Katie Reeve, Celebrant > Planning  > How to Choose the Perfect Marriage Celebrant
How to Choose the Perfect Marriage Celebrant

How to Choose the Perfect Marriage Celebrant

Once you’ve chosen the wedding date and location, there can seem like a never-ending list of to-dos. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of grabbing a great celebrant. Most couples put a lot of thought into choosing a venue or deciding on catering, but not much into selecting a celebrant for their wedding day.  For such a vital role, it’s essential to think about the kind of celebrant you’d like to conduct your ceremony as they can set the tone for the whole event.

Also, consider that the celebrant you want may be booked months or years in advance, so book early to avoid disappointment.

It’s crucial to find a celebrant that is the right fit for you and your partner. One who can celebrate your relationship and turn their full attention to ensuring your wedding runs perfectly, giving you beautiful memories that last a lifetime.

What Can a Marriage Celebrant Do for Me?

A marriage celebrant can help you choose a location and venue, support you with writing vows, offer assistance with selecting vendors and, of course, conduct your ceremony.  The right wedding celebrant should strive to shoulder some of the responsibility, which depending on your chosen package, could be anything from simply officiating your wedding to overseeing the whole process. Their help will enable you to fully focus on what matters; celebrating your love.

Desirable Traits of a Wedding Celebrant

As you search for the perfect celebrant, think about these characteristics:

  • Organisational and time-management skills. They must keep your wedding running on time and in order.
  • Public speaking prowess. Someone who can confidently command a room and engage an audience.
  • A genuine people-person who enjoys getting to know fellow humans and their stories.
  • A sense of humour so your family, friends, and guests feel at ease and the atmosphere is lighthearted.
  • Quick and calm problem-solver.
  • Warm, approachable, and friendly.
  • Excellent communication and rapport-building skills.
  • An active listener. Your celebrant must pay attention to what you want so your wedding wishes are understood.
  • Selecting a celebrant with a passion for nature and vast wilderness expertise is necessary if you plan to have a wild wedding.
  • Strives to include everybody by accommodating guests with special needs and involving parents and children.
  • The ability to get along well with you and your partner.  You should feel relaxed around your celebrant and able to express your wedding ideas.

Ask the Right Questions

Your search for the perfect celebrant begins with asking the right questions. While you can ask some run-of-the-mill questions for clarity of the service offered, some more open-ended questions could generate real insight into the type of person your celebrant is and how invested they are. Their business is about love, connection, emotion and romance, so they should show passion and enthusiasm for love stories and be personally invested in every wedding.

Of course, it’s vital to consider their fees, services, equipment, rehearsals, meetings, cancellation, backup plans, and sickness policies. You should also ask about any ceremony restrictions and if they have other weddings booked that day. But to get to the real nitty gritty, ask these:

  • What made you want to become a celebrant?
  • How would you build our ceremony, and what is your approach and process?
  • How could we go about personalising our wedding to truly reflect us?
  • What resources, ideas or examples could you offer us? Some celebrants can assist with vow writing, for example.

Asking these questions gives you a window to their passion, enthusiasm and motivation, with the additional perk of allowing you to witness their interpersonal and communication skills firsthand.

What Kind of Questions Do They Ask You?

Your celebrant should ask about you and your relationship, including details like how you met, what you love about one another, and what you like to do together. Look for a genuine interest in your love story. Don’t settle for a lack of authenticity. They should ask you about your wedding vision to see where they can help make it come true using a wealth of ideas that come from experience and a love of celebrating love!

A celebrant who uses their expertise to guide you into personalising your wedding with bespoke readings, music, traditions, rituals, and poetry is the gold standard!

Check Out Their Experience

They should be an authorised celebrant, fully qualified and registered, and know how to meet the legal requirements. While it’s a good idea to get a celebrant experienced in conducting weddings, if you are considering someone new to the role, you should definitely ensure they have public speaking skills.  If you are opting for experience, you can check out reviews from married couples to see what they thought.

Career changer celebrants can bring many desirable skills into the mix, depending on their previous roles,  which can add something really special to your wedding.

What Can They Offer You?

Check out their services. A good celebrant doesn’t just perform ceremonies, but they can put you in touch with the right wedding vendors, assist with ideas, offer resources and oversee the whole process.

Make sure your celebrant isn’t just rehashing templates for each wedding ceremony they conduct. Your wedding should reflect your relationship, and the ceremony writing should involve as many redrafts and polishes as necessary to get it in tip-top shape. Your unique couple’s journey should be documented, detailing specific milestones of your shared experience.

Seek out an experienced, reassuring, enthusiastic celebrant you can trust with this monumental moment in your life. They should be fully present for you and invested in securing your happiness throughout this time. If you are overcome with emotion or nervous about speaking, could you trust this person to support you on the day?


To get the right celebrant for you, it’s a good idea to choose marriage celebrants that align with you as a couple in terms of your values, outlook, personality, humour, or interests.  This should make communication and understanding flow effortlessly and ensure your celebrant knows precisely what you’re after.

Whatever you decide to go for in terms of the type of ceremony, your celebrant should be able to accommodate your needs on your special day.  The perfect marriage celebrant conducts wedding ceremonies the way the couple wants! With so many celebrants to choose from, make sure your celebrant can add something special to your ceremony.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a wedding celebrant help with my vows?

Yes. Celebrants can offer a vow writing service where they work with you to build your vows for the big day. Alternatively, they could provide examples and resources to help you create your own vows.

Can marriage celebrants include religious beliefs?

Yes, a civil celebrant can include your religious beliefs in civil ceremonies, whether it’s a religious reading or hymn.

What is the difference between religious marriage celebrants and commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants?

A Commonwealth-registered celebrant can perform religious and non-religious ceremonies with no requirement to match the client’s religious beliefs. However, religious marriage celebrants must be ministers of a particular religion and can only conduct wedding ceremonies that match their faith.

Can a family member legally officiate my marriage ceremony?

No, not unless they are authorised to do so. An authorised marriage celebrant is registered with the Attorney-General’s Office and qualified to officiate weddings. They must complete the official paperwork and utter the legal words required to comply with the Marriage Act so the couple can legally marry. As it takes around a year to qualify, your family member cannot simply apply online to officiate your wedding as a one-off. If they are already qualified and registered, they could officiate your wedding. Still, it might be difficult if they lack previous experience in this field.