Perhaps a better question is - what will the celebrant cost you if you choose only on price?
Each special occasion is one you can never have again.
What makes a wedding or funeral or other occasion is the ceremony.
Choosing the wrong celebrant for you could cost you more than the dollars you pay!
So it make good sense to choose a celebrant to make sure this part of the day is the best you can afford.
Does this mean an expensive celebrant is the best for me?
Not necessarily. Choosing on the fee alone is not a good indicator as most celebrants' fees are not a true refection of what it costs them to do your ceremony. Nor is it an indicator of their worth to you
A fantastic ceremony can be priceless.
Why do Civil Celebrants cost as much as they do?
There are two main reasons
- civil celebrants have expenses that the Registry and Church staff do not have to personally pay - See the list below.
- 90% of the time, skill, materials and equipment to deliver your ceremony is outside the ceremony itself. Like an iceberg, the actual ceremony is the only visible part all the guests see.
The question should be - why do civil celebrants cost so little?
The estimated costs below give you an idea of the expenses that go to make up a celebrant's fee.
To meet Celebrant Specific Requirements:
- Government Annual Registration Fee $ 240 pa
- Celebrant mandatory professional development $ 150 pa
- Celebrant Insurance $130 pa
- Celebrant Copyright Licence $50 pa
- Celebrant Professional Association Fee average $ 200 pa
- Legal Stationery & Reference materials $ 50
Total = $820 pa
Note: The above fees are not applicable to Churches or BDM staff
Unlike Registry staff and Church Ministers, civil celebrants do not receive salaries.
To operate as a Professional Celebrant in Private Practice independent civil celebrants also need to cover the maintenance & operating Expenses for:
- Business Registration
- Motor Vehicle
- Business and General Stationery
- Internet and Online Connection
- Office Equipment
- Celebrant Library
- Celebrant PA equipment
- Quality clothing and grooming etc.
Estimated Total = $5,750
Unlike Registry staff and Church Ministers, civil celebrants do not supplied with resources by the "employer".
Therefore around $6,570 pa for an average of eleven weddings per year.
Average 10 hours work per wedding by an hourly fee rate of say $ 40 per hour = $400
So for an average of eleven weddings per year = $4,400.
TOTAL = $10,970
Average cost of an independent celebrants services per wedding (average annual number of weddings per celebrant) is $ 997.00 or around $1,000 per ceremony
This cost drops a little if the celebrant is performing more ceremonies, because some costs are fixed but there are increased costs for extra weddings. So overall it is clear that:
- almost all civil celebrants are not charging their full costs
- nor what is their worth to you as a couple or a family.
So if your celebrant is charging less than this fee and provides a great service, consider you and your family & friends very privileged to have been given such a precious once in a lifetime gift.