When it comes to wedding celebrants in Melbourne, you're dead-set spoilt for choice. Whilst this is a great position to be in, I understand it can also be incredibly overwhelming. Don't panic! I've decided to give you all the inside information to help find the best possible celebrant for you - and one who fits into your budget! The first thing to think to consider is what kind of wedding you're dreaming of. Are you looking to elope in a teeny tiny ceremony with just your witnesses and family present? Or are you looking for the ultimate celebration to reflect your love, your lifestyle, your quirkiness? Once you have a rough plan, you'll be better prepared to discuss your ideas when you first chat with your celebrant. This should be one of the first things on your wedding 'to do' list alongside booking a venue and perhaps a photographer. (Remembering, the best professionals will book quickly for key dates in the wedding calendar.) And here are some of topics you might want to discuss with your celebrant.
Creating an Amazing Ceremony
Basically you're looking for someone who can tell your story in a really engaging way. (How many weddings have you been to where you mentally tune out - just waiting for it to all be over?) No one wants to start their wedding day (or their marriage) by boring all of their most important people. You want a celebrant who can write and deliver a ceremony that will blow your mate's socks off! If you find this, the rest of your day will be truly amazing. A wedding day is all about the love, the connection, the vibe, the stories and again the love!!! So many couples stress (and budget for) the smallest things. Get your ceremony right - start your day with a bang and your family and friends will be left on a high, ready to celebrate the very moment you and your partner ever laid eyes on each other. And ready to celebrate ALL the love in the room!
Here are some starting questions:
What is your background as a writer?
What experience do you have as a public speaker?
Can we read any reviews or testimonials from your previous clients? (Mine are here.)
What is your style when presenting the ceremony?
How will you write our story? (One of my many techniques is explained here.)
Can we write our own wedding vows? Will you help us?
Legals & Logistics
You need a professional who is organised, has great systems for handling their legal process, will turn up on time with all of their gear in great condition, then spell & pronounce everything correctly. Sounds simple right? Yes, but believe me - you need a professional.
What is the legal process in regards to getting married in Australia?
How do we sign the Notice of Intended Marriage?
Who can witness our NOIM?
Who can act as our witnesses on the wedding day?
How do we get both of our wedding certificates?
Do you have professional sound equipment? Is it battery operated?
Is a final meeting or rehearsal included?
Personal Connection & Integrity
When I got married, the most important aspect in finding a celebrant was that there was a connection between us. Getting married is obviously a really intimate event, held in a very public setting. For this reason, I've added in some pointers that might help you choose a person who will make you feel comfortable, supports you at this all-important / emotional moment and is basically someone whose beliefs and vibe is aligned with your own. These are some things you MIGHT want to ask:
Do you hold any religious beliefs?
What are your ideas on marriage itself?
What is your position on marriage equality?
How can I follow you on social media? Follow me here.
Costs & Budgeting
Celebrants are small business owners with many associated costs. Some of these include ongoing training, annual registration, website, marketing, advertising, professional equipment.
I personally spend a total of 10-15 hours on an average wedding in total. Some celebrants marry couples as a part-time gig (or hobby) whist others are full time. There is a huge difference in experience and my personal opinion is that it is a is a job where experience really matters.
I think a good way to work out what you can afford in terms of your wedding budget is to list the elements you need in order of what is most important to you. Number them from 1 - 10 (or however many elements you require.) Is it photography, flowers, venue, cake - or a an amazing celebrant :) that will be first on your list?
Once you work out the order of importance, you will have an idea of which items you are prepared to spend up on and which you need to budget. I truly believe that when it comes to weddings, you get what you pay for.
These are just some of the questions you might have for your celebrant:
What is the total cost of the package?
What exactly does this include?
Are there hidden costs?
How many weddings have you conducted?
Are you a full time or part time celebrant?
Do you offer a discount for non-peak hour weddings (for example before 1pm?)
Do you include a hard copy as a 'keepsake'?
How much is it to book you in as our celebrant? When is the balance due?
Good luck in your search. Here is a little bit about myself and my role as a full time celebrant.
Kate Morgan is a Melbourne based marriage & funeral celebrant
For more info visit the website: https://www.katemorgan.net.au/