A Celebrant to celebrate

A Celebrant to celebrate


We had a chat with two popular local celebrants to get the nitty gritty on the service they provide:

Tim Kelly from Cairns Tropical Marriages & leisel Pisani from Our Ceremony
Photography by Rachelle Angela Photography & Jessie Goetze

We asked What should a bride consider when choosing her wedding celebrant?

Leisel – How do you relate to your celebrant as a person, is communication easy, can you feel relaxed in knowing they will approach your ceremony professionally and work towards a clear brief of what you want your special day to feel like.

Tim – the couple need to ask themselves not what they are looking for in a Celebrant but, rather, what kind of ceremony they are looking for. Then they look to see which Celebrant is capable of, or prepared to, provide the service they are looking for.

We asked if there are different styles of celebrant?

Tim – There certainly are. The differences may be in dress, style of ceremony or even attitude. I stay around for the initial photo session at least, all the group shots. I take care of the music you see, asking my couples for a minimum of 6 tracks. 3 are for the processional, signing of the register and the recessional and the rest are for background music. As I work with a tablet, it allows me to control the music and, before and after the ceremony, I leave the background music playing. Life sounds better to music. The only way you will know if the Celebrant’s style is a fit for you is to have some form of face-to-face.

Leisel – Yes the obvious one is Male or Female celebrants – or formal and relaxed although good celebrants should be able to write different ceremonies to suit clients, relaxed informal or formal and more traditional. What ever our couple desires.

What is the most important job for the celebrant?

Leisel – Complying with legalities in paperwork and wording are very important, But I also believe taking time to write and conduct an original ceremony is very important.
Tim – A Celebrant has more than one important job.

  • It is important that we ensure that all the paperwork be completed correctly.
  • It is important that it is all submitted to the correct people within the correct time frame.
  • It is important that we are there for our couple’s throughout the whole creative process so that we can answer any questions, offer suggestions or quell any fears or concerns as soon as the couple experience them ensuring that the creative process is an enjoyable one.
  • Creating a ceremony and conducting it in such a fashion that, at the end of the day, the bride is glowing, her dream day a reality.
  • Should a celebrant use a PA system?

Leisel – legally the ceremony must be heard some venues or locations work well with or without a PA system depending on the number of guests. An experience celebrant will help you decide if a PA system is required at the venue. Even if it is not used for voice projection it is nice to provide a PA system to incorporate music into your ceremony

Do you advise having a rehearsal?

Leisel – Yes this will put your mind at ease and help you feel more relaxed on the day. Normally I schedule rehearsals in the week prior to your wedding day. Half hour is usually enough, we can check music if need be and do a run through of how the ceremony will go on the day.

Tim – If my couples want a proper rehearsal then I am happy to do one but I advise them that meeting up for a run through a day or so before is sufficient. Meeting up and going through the whole ceremony, word for word, detracts from the day of the ceremony. As long as the groomsmen and bridesmaids know where they are standing and Dad knows what is expected of him, who will be standing where, a full blown rehearsal is not necessary, but if the bride wants one then the bride will get one.

Is it important to meet with your celebrant before your wedding?

Leisel – YES we need to complete a certain amount of legal paperwork at least one month prior to your wedding day. Plus it is a good chance to chat about your wedding ceremony in more detail and ask any questions you may have.

What legal issues must be covered?

Leisel – Notice of Intention to Marry form completed with celebrant at least ONE MONTH before your wedding day or no greater than 18 Months prior, identification checks etc. There is a certain amount of legal wording that the celebrant must say in your ceremony and a small amt that bride and groom disclose before their vows.

Do Celebrants vary in price?

Leisel – Yes – I believe celebrants would dedicate around 10 hours for each couple from meeting consultations, ensuring paperwork is lodged and accurate, writing ceremonies, rehearsals, wedding day itself and follow up. It would be fair to expect a price range between $500 to $1500 depending on if there is additional travel or other time commitments.

What would happen if the celebrant were sick on the wedding day?

Leisel – Most celebrants have good working relationships with other celebrants and can transfer your ceremony to another to ensure your wedding day goes ahead

Do you require a deposit?

Leisel – Yes this is minimal approx 15% percent of the celebrant fee to secure the wedding date

What should a celebrant wear?

Leisel – Professional attire or colour coded to match bridal party. Most celebrants ask their couples if there is a specific dress code for the day. But professional dress code is normally acceptable

Tim – A Celebrant should always be smart and well presented. Clothes should be stylish but should not outshine the bride and groom. A Celebrant should always discuss attire with the couple. I find out what their colour scheme is and what the groom, specifically, will be wearing.

Tell us about yourself?

Tim – As a Celebrant I offer my couples a relaxed, stress free experience. Weddings can be stressful, especially with that much family involved. I can’t do anything about the family, but I can offer an experience whereby, despite the stress outside of our bubble, they can remember why they decided to do this in the first place. I’m a Celebrant who is on the same level as my couples, I do not have to adjust. Giving people memorable experiences is what I enjoy most and what better way than to help create and conduct a couple’s ideal ceremony.

Leisel – I love what I do and enjoy the relationships I build with my clients. Each ceremony is different for each couple and is personalised to suit their vision for this very special day. I truly believe you can have FUN on your wedding day

Any other advice please?

Leisel – RELAX and ENJOY every second of this special day
Tim – You don’t marry the person you can live with, you marry the person that you can’t live without.


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