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At CANZ, we’re often asked what the role of a marriage celebrant is. And while most people understand that you can’t have a wedding without one, the celebrant role is far wider than simply being the facilitator of the legal process.

From an initial meeting with a couple to discuss their ideas for a ceremony, advice on arranging the legalities, helping write wedding vows, suggesting music and readings, right through to ensuring everything and everyone is in place for the big day; a marriage celebrant can co-ordinate your ceremony from start to finish – and everything in between. 

Read on to find out in more detail what it is a marriage celebrant does.

Initial meeting

When you choose to say, “I do” and book a marriage celebrant, the first step is an initial meeting. Whether that’s in person or via a virtual meeting, this is your chance to find out if you and the celebrant are a good fit.

During your meeting, you’ll talk about any specific ideas you have for your ceremony, get input from the celebrant, and decide on the level of service you wish to have. The celebrant will also explain the legal requirements of your ceremony, along with the documents you’ll need to arrange beforehand.

Drafting a ceremony

After your first meeting, the marriage celebrant will use the ideas you’ve discussed to draft a ceremony. The ceremony is tailored to meet your requirements, style and inclusions. Once you’re happy with the final draft of the ceremony, you can relax knowing your marriage celebrant will deliver a perfect wedding ceremony on the day.

Book your celebrant

To book a celebrant you’ll need to know the date, time and venue of your ceremony. It also helps to share with the celebrant extra information like the number of people in the bridal party, colour scheme, number of guests, and details about key members in the wedding ceremony – for example:  the photographer or videographer, florist or caterer. This will help the marriage celebrant know where everyone is on the day.

Wedding rehearsal

Planning a wedding rehearsal before the big day is a good idea, as it gives you a chance to run through the main parts of the ceremony with the celebrant, and finalise those important details – like where the couple will be standing, who will hold the rings, what the maid of honour and bridesmaids need to do, etc. This is also the time for any questions or last minute changes to the proceedings. Wedding rehearsals can help reassure nervous couples that all will go ahead as planned.

On the big day

The marriage celebrant will usually arrive at least a half hour before the start of the ceremony to meet with the key members of the wedding party and do a sound check for any music or microphones being used. The celebrant will also co-ordinate with photographers, videographers and any other suppliers to ensure everyone is in place.

As the ceremony begins and the bride or couple arrive, the celebrant guides the bridal party through each stage of the ceremony, until the recession marks the end of the marriage ceremony.

After the ceremony

The celebrant’s job is not quite done yet: two signed copies of the marriage licence are issued – one copy is returned to the Registrar General, and the second copy is handed over to the happy newlyweds.

To start planning your wedding with a CANZ marriage celebrant, get in touch today. Simply click here to find a celebrant in your area to facilitate and coordinate a ceremony that is personalized to your requirements.