How Do You Become A Registered Celebrant?
If you’re interested in becoming a celebrant, you need to get your certification in celebrancy first. Then, you need to submit an application (and the required documents) before registering at the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants.
What Is A Celebrant?
A celebrant is a ‘master of ceremonies’. Most commonly, they conduct any special rites associated with marriage, much like a priest would do for a religious wedding in a church. On other occasions, a celebrant may be called to officiate funerals, vow renewals, and other kinds of ceremonies.
Because celebrants are registered by the government and not the church, they’re a great choice for non-traditional weddings, secular weddings, and same-sex marriages. In 2017, 4 out of 5 weddings were officiated by a registered celebrant instead of a member of the clergy.
What Qualifications And Traits Do You Need?
While the law is a lot more lax when it comes to extra-legal ceremonies (like memorials and baptisms), only authorised and registered marriage celebrants can officially perform a marriage in Australia. Below is a list of the requirements and qualifications you need to become a celebrant.
- Age 18+
- Certificate IV in Celebrancy
- Application fee of $AUD 600
- Online application form, filled out
- Questionnaire about marriage law, filled out
- ‘Fit and proper person’ test (character references, interview, etc.)
But becoming a good celebrant is a different story. To be great at your job (or vocation), here are some of the skills and qualities you must possess:
- Good public speaking & communication skills
- Flexibility & adaptability
- Creativity & collaboration
- Good grooming & hygiene
- Humour (when appropriate)
- Friendliness & approachability
How To Become A Celebrant
- First things first, you’ll need to complete a Certificate IV in Celebrancy at a registered training office or company.
- After you receive your certification, you have to submit your application to the Australian Attorney-General. It must include a completely filled-out application form, supporting documents, and the necessary fees.
- Complete the questionnaire about the marriage process and related laws. If you pass, you will go on to the next step.
- Complete a ‘fit and proper person’ check. This check ensures that you don’t have any major criminal offences, conflicts of interest, or other factors that might impede on your ability to properly perform a marriage ceremony.
- If you’ve passed the last four steps, congratulations! You are now an official celebrant in Australia.
Can You Take An Online Celebrant Course?
You can get your Certificate IV in Celebrancy by taking an in-person class, like at a college or specialised training centre. But you can also easily complete this requirement by taking an online course. Online classes can be done at home and are usually cheaper, which makes it a great option for people who are already working.
Here are some of the online courses you can take:
A Celebrant’s Duties
For weddings, below are the duties of a registered celebrant in Australia:
- Conduct ceremonies according to the 1961 Marriage Act
- Check the couple’s documents and ensure that there’s no valid reason the two cannot get married legally
- Consult with couples to design a personalised ceremony
- Help with the paperwork and other documents
When it comes to funerals and memorials, celebrants are expected to console the grieving family and help individuals deal with their grief.
What Is The Average Salary Of A Celebrant?
The average marriage celebrant costs around $AUD 500-850 dollars per ceremony. Depending on the influx of work, a celebrant can perform anywhere from 0 to dozens of marriages a year.
With 80,000 celebrant-conducted marriages across Australia per year and 10,000 registered celebrants, each celebrant averages about eight weddings annually. That means you can expect to earn $AUD 4,000-6,800 a year just by officiating ceremonies.
Can You Work As A Celebrant Full-Time?
While you can certainly earn a lot for each marriage you perform, and there are celebrants who work full-time, celebrancy is generally pursued as a side hustle or part-time job. Most celebrants perform few if any ceremonies a year, especially with the rising number of celebrants.
The best way to get more work as a celebrant is to develop your own personal style and professional skills. Take public speaking classes to help with your presentation and enunciation. Learn from the best speeches and love letters throughout history.
Also make sure to provide a supportive and safe environment for the couple, so that they feel like they can approach you with any questions or concerns – the friendlier and more professional you are, the more likely clients will choose you.
Are You Ready To Say “I Do” To Celebrancy?
Becoming a celebrant is no small matter. You need to earn a certificate, submit an application, and pay a hefty fee. The rewards are great though – you can earn the equivalent of a week’s worth of minimum wage with just one client. Plus, you can be a part of the happiest day of your clients’ lives. How many jobs can boast that?