By Kristine Rawlinson – Celebrant for Life www.celebrantforlife.com.au
So, have you chosen your celebrant or are you in the process of trying to find the right celebrant for your wedding?
Here are some things you need to know about what your celebrant can and cannot do.
- Marriage celebrants are authorised by, and accountable to, the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants, who forms part of the Federal Attorney General’s department. If a celebrant is assessed to not have complied with the Attorney General’s Code of Practice for Marriage Celebrants, there are a range of disciplinary measures including losing their registration as a celebrant, or even jail time.
So it’s pretty important they know what they’re doing!
Use the below as a checklist for assessing your celebrant:
- Do they give you a copy of the Code of Practice? – they are required to do this so you know what to expect, how to complain, etc.
- Are they professional? – do they dress, conduct and follow up in a professional manner?
- Do they respect the institution of marriage? – Do they acknowledge its importance?
- Do they take care of the paperwork in a professional and timely manner?
- Have they got a decent PA? – Can they make sure that everyone can hear the ceremony?
- Do they know about family relationship services? – Celebrants are required by law to provide you with the document “Happily Ever Before and After” which outlines the importance and availability of relationship services. They must also keep an up-to-date knowledge of what services are available in their community.
- Do they abide by state and federal laws? – This can include the Marriage Act, but also antidiscrimination laws.
For me though? You need to feel COMFORTABLE with your celebrant; you need to know that they will perform the ceremony you want, the way you want it (whilst always meeting the legal requirements). You want to feel special; not one of the many ceremonies the celebrant needs to ‘get through’ that day or weekend. The celebrant will be right there with you and your partner as you make your vows to each other and have your first kiss as husband and wife, so make sure you choose the right celebrant for you!
I live in Riddells Creek in the beautiful Macedon Ranges of Victoria with my husband, two kids, crazy Jack Russell terrier, 5 chickens and the various squatters (in the form of kangaroos, blue tongue lizards, rainbow lorikeets, etc.) that come to visit on our 3 acre property.
I worked for several years as a Speech Pathologist, specializing in working with people with a disability. I then became a policy maker with the state government and worked on key projects where I wrote policy, media releases and documents for a broad range of audiences including Ministers of Parliament, senior public servants, allied health professionals, disability support workers, families and people with an intellectual disability.
When we made the ‘tree change’ to start our family I became a qualified marriage and funeral celebrant with the aim of having a greater work/life balance. I thought that being a celebrant would also make the best use of my skills and personality.
I now get to meet amazing people, and participate in their significant life events. It’s an absolute honor and privilege.