Katie Reeve, Celebrant > Planning  > How to Choose the Right Wedding Celebrant
How to Choose the Right Wedding Celebrant

How to Choose the Right Wedding Celebrant

Have you been looking for the perfect wedding celebrant? While the ceremony is only part of your special day, you want to make sure that you have the right person to guide you every step of the way. 

There’s a lot to think about when planning a wedding. Invitations, budgeting, seating charts, wedding rings, maids of honour, and groomsmen will all require ticking off the checklist. However, after months and even years of planning you need that perfect person to lead your ceremony. 

From setting the tone to communicating with guests, the celebrant plays a crucial role in executing your dream wedding. There is no need to be hasty with the decision and you can take your time speaking to many celebrants to find the right fit.

As a life celebrant who has shared memorable moments with guests over the years, I am here to take you to step by step through the process. I understand real-life human experiences and the main decisions involved in sharing your story with those you cherish. By committing to a lifelong passion for storytelling, I enable intimate collaborations with guests and couples.

With an ever-watchful eye and a keen ear, I want to work together to make your dream day a reality. Whatever your calling may be, I am here to share my years of experience and help you instil that sense of connection, love, and peace on your special day.  

Select a Tone for Your Wedding

Before considering which celebrant is right for you, it is important to decide what kind of tone you want. Perhaps you are looking for a full packaged wedding that includes rituals, readings, poems, and specialised events. Maybe you are hoping to get back in touch with nature with a stunning bush wedding. Or just wanting to keep things personal with a marriage license at a wedding registry. 

Whatever choice you make it’s going to inform the overall tone of the day. The tone will also be created by your guest count, the close friends you invite, or even the wedding dress you have chosen. Will it be abroad or a local wedding with out-of-town guests? How may the wedding flowers, accommodation, or time of year affect the tone?  

As a celebrant, I am invested in delivering this tone and making sure your day runs smoothly. It’s going to be a collaborative relationship between the three of us so I am ready to understand your vision and realise its full potential.

Use Your Venue as a Guide

With the limited destinations of religious and civil ceremonies, celebrant weddings offer boundless opportunities. Choosing the best fit celebrant will depend on booking your venue. 

You may have always wanted to get married on a beach in front of a sunset, surrounded by lush gardens, or even inside historical castle ruins. Take your perfect wedding idea and let it inform the pitch for your ceremony. For example, if you are at a historical site you can discuss how your celebrant can incorporate the surroundings into the ceremony.


What’s Their Approach?

Every celebrant is different. You want to make sure that you choose someone who matches your desired wedding style. The ceremony will be greatly influenced by the celebrant’s personality and their unique approach to storytelling. Pro-tip, choosing your celebrant will depend upon connection and their ability to paint a warm narrative. 

As an illustration, you would like the content of the ceremony to reflect your and your partner’s relationship. Some celebrants may use questionnaires to personalise your day, others will want to listen to your story one on one to write a deeply meaningful ceremony.   

Can they Personalise Your Wedding?

Understanding the celebrant’s approach is the perfect step to achieving that personal feel. You will want to find someone who can see beneath your position as a client and articulate an eventful story of your life. Celebrants like myself are here to map out how you fell in love, your growth together, and the witnesses that made you who you are today.

There are a number of ways of personalising your wedding ceremony so take care in spotting the celebrant’s unique experience. From symbolic or religious content to handfastings, have a look at what stands out to you and captures your energy. 

Some of the main questions to think about are how flexible are their ideas? Are they forthcoming with examples and previous experiences? Do they seem invested in your journey? 

How do they Communicate?

Communication is going to be key. You will be looking for someone who is a good listener, full of energy, and passionate about your vision. From initial check-in meetings to staying in touch every step of the way, wedding celebrants will be directed by your influences and choices. So make sure that person truly captures your own imagination.  

You may begin by filling in an online form on a wedding website, a phone call, or a meetup. From here your follow-up meetings will be a time for planning the process, rehearsing the ceremony, and polishing the tone. 

How Comfortable Do They Make You Feel? 

You have dreamed about this day for years so you need to feel as comfortable as possible with the person delivering it. The celebrant’s personality is central to this feeling. Maybe you don’t want someone too outspoken who may steal your limelight? Do you want the celebrant to be more laid back rather than an entertainer?

The main priority is that whoever it is you want them to generate the magic you deserve. Celebrants range from enthusiastic performers who can transform your wedding party to warm reserved hosts that capture the heart and soul of the event.    

 Always Read Reviews!

Choosing your celebrant will depend on their past experience. As a guide, it’s always useful to learn about them by delving into their previous reviews. Couples will more than likely detail the flexibility and personality of the celebrant. There’s a lot of great insight to be gained from past couples, and you may even find some inspiration! 


Prices may vary depending on the experience of your celebrant and the desired venue, but the average ranges from $450 to $1000.


Ask Questions, Test Their Knowledge!

Don’t be shy and prepare a list of questions during your search. If you want to secure a fruitful rapport you will need to get on the same page from the off. This may also involve testing their knowledge of the industry. Ask them about timelines, their previous tones, and the usual ceremony length. Make sure to stay in touch regularly!  

What Questions Can You Ask?

  • What specific services do you provide as a celebrant?
  • Will I be able to make any changes or revisions to a ceremony script?
  • Can you help with the venue management, suppliers, and hair stylists?
  • Do you provide a rehearsal dinner? 
  • Are you affiliated with any other wedding professionals?
  • Can I change the date if required?
  • Do you have a cancellation policy or what happens if you can’t make it on the day?  


What questions should I ask my celebrant?

  • What are the celebrant’s qualifications?
  • How many meetings do you have before the wedding? 
  • Will the celebrant provide any equipment? 
  • Can they help you with writing your vows?
  • How many weddings do they officiate each day?

How much does a wedding celebrant cost?

On average a celebrant will earn $800. The minimum that a celebrant will charge for a legal binding will be $450. The upper limit has no fixed price and can in some cases reach $2000 for wealthy clients.  

How do you decide on a wedding ceremony?

  • Meet with a planner.
  • Choose the venue that captures your vision.
  • Create your guest list. 
  • Make sure to keep track of your budget.
  • Think about what you want to include.
  • Consider the experiences of your guests.

Who can officially marry you?

Christian weddings are officiated by a pastor, Jewish weddings are directed by a rabbi, and Islamic weddings are presided over by an imam. For a celebrant ceremony to be legal you will need to arrange a signed wedding certificate.

What is the best time to start a wedding?

The most common start time for ceremonies is between 11 am and 3 pm. While church ceremonies will more likely occur in the morning, the majority of civil ceremonies and registry office services will happen in the afternoon.