Category: before the wedding

How To Choose a Wedding Celebrant

how to choose
Your Wedding Celebrant

So you’re engaged, planning your wedding, and now looking for a celebrant.

There are 1000’s of celebrants in NSW, so how do you choose.

If you don’t know a celebrant or haven’t seen a great celebrant at a wedding you have attended, then it can be hard to know what to look for, let alone who to book.

Selecting a wedding celebrant is as important as selecting the type of wedding you want. It is a decision that cannot be made lightly: this is the person who is going to take you through those first cherished moments of your married life together.

In this post, I list 10 key points to look for when selecting a wedding celebrant.

10 top things when choosing a celebrant.

1. You need to feel a connection with them.

It’s just like how you select your friends. Your wedding celebrant needs to have similar values to you, understand what you want from your wedding, be able to motivate and encourage you and be there to celebrate the journey to your special milestone.


2. They’re fun

A great wedding celebrant will behave ethically but will also know how to combine the seriousness of getting married with the fun side of having a wedding.



3. They’re creative

Having a creative wedding celebrant can help inspire you in new and exciting ways. They will not be constrained by the traditional but inspired by ways that are new and different. They will always be on the lookout for inspirational ideas, possibilities, and won’t see anything as impossible.


4. They know how important your wedding day is.

A great wedding celebrant won’t let you down. They will be there for you every step of the way to help make sure your ceremony is the way you envision it to be.


5. They are professional

A great celebrant will be organised with excellent time management skills; they will be able to manage any challenge that may arise. They should also be able to instill confidence that they will complete all the required marriage documents.


6. They will take the time to get to know you.

A great celebrant is one who will get to know you so that they can create a unique and special ceremony about you.


7. Ideas and Inspiration

A great wedding celebrant will provide you with lots of ideas and information on how to create a ceremony. They will provide help with writing your marriage vows, offer suggestions for askings, ring exchanges, rituals, wedding music, and readings. If you want to involve family or friends in your ceremony they will be able to suggest ways to include them. They should also be able to offer ways to add your traditions or cultural beliefs to the ceremony.



8. Lead Up To Your Ceremony

Wedding planning can be a very stressful time. A great wedding celebrant should be there to help you to enjoy the lead-up to your ceremony and to feel at ease knowing you’re in great hands. They will be there to offer experience in dealing with logistics and family dynamics.


9. They’re awesome presenters

A great wedding celebrant hosts your wedding ceremony and is able to create an awesome atmosphere. They should be a storyteller able to take everyone on a special journey. They should be fun and engaging and their confidence should be visible. They don’t rush. They know what they’re doing and they help connect the guests with the ceremony.


10. They have a great PA system

“You’re only as good as the tools you use”. This is so true. Your wedding celebrant needs to have an awesome PA system. It’s so important that ALL your guests are able to hear and enjoy your marriage ceremony.

keep in mind
When choosing your celebrant

There are more than 8000 celebrants in Australia so you have a lot to choose from.

When looking for your celebrant you may get a variety of quotes as there is no benchmark for celebrant fees in Australia.

You may get fees that seem high but remember your wedding celebrant is the person who is going to be with you and help you create the very special moment when you become a married couple.

Your wedding celebrant is one of the most important people involved in your wedding day and will probably also be one of the less expensive elements.

So when selecting your wedding celebrant remember to choose the one that feels right, not the one because of their celebrant fees.

Notice Of Intended Marriage

The Notice Of Intended Marriage is the first legal document you will need to complete before your wedding ceremony.

The Marriage Act 1961 and Marriage Regulations 2017 set the rules for getting married in Australia. The Act and Regulations require that a legal marriage shall not take place unless a notice in writing of the intended marriage, is given to the authorised celebrant solemnising the marriage at least one calendar month before the proposed marriage.

This document is valid for 18 months from the time of presenting it to your celebrant until the proposed marriage date.


How to fill out a notice of intended marriage form

Carefully read the form so that you have all the information and details required to complete the NOIM truthfully and correctly.

Item 1 – select how you wish to be described

Item 2 – Fill in your family name

Item 3 – Fill in your first and middle name(s)

Item 4 – Select your gender (please note that this section is optional)

Item 5 – Add your usual occupation

Item 6 – Add the address that is your usual place of residence

Item 7 – Select your conjugal status relating only to if you have been married before.

Item 8 – If you were born in Australia, then you need to write the city or town of your birth and the state or territory. If you were born outside Australia then you need to write the town or city you were born in along with the state or province and country.

Item 9 – Fill in your date of birth (use the full year date eg. 1986)

Item 10 – Are the parties getting married related to each other. If you answer yes you will need to include the relationship details.


Then you need to complete details about both sets of parents of the couple who are marring.

Item 11 – Marring couples 1’st parent’s full current name

Item 12 – Marring couples 1’st parent’s full birth names

Item 13 – Marring couples 2nd parent’s full current name

Item 14 – Marring couples 2nd parent’s full birth names

Item 15 – Marring couples 1st parents county of birth

Item 16 – Marring couples 2nd parents country of birth

That’s all you need to fill in now you need to sign.


Signing the Notice of Intended Marriage

Please note that the Notice of Intended Marriage needs to be signed in the presence of an authorised witness.

Authorised witnesses if the Notice is being signed in Australia are an authorised celebrant, a justice of the peace, a barrister or solicitor, a medical practitioner, or a member of the Australian Federal Police or the police force of a State or Territory.

If the Notice is being witnessed outside of Australia then the following are authorised witnesses an Australian Consular Officer, an Australian Diplomatic Officer, a notary public, an employee of the Commonwealth authorised under paragraph 3(c) of the Consular Fees Act 1955, or an employee of the Australian Trade Commission authorised under paragraph 3(d) of the Consular Fees Act 1955.


To be completed by authorised celebrant before the ceremony

After you have completed the NOIM and submitted it to your authorised celebrant. This must be done at least one month and not more than 18 months before your proposed marriage. This is unless a prescribed authority has agreed to shorten the notice period (section 42 of the Act)

After your marriage has been solemnised then the documents must be submitted to the Registrar of Birth Deaths and Marriages in the state of territory where the marriage took place within 14 days after the marriage ceremony is performed.

For the celebrant to complete your Notice of Intended Marriage you will need to provide the required legal documents.

  1. One of the following forms of evidence of your place and date of birth. Birth certificate or an official extract, Statutory declaration, Australian passport or Overseas passport
  2. Form of Identification a driver’s license, proof of age/ photo card or a passport
  3. If you have been married before then you will need to show evidence on how the last marriage ended. Death, Divorce, or Nullity.
  4. If a party is under 18 years they will also need to show consents received or court approval.
  5. If approval has been given for shortening of time the document will need to be provided.

Then that’s it for what you need to do to complete your Noice of Intended Marriage, your celebrant will now complete the rest.

To download a copy of the Notice of Intended Marriage in PDF or DOCX