Selecting Your Celebrant

Magda Palmer Cordingley

then look for Celebrants in the area you have chosen for your ceremony. Verify the Celebrant/s is/are registered, and therefore able to fulfil legal obligations.

Make telephone calls and ask;

  • Is the Celebrant available on the date you have chosen?
  • What time allowance does the Celebrant leave between your celebration and other ceremonies?
  • What types of ceremonies is your Celebrant able to offer?
  • Is the Celebrant keen to work with you to create a personalised ceremony?
  • Does your Celebrant offer the ceremony for you to alter to your special requirements?
  • Does the celebrant offer an Order of Service based on your ceremony?
  • Does the celebrant provide cheat-sheets for others participating in the ceremony to read from?
  • Does the celebrant provide assistance with texts/poetry to recite during the ceremony?
  • Does the celebrant have skills necessary to choreograph the service?
  • Does the celebrant offer help choosing music?
  • Does the Celebrant offer a rehearsal?
  • Do you feel this celebrant will offer ongoing support during the planning of your wedding?
  • Listen to the Celebrant’s diction and voice. It should be clear, warm and pleasant.
  • Make an appointment to meet the Celebrant you feel is right for your occasion.
  • On meeting a Celebrant judge is this Celebrant able to publically communicate the importance of the occasion and the importance of your wedding to friends and family?
  • Ask to see samples of other ceremonies the celebrant has written.
      • Does the Celebrant listen to what you say and offer ideas on how you create your ceremony to celebrate the special occasion?
  • Does the celebrant want to supply a sound system? If so you need to satisfy yourself this is of sufficient quality and the celebrant is sufficiently capable of setting this up correctly so as not to detract from the ceremony.
  • If the celebrant is to supply items, such as table, chair and cloth, you need to inspect these to ensure they do not detract from the quality of the ceremony.
  • What is cut-off date for a change in your ceremony?
  • What is the fee, when and how do you pay?
  • If the fee seems high, consider the work the Celebrant must do and ongoing expenses. Presenting your ceremony on your special day is a very small part of the Celebrant’s work. There are weeks of work in most weddings if they are, as they should be, tailored to the tastes of the Bridal Couple. There are printing, telephone and travel expenses, the cost of appropriate legal documents including your personal Marriage Certificate. Last but not least the Celebrant’s wardrobe and ongoing Professional Development Training which is not free.
  • Some Celebrants are lazy and make many excuses to use their own ceremonies which they have used many times, so they will argue about the ceremony especially written for you. Don't fall for that, this is your wedding, your special day.


Why Have a specially written Ceremony

"He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began".

- Leo Tolstoy, or Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828 –1910 Russian writer essayist, dramatist, and educational reformer.