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How to choose the perfect Celebrant

In a sea of perfection, how do you find the one? Well it's a bit like dating or a lot like finding your perfect brand of tasty tea-leaves and just as confusing as that teenage crush you had on your teacher in middle school. Or was that just me? Sorry for the over share, but Mr Brown was a hottie.

Back to Celebrants In South Australia there are currently something in the order of 600 Authorised Marriage Celebrants who are authorised under Australian Law to marry couples. That's A LOT of Celebrants, so thankfully we are not all the same. Australian Celebrants come from all walks of life and backgrounds. We each have a unique personality and personal Celebrant style. It is important to remember from the very beginning of this journey that your Celebrant is responsible for not only your ceremony, but also for your legal documentation that makes you a married couple. It's a dry boring fact, but these documents are important. They have rules that must be followed and it is really important that all Celebrants are knowledgeable on all things legal, wedding related. Competence and knowledge should be non negotiables in this area. You are not simply paying for a Celebrant to turn up for an hour on your wedding day to marry you. You are paying to make sure that the person who you get into an agreement with, which by the way should be a written one, agreed on and signed by all parties. To whom you entrust the most important part of your wedding day, your legal marriage has the appropriate back up that a professional Celebrant should have. I will quickly say that not all Celebrants are equal and while I will not dwell on the down side, I will simply say that asking good probing questions is important and even after then keep shopping around!

Where do we start? In a moment, I will share my 5 top tips to follow when you are looking for your perfect Celebrant. But first, let's make a list for your Ceremony. This list has three parts - your non-negotiables, your wants, and your don't wants (or dislikes).

  • Do you want a Celebrant that lives near you or near your venue maybe?

  • Do you want a particular ritual in your ceremony? So, you would like a Celebrant knowledgeable on this.

  • Did you once see something in a ceremony that you loved so you want to make sure Celebrants do this thing?

  • Or, just as importantly, do you dislike a particular tradition and are keen to avoid it at all costs?

  • Do you have a vison in your head that a Celebrant needs to fit into or a theme/aesthetic they need to suit?

  • Do you have a certain budget or are you negotiable on this for the perfect fit?

This list will help you to compile some questions to ask when you start your Celebrant search. You now have a rough idea of your likes and dislikes when it comes to your Ceremony, so it will help you find your perfect Celebrant to fit that ideal.

So how do we pick a Celebrant? Here are my 5 top pointers for finding your perfect Celebrant: 1. Research Ask your friends and family about Celebrants and wedding ceremonies they have been to. Websites like Adelaide Weddings Chit Chat are invaluable tools in finding your perfect wedding vendors. Look for reviews written by past couples are usually a true reflection of how they do their job - the official Adelaide Weddings Chit Chat provides many past review you can easily search for. 2. Make a List Write down every recommendation, every Google hit you like the look of, every website page that at a first glance looks good. 3. Get Fussy Now start to go back over that long list and apply your non-negotiables/wants/don't wants. Who fits and who doesn't? Are you willing to compromise on a non-negotiable because you like the look of a particular Celebrant or because the price is cheaper than another one that hits all of your top plus points? Be as tough or as lenient as you want, but remember this list should represent your ideal Celebrants. 4. Make contact Send an enquiry email. Or better still send an enquiry email and follow it up with a phone call and have a few pre arranged questions to ask. A Celebrants job is to talk, so getting them on the phone is a great way to check out their voice, their diction and their likeability factor... You can tell a lot from a single conversation - Did you enjoy chatting to them? Were they clear and easy to understand? Did they sound knowledgeable, or did they fumble over questions you asked?

5. Use your business head. When you think you have found the perfect Celebrant and you are ready to book, STOP. Pause for just a moment. Take the fun glasses off and put your sensible ones on. Check this person and their business out thoroughly. Are they insured, do they have an ABN and a registered business name? Do they have solid a (and fair) contract and T&Cs, reliable equipment, back ups and policies if they get sick and cannot attend your day? The price is good or you would not have got this far with them on your list, but have you checked what it includes and are there any hidden costs? You are putting the most important part of your whole wedding day in their hands, it is worth taking just a moment to make sure that they are safe and reliable hands. 6. BOOK THEM! I know I said 5 tips, but really this isn't a tip. Its more of a shove! Book that perfect Celebrant before someone else does. Its as easy as that, now off you go and plan your amazing day! If you want to know more about me, my business, my love of weddings, and why I love being a Celebrant, you can check out my blogs over on my website where I write about all things weddings, Celebrants and the personalised Ceremonies I create for couples.

'About the author' Deborah Lilley is a Civil Celebrant living and working in South Australia.

From zero guests to hundreds, she is all about making her ceremonies individual and unique. Deb believes that every ceremony should be like every couple, 100% extraordinary!

You can find Deborah in our wedding supplier directory right here on our website.

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