Marriage Celebrants

By Jan Littlejohn

Once you’ve chosen a venue for your ceremony, you’ll need to approach a marriage celebrant to officiate your wedding vows. If you and your partner are planning a religious ceremony, you will have an appointed celebrant referred to you by the venue

Points to consider

– How long will the ceremony be
– Can you add your own personal touches
– Are there restrictions on the throwing of rice/confetti
– Will there be adequate parking for guest
– Will there be adequate signage for guests to find your ceremony especially if it is being held outdoors in parklands.

A civil ceremony offers you freedom of choice for the location of your wedding. There are many reception venues that offer suitable ceremony locations on site, allowing you to spend more time with your guests.

A celebrant will enable your to personalize your ceremony. Many celebrants will allow you to choose your own vows (or help you write them), but they can also assist you in constructing a ceremony that is as unique as you are. Provided all legal requirements have been met your vows can be as creative as you wish.

Many marriage celebrants will be able to advise you on music selection guest and bridal party positioning, and they may even provide table’s chairs and copies of your ceremony. Some also offer a calligraphy service for your marriage certificate

Because a celebrant plays such a big part in your wedding day make suite you and your partner both feel comfortable with your final choice. Make as may calls as you need to. If possible arrange a live five minute phone call or personal meeting. Above all whomever you choose should be able to accommodate all your requirements.

A celebrant must be licensed and a professional one will advise you up front of all their costs and charges as well as what is required from you

When deciding what type of ceremony you would like, talk with both your families regarding any spiritual or religious beliefs you have

Marriage Legalities

What is Marriage

A marriage is described by the marriage act 1961 under the family law act 1975 (Cth) as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life. De facto relationships, homosexual, relationships and aboriginal customary marriages are not recognized as legal marriages.

Legal Requirements

The legal requirements for marriage are set out in the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth) the legal marriageable age is 18 years. In some circumstances a person ages 16 -18 can apply to the family court or their local magistrates court for consent to marry

Proper Notice and Ceremony

You must complete a ‘notice of intended marriage’ (form13) and give this to the minister or celebrant at least one month and one day before the date of the intended marriage. The notice is valid for up to eighteen months, from the time it is given to the celebrant/minister

Change of Name

Proof of your marriage is a ‘Certificate of Marriage’ which is signed by you and your partner, the celebrant or minister and two witnesses over the age of 18 and presented to you at the conclusion of the marriage ceremony. In many cases this is sufficient proof for couples to provide marriage and request a ‘change of name’ However the Passports Office and some other organizations no longer accept the certificate presented the couple by their celebrant. In such cases, couples will need to apply to their Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the official certificate

Financial Agreements

Some people who are contemplating marriage may make a written agreement setting out how their property and financial resources will be dealt with if they separate

Must inform

– Employer
– Income tax office
– Driving license authority
– Passport office
– Doctor & medical authorities
– Medicare
– Bank and building societies
– Credit cards companies
– Mortgage lender
– Investment & savings companies
– Life insurance & pension companies

Jan Littlejohn is a one of Australia’s most respected Celebrants for all occasions.  Jan Littlejohn will share with you her expertise, knowledge, tips and resources that have been published around the world – visit