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How To Choose a Wedding Celebrant – Wedding Guide

If you’re planning a wedding, it’s time to start thinking about who is going to be your marriage celebrant (or wedding officiant.) Thankfully, there are plenty of amazing wedding celebrants out there who can help you plan your perfect ceremony.

So how do you find a good celebrant for your special day? In this guide, we will discuss what makes a great celebrant. We also look at how to go about finding one that’s right for you.

Groom slips a ring on his husband's finger during a gay marriage ceremony.

What Does a Wedding Celebrant Do?

A wedding celebrant is a licensed and trained person who can officiate your wedding ceremony. They are also trained to create ceremonies with meaning and lead ceremonies that are fun and personalized.

A celebrant will typically help you create a ceremony that is meaningful to you. This is done with readings and music that reflect your relationship, personality, and beliefs.

They will also make sure the legal requirements are met by guiding you through the marriage license process. This ensures your details are in order for when it comes time for your big day.

Where to Find a Wedding Celebrant

If you’re looking for a potential celebrant, there are several ways to find one.

  • Online. The first step to finding a wedding celebrant is to look online by searching for “wedding celebrants”, or “wedding officiants”, in your area. If you’re getting married somewhere other than where you live, also include that location as well in your search.
  • Friends and family. It can be a good idea to ask a close friend or a family member if they know anyone who’s performed weddings before. This will save time instead of doing all the research yourself.
  • Wedding Venue. Sometimes the wedding venue that you have booked may have recommendations of marriage celebrants that have previously provided services there.

After you have found a few professional officiants, you will want to see if they are the perfect celebrant for you and that involves asking all of the right questions so that you pick the right celebrant for you.

Wedding ceremony. The groom signs the document. The bride stands next to the groom

Questions to Ask Wedding Officiants

When trying to select the perfect wedding celebrant, you want to ask a range of questions to know if they are the right person to deliver the kind of ceremony you envision.

Here is a long list of common questions that you might want to consider asking:

List of questions

  • Are you available for our wedding date?
  • How much do you cost? (What is the celebrant’s fee?)
  • What does this include?
  • Is there any extra charge for travel costs?
  • Do you do a wedding rehearsal? Is that an extra fee?
  • Do you require a deposit?
  • When is payment required?
  • Do you have a sound system?
  • How long have you been performing weddings?
  • How many weddings have you done?
  • What do you wear to weddings?
  • How many weddings do you do in one day?
  • How do you feel about our wedding ideas?
  • How do you personalize our wedding ceremony?
  • Will we see a draft of our ceremony before the wedding?
  • Do you help us write our own vows or help us pick our vows?
  • Do you have any wedding reading ideas or resources?
  • What happens if you’re sick?

Having answers to these questions is a great way to get closer to that important decision while feeling confident that you haven’t missed anything.

Things to consider

After having a phone call with a celebrant you should also ask the following questions to you and your partner. This will see if they are the right celebrant for you.

  • How was the communication with the prospective celebrant?
  • Does the cost of the celebrant fit our wedding budget?
  • Did we both like the celebrant?
  • Did we feel listened to?

After having all the answers to these questions you should be able to make that final decision on which wedding celebrant is the perfect fit to book for your special day.

Wedding ceremony. The groom signs the document. The bride stands next to the groom

What does a wedding celebrant do before the Wedding Day?

After booking a celebrant, a meeting with them is an important part of the wedding planning process. It’s the best way for you and your partner to get to know the celebrant and further discuss the vision of your ideal ceremony.

As well as talking about your vision, there are also a few other important questions that are usually covered as part of this planning phase:

  • The ceremony program – What will be included? How long will it be?
  • The ceremony script – What readings, music, and other elements do you want for your ceremony? Where in the order of service should you include these elements?
  • The location – Where will you be married? Is there anything special about this venue (a particular view or aspect that should be highlighted during your ceremony)?

What does a wedding celebrant do on the Wedding Day?

The role of the wedding celebrant on the day of the wedding is to guide you through the marriage ceremony. They have the official capacity to pronounce you as a married couple. They will also help take care of all the paperwork involved in getting married.

On your wedding day, a celebrant will arrive and introduce themselves to family and friends. They will announce and invite those who are performing readings to come up. They will announce and help with ceremonial events (such as a sand ceremony.) The celebrant will address you and your partner and invite you to say your vows and exchange rings.

At the end of the ceremony, you, your witnesses, and your celebrant will sign your marriage certificate. After this, they can officially declare you to be married.

Summary

We’ve covered a lot of information in this ultimate guide. Hopefully, you feel better equipped on how to choose your wedding officiant. The most important thing is to find someone who fits your personality and wedding style. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions before booking them.

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