With so many marriage celebrants offering their services, it can be a little overwhelming knowing who to choose. One of the best places to start is to find someone based on their proximity to your wedding venue. You should also take into consideration your budget, as well as any preferences you might have for the gender and/or age of your celebrant.
An initial meeting with your potential marriage celebrant is essential to get a feel for their personality and their ability to take care of all your ceremony details. Here are a list of question you should always ask a celebrant before you book them.
(1) When Will I Be Able to See the Script?
Although some marriage celebrants pride themselves on their ability to ad-lib, I believe that a celebrant should only present a ceremony a couple has contributed to. This means there should be an agreed process where a draft script is written by the celebrant and submitted to the couple for approval. This collaborative effort should be finalised well before the wedding date (at least one month) so everyone feels comfortable with the final order of service including reflections, readings, rituals, vows & blessings.
(2) I Want to Write My Own Vows — Can You Help?
If you want to write your own vows, an experienced marriage celebrant should be willing to offer guidance, support and encouragement. This may include providing inspirational texts, editing or crafting your words, or checking your style and content is similar to your partner’s vows (if you are keeping your vows secret from one another).
(3) When Will I Receive the Official Marriage Certificate?
The marriage certificate you sign at the end of the ceremony is a presentation certificate and cannot be used for legal purposes such as changing your name. The official certificate of marriage is issued by Births, Deaths and Marriages after the wedding is completed and the paperwork lodged, and is an additional cost. The celebrant can organise this on your behalf so ask if this service is included.
(4) What Will You Be Wearing?
Most celebrants will have a particular style of clothing they wear so it is best to check with them first. You might be perfectly happy for your celebrant to wear a floral frock, but perhaps you might prefer something in a solid, neutral colour.
(5) What Are Your Terms & Conditions?
Professional celebrants will ask you to sign a contract or agreement when you book them which will cover such things as their refund policy, late fees, alternative arrangements if the celebrant is unavailable, venue health & safety requirements, equipment supplied, insurance coverage and more. Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions of your relationship with your celebrant before going ahead with your booking.