How To Become A Marriage Celebrant

In the last few years, hiring a wedding celebrant has become highly popular. Whereas not that long ago a marriage celebrant – whether humanist or otherwise – was seen as something a little unusual, and dare we say it, bizarre, nowadays it is the norm.

Nowadays the majority of wedding ceremonies in Australia are presided over by a non-religious marriage celebrant.  In 2017 out of the 112,954 services conducted by celebrants, 78% were overseen by a non-religious civil celebrant – even though the non-religious marriage celebrants only make up 27% of all registered celebrants.

Here’s everything you need to know about celebrants, including how to become one and some facts about the role of celebrants in the wedding ceremony.

How Much Does A Marriage Celebrant Cost?

From a clients’ perspective, celebrants usually cost around $75/ hr. This often works out about $350 for the entire event.

How Much Does Marriage Celebrant Earn?

Although $75 an hour might sound lucrative, overall, most marriage celebrants do not make a lot of money overall. This is because although well paid per hour, wedding ceremonies do not tend to go on very long and the celebrant’s part is over relatively quickly.

However, the hourly rate does not adequately take into account the huge amount of preparation that the marriage celebrant must do!

In 2012 most marriage celebrants in Australia made around $10k or under.

What Is The Role Of A Marriage Celebrant?

Fairly obviously, the role of the marriage celebrant is to celebrate your marriage! Unlike a religious celebrant, the beauty of a civil marriage celebrant is that they can personalise your big event to make it all about you.

Unlike the dry legal civil services of the past, the role of the marriage celebrant is to put the couple at the heart of the wedding and to help them throughout the process.

What Makes A Good Marriage Celebrant?

Ultimately, being a good marriage celebrant means liking people. You should also be confident, respectful, flexible, organised and have a sense of fun.

The best marriage celebrants are not the ones which hog the centre stage but allow their couples to shine. Ideally, you should be an accomplished public speaker, who is happy to stay in the background.

Additionally, you must have an eye for the detail, including the legal aspects and requirements of the ceremony.

How Easy Is It To Become A Marriage Celebrant?

Becoming a marriage celebrant is an achievable goal, but it takes some work. It is worth bearing in mind that most marriage celebrants spend a fair amount in start up costs and training, this might be as high as $20k.

What Qualifications Do I Need To Become A Marriage Celebrant?

When thinking becoming a marriage celebrant, don’t forget the official requirements; these are a Certificate IV in Celebrancy from an RTO (registered training organisation) or another similar qualification on celebrancy. Alternatively, the prospective celebrant must display evidence of celebrancy skills.

Also remember that you must adhere to the terms of the Marriage Act 1961 and the Marriage Regulations 2017.

You must not discriminate against anyone by religion, race, gender or sex.

Also, it is a requirement that every civil celebrant undertakes five hours of professional development (OPD) every year.