There is an ever increasing number of Civil Marriage Celebrants being appointed in Australia by the Attorney-General’s Department. In 2010, I believe there was well over 12 000 marriage celebrants in Australia. Each marriage celebrant competes for their share of the ceremonies performed, whist couples have to wade through all the information, photos and testimonials presented.
All Civil Marriage Celebrants are bound by a Code of Practice that covers areas such as how we are to dress, conduct ourselves and our businesses and the minimum amount of time the celebrant has to turn up prior to the ceremony as examples.
I remember being told during my training that the most common complaint about a celebrants’ performance in the past at a marriage ceremony was that they couldn’t be heard by the guests. The outcome of this is now, as part of our Code of Practice a requirement is that the celebrant must be heard. We all have the latest and greatest PA systems that come with all the bells and whistles of -DVD, CD, MP3 and iPod capabilities.
Many aim to be on the first page of google and other popular wedding websites to keep in the eye of couples.
Most marriage celebrants will have sample ceremonies and resources to help couples design their own ceremony. Some celebrants cut and paste ceremonies, others compose a new ceremony for each event.
Some celebrants believe that a rehearsal is a must…others don’t. A few celebrants supply chairs for the guests, red carpets and decorative flags!
Ultimately then, how does a couple choose a celebrant for their ceremony?
For some couples it comes down to gender as they prefer an older male celebrant reflective of a father figure or that of the parish priest. For some couples, the decision is made on age. The average age of a celebrant is 62 years – experience verses youth.
Price is a big factor! Many couples look for the cheapest celebrant for one of the most important events in their lives. Often they spend considerably more on the flowers or the cake, without a thought.
So what are some of the other qualities that couples look for in a marriage celebrant?
The celebrant you are considering for your ceremony should be
clear in their explanations, have good diction and writing skills
able to adapt to situations and have a sense of humour
friendly, approachable and sincere
able to listen well
respectful of your rights as individuals and as a couple
passionate about their work
A good choice is the celebrant that gives “you” confidence in their ability to create a relaxed atmosphere that will enable “you” – the bride and groom to enjoy “your day” stress-free.
It is worth investing the time in finding the right celebrant for your event…particularly your marriage ceremony. Finding the right celebrant can be just as important as finding the right dress – they both have to be the right fit. To see if I can be the right fit for your ceremony, let’s have a chat!