Marriage is a significant decision for couples, and it’s a choice to have a higher level of involvement. Many people believe that marriage is essential because it is a sign of commitment to a long-term relationship. According to estimates, more than 80% of couples are already cohabitating or living together in the same home before they marry. So for them, marriage is the next big step in their relationship.
In 2019 around 113,815 marriages were registered in all states and territories of Australia. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of marriages has dropped significantly to 31.9% in 2020. The marriage median age for males was 32.6 years old and 30. 7 years off for females. In other words, Australians are marrying a little older compared to previous decades.
Most Australian territories and states provide couples with an alternative, which is a legal relationship register. The legalize union is performed by legally authorize celebrants and registered in their local Registries of births, deaths, and marriages.
Who are marriage celebrants?
Celebrants in Australia are people who conduct ceremonies for the community during essential ceremonies like weddings. They also do ceremonies like the renewal of wedding vows, babies’ naming, and even funerals. To officiate in Australia and become a celebrant, they need to apply and adhere to the legal requirements. There are four different types of marriage celebrants:
- State & territory officers
- Religious ministers
- Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants
- Commonwealth-registered religious marriage celebrants
Australia is one of a few countries where the Attorney General licenses the celebrants to perform weddings anywhere in Australia.
Civil Marriage celebrants are authorized to provide legal and meaningful wedding ceremonies as an alternative to traditional religious weddings. Celebrants need to go through a strict application process and training to become a celebrant. It includes celebrity certificates, a national police history check, certified identification documents, and yearly five hours of professional development. Many reforms were instituted to improve the services and quality of the training for celebrants. In September 2003, marriage celebrants were re-appointed by the Registrar and became known as Commonwealth Authorised Celebrants. They were also required to undergo government approved training in marriage celebrancy and passed the Attorney-General’s Office criteria. Most Marriage celebrants are private individuals and are not paid by the government, so they charge fees for their services.
How much does it cost to get the services of a marriage celebrant cost in Australia?
The cost of marriage celebrants is $400-$1500 or an average of $780. The prices usually include the custom script, multiple meetings, practices and preparation. Prices depend on the factors; a simple courthouse wedding may cost between $250-$320, while a more elaborate ceremony will cost $1500.
Factors that can affect the cost are a wedding venue, travel cost, wedding date, customized speeches & ceremonies, and marriage certificates. Expect that if your wedding is going to be on an island that price would be higher compared to if your venue is just office of the local civil Registrar.
Celebrants spend an average of 15 hours on the wedding preparations, meetings with the couple, and the wedding ceremony itself. You can contact your local wedding celebrants for more details.