a good idea, and we can do this about a week or two before the wedding day at the celebrant’s home. If you wish to have an on-site rehearsal then a fee is applied.
Is It Etiquette To Invite You To Our Reception?
The service you pay for is a professional service – and as a professional celebrant, I do not expect to stay after officiating at your ceremony. However, time permitting, I will be happy to join you in a toast before departing.
Should you have any questions not covered above, please feel free to call or email me and I will be pleased to help you. My contact details are all on the “Contacts” page.