How to Choose Your Celebrant
When most couples begin looking for a Marriage Celebrant, they have absolutely no idea where to start, who to use, who to trust or what they want in a ceremoney. The first thing youshould look for in a celebrant is that they are properly accredited and belong to a reputable Celebrant Association.
Marriage Celebrants in Australia must be appointed by the Federal Attorney General after going through a rigorous process of training, accreditation and background checking to ensure they are a fit and proper person. Marriage Celebrants are then required to undergo annual professional development to ensure their knowledge is up-to-date.
By belonging to a Celebrant Association you can be confident that your chosen celebrant has obtained all their credentials and has strong network of like-minded professionals whose experience can be drawn upon.
You should not choose your celebrant based on price alone.
If you consider the expenditure on other aspects of the wedding, the photography package, the flowers, the wedding dress, the cake, hire cars, reception etc., the Celebrant, who will effectively be setting the tone for the remainder of your day, should not be where you try to economise.
Your wedding day is a 'bringing together' of the most important people in your life; your family, friends and loved ones. A fabulous ceremony makes your family and friends feel that they are being married into a new and bigger family and everybody at your ceremony gets the feeling that they are participating in your ceremony, not just onlookers and not just witnesses to a dry legal process. The ceremony should not go to just their heads but more importantly their hearts!
There are many factors that may affect how the bride feels on her wedding day - guests, weather, groom, bridal party nerves, etc. The atmosphere of a ceremony is often dependent on the Celebrant. Your celebrant does not just “officiate” your marriage they lead your ceremony to create the celebration you want.
On her wedding day, a bride wants to feel relaxed, confident, and reassured and many grooms suffer from pre-wedding jitters and nerves, your Celebrant should be able to provide that confidence to the bride and can help ensure that the groom is calm, composed and relaxed before the ceremony commences.
Your wedding is also arguably one of the biggest events in your life, and your ceremony is a 'Celebration' in every sense of the word. Your ceremony is the most important part of your wedding day as it’s the opening act and should be the jewel in the crown - without the ceremony it’s just a party.
Choosing your Celebrant is a very personal thing and you should meet with them and consider all aspects of what they have to offer. Your Marriage Celebrant should, in some way reflect you as a couple and is someone you can relate to, relax with, and have a laugh with, and at the same time feel assured that they will prepare and present your ceremony just as you want it to be. Your Celebrant should reflect you as a couple and you should make sure your celebrant is the right "fit" for you! Only after assuring yourself of these aspects should you consider the price.
When your wedding day has passed, your reception is over, and you settle into married life to begin your new adventure, how you remember your wedding day will be most important. As Maya Angelou once said:
“I have learned that people will forget what you said and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you make them feel.”
Your Celebrant will help you make your wedding day everything you ever dreamed of!
Getting Married in Australia
The Australian Marriage Act contains certain obligations that you as a couple must meet before getting married.
The first step is that Notice of Intended Marriage (NIM) must be given to your Marriage Celebrant no less than one calendar month before your wedding day. They can be submitted earlier but they are only valid for 18 months.
The NIM is the underpinning document that contains your critical and personal details required to validate and solemnise your marriage.
In order for your celebrant to authenticate your NIM, you must provide evidence of your legitimacy to be married under Australian Law. In particular, you must provide evidence of date and place of birth, which can be via your original Birth Certificate, or authorised extract of such certificate or alternatively, you can produce either an Australian Passport or Overseas Passport as identification, (please note the passport can be expired but NOT cancelled).
When either one or both of you have been previously married, you must also show proof of how the marriage ended. This can be done by providing the Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate, (or an order of annulment from an overseas country if they do not have a divorce system), whichever is applicable, to your celebrant.
Once again, it is important to remember that ONLY original documents can be accepted.
Closer to the date of ceremony, but prior to your wedding both the bride and groom will be required to sign a declaration, (Form 14), stating that you believe there is no legal impediment to the marriage between yourself and your fiancé. Section 11 of the Statutory Declaration Act it is an offence to make false statement and is punishable by imprisonment.
Two persons under the age of the eighteen cannot marry in Australia. Any person who is sixteen or seventeen can marry a person eighteen or over but they must first obtain parental consent and approval of a court of law. Persons of sixteen and under cannot marry under any circumstances.
Please contact Chris directly and he will be able to guide and help you through the process.