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Why do I need a celebrant for a wedding ceremony?

By Published On: March 1, 2020Categories: Celebrants

Some people ask why they need a celebrant for their wedding ceremony. Can’t they just have a friend or family member perform the ceremony, like Joey in Friends?

You need a celebrant to make sure your marriage is legal

In the most basic terms, you need a celebrant for a wedding ceremony because if you don’t have one, your marriage won’t be legal!

An authorised celebrant (whether one who conducts religious or civil ceremonies) is registered by the Australian Government to perform the requirements that create a legal marriage. If you don’t have an authorised celebrant conduct your wedding ceremony, you won’t be legally married.

(There is a provision in s48 of the Marriage Act 1961 that if you thought the person marrying you was an authorised celebrant, your marriage is legal. But that requires going to court. It’s easier just to book an authorised celebrant to start with. Make sure your celebrant is legit!)

You need a celebrant to provide a professional, meaningful ceremony

Another reason you want a celebrant for your wedding ceremony is because we are trained professionals who:

  • have experience in creating and performing personalised, meaningful ceremonies
  • are practised public speakers
  • know how to use our equipment to ensure your guests can hear every word of your ceremony
  • know what to do if something goes wrong
  • are flexible, adaptable, and comfortable dealing with last minute changes
  • are excellent at calming you down when your nerves are getting the better of you.

In short, we create and deliver your ceremony with warmth and professionalism, while managing anything unexpected that happens in the moment.

Co-presenting your ceremony – you’ll still need a celebrant

It is certainly possible for your friend or family member to co-present your marriage ceremony alongside an authorised celebrant. You’ll still need a celebrant to ensure your marriage is legal. We do the legal bits and they do the ceremonial bits. But consider all the things I’ve laid out for you in the previous section. Will they:

  • know what to do if something goes wrong?
  • be able to go with the flow when something changes?
  • know how to use the microphone properly?

If you can comfortably answer yes to all of these questions, then go right ahead and book a celebrant who offers a co-presenting package (like me!). But if you have any doubts about your person’s ability to manage your ceremony, consider booking a professional to look after the whole thing 🙂

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