Choosing a marriage celebrant
You need to be married by an authorised celebrant to be legally married in Australia. Find out which type of celebrant can perform different types of wedding ceremonies.
Any marriage in Australia needs to be conducted by an authorised marriage celebrant.
During the ceremony they will include words required by law that make the marriage legal.
There are different types of celebrants. They are authorised to perform certain types of wedding ceremonies.
Which one you choose will depend on the type of ceremony you want and where you are getting married.
How to choose a celebrant
Things to consider when choosing a celebrant include:
- the type of marriage ceremony you want, such as a religious ceremony in a place of worship or a non-religious ceremony
- if their celebrant style matches the type of ceremony you want
- what services they offer
- their availability and fees
It can help to:
- get personal recommendations from family and friends
- check the celebrant's website to get a sense of their personality and celebrant style
- check reviews from previous clients
You may have to meet with several celebrants before finding the right one for you.
If you're planning a civil ceremony
Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants can perform civil ceremonies anywhere in Australia.
You would pick one of these celebrants if you’re organising your wedding ceremony yourself in a location of your choice.
State and territory regulated celebrants can perform civil ceremonies within the state or territory where they are appointed.
This includes celebrants who perform weddings for the registry office, as well as local court registrars.
You would pick one of these celebrants if you’re planning to get married by a local court registrar at a court house.
You do not have to choose your celebrant if you are having a registry wedding or micro wedding performed by the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages. The celebrant is included in the package and will be allocated for you on the day.
If you're planning a religious ceremony
Ministers of religion and religious marriage celebrants can refuse to perform a marriage ceremony that does not align with their religious beliefs, including same sex marriages.
Ministers of religion can perform ceremonies anywhere in Australia for their nominated recognised religion, according to the rites of that religion. They are managed by:
- the registry of births, deaths and marriages in their state or territory
- their religious organisation
A nominated recognised religion is one that is proclaimed under the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961. This does not mean that a religion is endorsed by government.
Commonwealth-registered religious marriage celebrants can perform ceremonies anywhere in Australia for non-recognised religious organisations.
A non-recognised religious organisation is one that is not proclaimed as a recognised religion under the Marriage Act 1961.