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How much does a marriage celebrant cost??

How much does a marriage celebrant cost??
Civil Celebrants charge their own fee depending on the services they provide.  There is a myth that goes around from time to time that Civil Marriage Celebrants charge from $500 for 20 minutes work.  Let’s explore this myth a bit further and see where it takes us...


Mark and Richard have decided to marry in four months’ time.  They have been together for 20 years.  They live on a property 30km north of Canberra where they both work.  Their ceremony is going to be held late on a Saturday afternoon at their property and they are having it in a marquee that will then be the location for the catered reception.  They plan to have about 60 friends and want a casual but sincere ceremony before an evening party.
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They contact Jill, a Canberra civil marriage celebrant and ask if Jill would conduct the ceremony.  Jill arranges to meet Mark and Richard one evening after work and spends about two hours with them completing the legal notice documents and discussing their ideas for the ceremony.

Jill gives Mark and Richard a questionnaire to complete to find out more about them and their thoughts on love and marriage.  She also gives them a book with ideas for readings, vows and rituals for them to choose elements of the ceremony.  She quotes them $650 for the ceremony including legal requirements, creating and delivering the ceremony, rehearsal and travel and offers to obtain the official marriage certificate when she registers the marriage, at a cost of $56.
 
Total cost $706.

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Over the next four months, Jill keeps in regular contact with Mark and Richard by email and phone.  Jill reviews all the information she receives from them, makes sure all legal requirements are met and writes a draft ceremony for their approval.  She makes changes to the first draft to accommodate the developing wedding plans.

Jill downloads their choice of music to her PA system which she will also use to make sure all the guests can hear the ceremony.   Jill arranges a rehearsal on the day prior to the wedding so that everyone involved is familiar with the marquee and with their roles. 

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Jill arrives 30 minutes before the ceremony in time to greet guests before Mark and Richard arrive together.  By the time she has delivered the 25 minute ceremony Jill has spent more than 13 hours working to make the ceremony a personal and memorable occasion for Mark and Richard at their choice of time and location. She will travel home and spend another 30 minutes finalizing the legal paperwork.

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Yes, if a guest saw Mark hand over $706 for a 25 minute ceremony they would probably start researching how to become a marriage celebrant! 

Little would they realise the work involved in creating a ceremony of great significance for the couple and their guests and ensuring it all runs smoothly.
Celebrants do not have fixed fees.  Many couples start the conversation with a celebrant by asking “what do you charge”  A better question would be to ask what the celebrant can offer to make your wedding day truly personal for the two of you.  Look for a celebrant with whom you feel comfortable and who offers you value, whatever the cost.

If you want to find a celebrant please check out the list of CCN Celebrants to find one near you.
  
 

Comments 1

HELEN MANONT on Wednesday, 23 May 2018 17:28
How much does a celebrant cost

Between the time they met and the ceremony, Jill also went to her hairdresser to ensure her hair was neat and presentable. She also paid for her car to be serviced, so she could arrive as she usually does, reliably on time for the ceremony. Her working ceremony shoes needed replacing too. (nobody wants shabby shoes on their celebrant) Whilst she was printing the ceremony script, the ink ran out in her printer and she had to replace 2 cartridges. I could continue.... So many couples have a very uninformed opinion of our worth. Education is the key for some, and for others they will shop around for the best deal

Between the time they met and the ceremony, Jill also went to her hairdresser to ensure her hair was neat and presentable. She also paid for her car to be serviced, so she could arrive as she usually does, reliably on time for the ceremony. Her working ceremony shoes needed replacing too. (nobody wants shabby shoes on their celebrant) Whilst she was printing the ceremony script, the ink ran out in her printer and she had to replace 2 cartridges. I could continue.... So many couples have a very uninformed opinion of our worth. Education is the key for some, and for others they will shop around for the best deal
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Monday, 22 July 2019

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