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Celebrant fees
While it is fairly common for celebrants to receive an initial enquiry asking only for price, price alone will give you very little information about the other things that matter. To be able to be confident that you have chosen your celebrant well you need to have quite a bit more information about:
  • the experience, knowledge, and skill of the celebrant
  • the style and tone of the ceremony
  • whether it will be a unique ceremony custom-created for you or a boiler-plate standard ceremony into which the celebrant just inserts your names (or something in between), and
  • whether the ceremony will set the tone for your wedding or be merely something to endure and get through

And then make a judgement as to whether the fee is a fair fee.

A civil celebrant is appointed by the Australian Government to solemnise civil weddings. However, we are not government employees. Civil celebrants are required to be independent business persons, and therefore we are subject to all of the same expenses that apply to any small business in Australia. If a celebrant does not cover his/her expenses then, like any small business, he/she is going to go out of business - and this could happen at a time that is most inconvenient to you.

Unfortunately the white wedding industry has done a very good job of two things that influence the perception of what is a fair fee for the services provided by a civil celebrant :
  1. Convincing couples that the way to get the best deal is to negotiate on price. But negotiating on price is not very effective. When you book your wedding, civil partnership, or commitment ceremony with me I will give you the benefit of the knowledge and skills developed over many years in senior management and teach you some very powerful negotiating strategies that will save you much more than the relatively modest difference between my fees and those of cheaper celebrants.
  2. Downplaying the importance of the ceremony (and convincing you that the only option is a short, basic ceremony regardless of how many bridesmaids, groomsmen and guests). 
There is a very good reason for these tactics. As long as you spend money on the things the industry can guilt or cajole you into spending a lot of money on (the dress, the rings, the flowers, venue, reception, reception entertainment, photography, videography, decoration, cake and cars etc) it doesn't matter to them whether the one thing they can't upsell, the ceremony, is less than memorable, memorable for all the wrong reasons, or a fantastic, engaging experience that truly celebrates your relationship. And because you've been taught to negotiate on price, they know that they can allow for that in their initial quote.

The industry assumes that most ceremonies are either standard church ceremonies or basic registry office/courthouse ceremonies.  In Australia about 65% of couples are married by a civil celebrant. Unlike religious or registry office wedding ceremonies, a ceremony led by a civil celebrant can be anything you wish it to be. But that is completely dependent on making the right choice of celebrant.

What you pay me - and what it covers
As a full time, professional, skilled and experienced celebrant I provide you with superior service, comprehensive legal, ceremonial, and cultural knowledge, highly developed writing skills appropriate for a spoken ceremony, and, on the day,  polished, professional, but relaxed and entertaining performance of the ceremony. Each ceremony is individually created, includes creative additions and methods of carrying out the various traditional parts of the ceremony that are exclusive to me. Gender stereotypes and old-fashioned views of the world are not part of the deal.

I offer a range of packages depending on the type and style of ceremony you engage me to create and perform for you. Flexible payment plans are available for all packages.

This fee for all packages covers:
  • Reservation of your ceremony date and time. This includes a generous amount of time both before and after your ceremony start time to allow for travel, setting up, and packing up.
  • The legal service (for Weddings) – knowledge and service provided, including tasks carried out in compliance with the requirements of the Marriage Act, 1961.
  • The legal service (for Civil Partnership Declaration Ceremonies) – knowledge and service provided, including tasks carried out in compliance with the requirements of the Civil Partnership Act 2011
  • The ceremonial service – creating and performing of a unique ceremony developed just for you
  • The skills, knowledge, and experience that underlie the service I provide to you. These are at your disposal in the form of information and advice provided to you, and in creation and performance of your ceremony.
  • My time – as with any 'performance', what you and your guests see on the day is just the tip of the iceberg. On top of the hour or more spent at the venue on the day, setting up, performing the ceremony, and packing up afterwards, many, many hours go into writing, editing and refining the ceremony, communicating with you, preparing and printing certificates, reading and keepsake copies, and traveling to and from the ceremony venue.
  • Administration and record keeping
  • Provision and maintenance of the business infrastructure and which enables me to provide you with the service you have booked, and which assisted you in finding and choosing me as your celebrant.
  • My use of a quality PA during the ceremony
  • Travel to your venue up to 50 km from my office (above that excess travel fees apply)

My 8-point guarantee: