Thinking about becoming a celebrant? Always had a hankering for officiating a ceremony in Australia? Loving the thought of earning a living going to weddings? Well, here’s the hard and fast truths about being a celebrant.
First things first: training
The thing that surprises a lot of people when they become a celebrant is the actual effort (and expense) it takes to become one. This becomes a bit more obvious when people look into the training options.
Celebrants in Australia need to gain a qualification – a Certificate IV in Celebrancy (CHC41015). Various registered training organisations (RTO) who offer this qualification.
There are various ways you can undertake this training. Since COVID, it seems training providers only offer on-line and virtual options.
The course takes, on average, nine months, and costs vary, with the average $2630.
I, personally, found the course reasonably straight-forward. The only tricky parts were the practicalities of doing mock ceremonies. I had fun with this, and invited a group of friends around to watch the pretend ceremony. We celebrated the ‘marriage’ with a bbq – any excuse of a party, right?!
Training done! What happens next?
Gained your Certificate IV in Celebrancy? You’re ready to complete an online application form with the Attorney General’s Department.
Don’t forget though, until you are a Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant, you cannot:
- accept a notice of intended marriage or solemnise marriage ceremonies
- advertise your services
You will need to provide evidence of:
- your qualification
- your date of birth
- for ministers of religion, approval from your religious organisation or body, and a copy of its wedding ceremony.
In the application, you will need to complete and attach:
- a consent form for a national police history check
- your properly certified identification documents as specified in pages 2 – 3 of the consent form for a national police history check
- 2 referee reports with contact details.
This takes approximately three months to receive confirmation of registration, and there is a one-off fee for this. As of May 2023, this fee is $400.
Registration approved – you’re now ready to get started!
I hope you celebrate your success. It’s a long process to become a celebrant, and trickier than some people realise. However, it is so worth it! Now the fun part starts – advertising, marketing, joining an association, finding those fabulous couples.
If you’re stuck on any of these elements, I offer 1-2-1 mentoring. I recommend joining The Celebrant Society for support, hints and tips. Full disclosure: I’m one of the Local Leaders so I am a little bit biaised!