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The Difference Between a Civil Celebrant and Marriage Celebrant

The Difference Between a Civil Celebrant and Marriage Celebrant

What is a Civil Celebrant?

A civil celebrant is someone authorised and registered to conduct ceremonies in compliance with the law. Civil celebrants are the same as marriage celebrants and the two terms are often used interchangeably. They may even be referred to as ‘civil marriage celebrants.’ However, the commonly preferred term for independent celebrants is ‘marriage celebrant’.

What is a Marriage Celebrant?

An authorised marriage celebrant can legally marry people and conduct and officiate weddings and other ceremonies. A marriage celebrant is usually trained for and experienced in conducting a variety of celebrations alongside marriage ceremonies, including naming and commitment ceremonies, vow renewals, funerals, and memorials.

If you choose a celebrant for your wedding ceremony, you can have the vows, music, and readings you choose. Marriage celebrants will make sure that your ceremony is legally compliant as well as help to personalise your ceremony as their job is to design a custom service with and for the client.

Legal Aspects

The celebrant will ensure that the intended marriage meets the requirements of the Marriage Act 1961, and as part of this, they will sign and submit the proper legal paperwork required by the Australian government. Your authorised celebrant will ensure the correct legal words are uttered during the ceremony, during which they are legally required to state a passage from the Marriage Act and stand beside the marrying couple when their vows are given.

Training, Certification and Registration for Marriage Celebrants

Authorised marriage celebrants must obtain all certifications and qualifications required by the Attorney General’s Department. After which, they must pay a fee to register with the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants. They are tested on their knowledge of the Marriage Act and must complete Certificate IV in Celebrancy by studying with a registered training organisation for around a year.

Afterwards, they must register for an Australian Business Number and pay yearly fees to continue being a registered marriage celebrant. Moreover, there is a compulsory requirement to conduct ongoing professional development each year.

A Marriage Celebrant, a Registrar and a Minister walk into a Wedding Venue

A marriage celebrant can be distinguished from their religious and government-appointed counterparts by their creative freedom to design a unique service in a location of the couple’s choosing, along with the option to include religious elements if desired.

Why Choose a Marriage Celebrant?

A wedding celebrant can also host the entire event as a Master of Ceremonies and could be heavily involved in the planning stage if hired for that purpose. So the role of a celebrant is much broader than that of other authorised officials.

Australian wedding celebrants can legally wed you absolutely anywhere on Australian soil, on land, in the air, or on the water, which opens up a load of beautiful wedding locations which would be unavailable without a celebrant.

Celebrants work with the couple to create a bespoke and distinctive ceremony fitting the couple’s desires. A marriage celebrant’s wedding service can be absolutely unique since there are no limitations on the scope, structure, or style of a wedding. You have ample opportunities to create, select, organise and alter all elements of your ceremony, aside from the obligatory legal wording, which means you have complete freedom to design your wedding the way you want to.

Choose a celebrant-led ceremony for a laid-back, fun atmosphere with active guest participation and the gift of amazing memories from your wedding day.

Feel free to get in touch for further information on how registered marriage celebrants like me can get you hitched without a hitch and to explain all of the services available.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of ceremony can you have at a registry office?

A registry office is a great choice if you are after something non-religious and perhaps a little more low-key or casual when you get married. Civil marriage ceremonies conducted by a registrar are in licensed government buildings, are completed within 30 minutes, and involve both partners repeating a given set of vows. You can add to these if the additional elements are not religious. You can choose whether you want to exchange rings, and then you sign the register alongside your two witnesses.

And did you know that Tasmania is the ONLY state in Australia NOT to have a Registry Office? Luckily, a celebrant can offer you a similar experience at a location of your choice.

Can I tell my marriage celebrant what to wear?

Yes, you can. It’s your wedding and you set the style, tone, and dress code. Explain any particular dress requirements to your celebrant, who should be happy to oblige.

Do wedding celebrants follow a code of practice?

Yes, it’s the Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants. The code outlines the rules for conducting marriage ceremonies and the industry standards for Australian marriage celebrants. It also states how celebrants must maintain a high quality of service and professional behaviour.