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canberra celebrant wedding

Tips for Choosing your Celebrant

Tips from ‘The Shellibrant’: “Planning your wedding can be overwhelming. Here are five tips on what to look for when it comes to choosing the person who will officiate your ceremony. Following these tips will ensure you have a ceremony that is both personal and memorable, for you and your guests.”


1. They work with you to design a personalised ceremony reflecting your personalities, relationship, style and theme.

There are only three sentences said during your ceremony, in addition to your legal vows, that make you married. My job is to work closely with you to customise the rest of the ceremony to fit you as a couple. You have the final say on what is or is not included. There will be no unwanted or awkward surprises.


2. Book early.

A good celebrant will book out quickly – sometimes a year or more in advance.

(NB. The most popular times for a ceremony are Saturdays between 2-4 pm. Having a morning, twilight, Friday or Sunday wedding are options that may help you get the wedding you want.)


3. Cheapest isn’t always best – you get what you pay for!

Celebrant fees do vary a lot. On average, I see fees between $450-$950. Make sure you check the

inclusions and the extras. Is it a set fee? Are there hidden extras for travel, cordless PA use and

certificate lodgements?


The people at your wedding will only see the celebrant for the time it takes to actually perform the ceremony.

What is often forgotten is the time put in behind the scenes to make the day come together flawlessly. There are meetings with couples, writing and preparing personalised ceremonies, preparation and submission of all legal documentation, all of which goes unseen. 

You can get married without rings, a cake or a fancy venue – but you need a celebrant. (Absolutely no disrespect to the time and quality of work put in by those vendors mentioned either)

I recommend having an obligation free meeting with a couple of celebrants before you make a decision, to be sure you find the right fit for you and your personality. Cheapest isn't always the best, you get what you pay for.


4. Ensure the invoice/contract outlines all the terms and conditions involved (and sign it).

This ensures you get what you expect in relation to time, date, location and fees. It should also include terms and conditions for all involved, including cancellations.


5. Choose a celebrant who is flexible with their wardrobe.

You don’t want the celebrant’s outfit clashing with your bridal party colours, florals or prints. You should be able to request they either fit in to match your scheme to make your photos softer or wear complimentary colours so as not to be mixed up with your bridal party.

canberra celebrant wedding
canberra celebrant wedding

Legal Documentation & Paperwork of Marriage!


Couples have so many things to worry about & plan when it comes to their

wedding day.


So what is the “legal” paperwork?

Who fills it out?

Where does it go?


Marriage paperwork explained for you by “The Shellibrant”




There are two documents that need to be completed, signed and sit with the celebrant till the wedding day.


1. Notice Of Intended Marriage (NOIM):

Must be lodged with a celebrant at least 1 month but no more than 18 months prior to the ceremony day.

Copies of your birth certificate, passport, licence are used  as photo ID and proof of place of birth for the celebrant to complete this document.

Couple signs the completed NOIM and celebrant witnesses. (in the event of couples who come from overseas to marry in Australia, signing of the NOIM outside of Australia must be witnesses by an Australian Consular Officer, an Australian Diplomatic Officer or a Notary Public)

Celebrant sends this document to the Marriage registry of the state in which the ceremony took place, within 14 days of the ceremony (along with the Declaration of no legal impediment and one copy of the Official Certificate) to register your marriage.


2. Declaration of no Legal Impediment:

This form states there is no legal reason why the couple cannot be married (eg. Over 18, not related, don’t have an incomplete divorce in hand)

The declaration is filled out by the celebrant and signed by the couple before the wedding day.

Celebrant sends this document to the Marriage registry of the state in which the ceremony took place, within 14 days of the ceremony (along with the NOIM and one copy of the Official Certificate) to register your marriage.





On the wedding day there are three certificates that are pre filled out, but need to be signed by the couple, their witnesses and the celebrant.


1. The Official Certificate:

As you will see this looks very similar to the first box in the NOIM.


There are two copies signed on the day. One is for the celebrants records and one the Celebrant sends to the Marriage registry of the state in which the ceremony took place, within 14 days of the ceremony (along with the NOIM and the Declaration) to register your marriage.


2. The Decorative Certificate:

This is a legal document issued by the celebrant to the couple on the day of the wedding. This cannot be replaced if lost or damaged; and any red wine stains become souvenirs.



It is the registry copy of the marriage certificate that you may need to take to the RMS along with your decorative certificate if one of the couple decides to change their surname. Changing your surname is your right through marriage. You will however need to pay

for the new documents you are requesting. (licence, passport etc)


The registry copy of the marriage certificate is issued by the registry and your celebrant can help you to obtain it.

It involves a simple online application to the BDM in your state and it costs ~$30.

For NSW:

For Canberra:

canberra celebrant wedding
canberra celebrant wedding
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