Community & Social Services
Celebrants conduct ceremonies such as weddings, naming of babies, renewal of wedding vows and funerals.
What does a Celebrant do?
Celebrants design, plan and conduct formal non-religious legal ceremonies such as weddings, and community ceremonies such as naming of babies, renewal of wedding vows, commitment ceremonies and funerals. Celebrants who are licensed to perform marriage ceremonies are officially known as civil marriage celebrants.
As a celebrant, you might:
- meet with individuals, couples or families to understand their needs
- develop documents or proposals covering the content and conduct of the proposed ceremony
- design, plan and perform civil marriage ceremonies, funerals, commitment ceremonies, the naming of babies and other ceremonies
- ensure that the ceremony used is appropriate in the case of a legal civil marriage
- book venues and liaise with other industry service providers
- maintain a high standard of professional conduct and practice
- as a civil marriage celebrant, comply with all legal standards and requirements
- ensure legal paperwork is correct and submitted on time.
Key skills and interests
To become a celebrant, you would need:
- excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- trustworthiness, discretion and empathy
- the capacity to communicate respectfully across cultures and with persons of different faiths
- high standards of ethical behaviour
- strong organisational and time management skills
- creativity and good language skills
- a high level of personal presentation.
Working hours and conditions
As a celebrant, you would need to be prepared to work outside of normal business hours, especially when meeting potential clients. Ceremonies may be conducted during the day, at night, or on weekends.
You would usually need to travel to meet clients at their workplace, or more usually, at their home out of hours. You may work from a home office, and clients may come to your office. Ceremonies could be held in a wide variety of indoor or outdoor spaces, and in the case of outdoor ceremonies, you may experience inclement weather. You would need a current drivers' licence.
Funerals or ceremonies centred around loss can be emotionally demanding for both celebrants and their clients.
How to become an Celebrant?
Entry Level Education
To become a civil marriage celebrant, you must complete a Certificate IV in Celebrancy, which includes the marriage celebrancy units, awarded by a registered training organisation.
Once you have successfully completed this qualification you need to submit an application, successfully answer a series of legal questions about marriage law and process, and be assessed as being a fit and proper person by the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants.
There are separate registration criteria for marriage celebrants who are fluent in an Australian Indigenous language.
You may only advertise your services and perform marriages once you are registered as a marriage celebrant.
For further information, contact the Marriage Law and Celebrants Section of the Australian Attorney-General's Department.
Officiating at a marriage requires you to be an authorised marriage celebrant under Australian law, but officiating at extra-legal ceremonies does not.
Employment opportunities for celebrants are expected to grow at greater than the average rate.
As people increasingly choose to opt for civil marriage ceremonies, as well as to celebrate gatherings and events such as funerals, commitment ceremonies, the naming of babies and other ceremonies in a non-religious manner, demand for celebrants will grow.
This will remain a specialised profession, and those with the necessary qualifications to conduct civil marriage ceremonies are likely to find greater employment opportunities. Many celebrants will continue to work part time alongside other employment.