Celebrant Directory

How To Become a Celebrant

There are a fair number of celebrant networks and associations throughout Australia, to find the best choice for you we recommend visiting the Attorney-General’s Department website for more information. Here you can search

Looking for inspiration to get you started?  We have put together a list of our recommendations for the top celebrants in each state within in Australia.

New South Wales


Western Australia


South Australia


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Should I Become a Celebrant

How To Become a Celebrant

Are you considering becoming a celebrant and aren’t sure if it’s right for you? Before you commence any training or qualification, have a careful think about it and ask yourself, “Should I become a Celebrant?”

Ask yourself, are you…


Marriage celebrants need to do lots of careful planning and there are some strict legal timeframes that need to be adhered to in order to facilitate a marriage occurring.


Couples can become very stressed in the planning of their weddings as there are lots of details to consider, and getting married is a big decision. As such, you’ll need to be empathetic, considerate and compassionate to the way your clients may be feeling. They may ask you lots of questions and it’s important not to get impatient with them, similarly they may project some of their stress onto you – and whilst this isn’t acceptable if they become abusive, you will need to come to terms with dealing with people that are in a heightened emotional state.


Clients will only come to you when they know that you exist – otherwise you’ll be practically invisible in a sea of other wedding celebrants! This means that you need to work hard to market yourself, get referrals, build strong relationships with your clients and establish a presence for yourself online.

A confident public speaker?

As a Civil Celebrant, although some ceremonies will be small and intimate in other situations you will be speaking in front of large groups of wedding guests. This means that your skills as an MC must be strong, you must be able to control and entertain the crowd and you must always display a level of appropriateness when dealing with the crowd as per what the individual couple has requested of you. Naturally, this requires you to be mature and intelligent as a celebrant.


There are loads of celebrants so you’ll need to stand out from the crowd – and on such a big occasion as someone’s wedding day, clients these days don’t want a boring, out of the box ceremony. Couples will commonly ask their marriage celebrant to help them plan ideas for the ceremony to make it a fantastic day, so you’ll need to be full of good ideas. You must also have flair and creativity in your writing skills.


As a Civil Celebrant in Australia, you’ll be dealing with legal responsibilities and this means that you need to be on the ball, compliant and diligent in tying up all loose ends with the paperwork for your clients’ marriage licenses. You’ll also need to assume responsibility for related legal matters such as occupational health, copyright and confidentiality.


This means financially (as you will need start up cash), having a car or other reliable transport, having all the office equipment necessary etc. Also, you will need to be emotionally prepared and willing to take on the emotional stresses of being a celebrant.

If you answered ‘yes’ to the above then congratulations, being a celebrant may just be the right career path for you! Of course, you’ll need to ensure to get proper training and become qualified in order to be a celebrant, but knowing for sure that you want to become a celebrant is the first step to embarking down this highly rewarding path. The happiness you’ll help bring to couples is an incredible feeling!

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Celebrant FAQs

How To Become a Celebrant

How do I become a celebrant?

To become a celebrant in Australia, you’ll need to undertake a Certificate IV in Celebrancy. You’ll also need to sit some admission tests via the Australian Government and demonstrate a sound understanding of legalities and marriage regulations. Read more about getting qualified here.

What qualities make a good celebrant?

A good celebrant will need to be knowledgeable in all things weddings, wedding planning and the legalities of marriage, plus a good speaking voice and skills in talking to a crowd are obviously essential! Most celebrants have an outgoing personality and are creative people at heart who love to use their writing skills to tell a story and celebrate a couple’s bond with each other. A good celebrant will need to be friendly, approachable and calm under pressure (this skill will come in very handy when dealing with stressed out brides!)

How much does it cost to become a celebrant?

Training costs for a Cert IV range from $1,000 to $2,000. You’ll also need to factor in the expenses of setting up a business and keeping it maintained, alongside the cost of any additional education and professional development that you undertake. There are some annual registration fees associated with being a professional celebrant too, you can read about those here.

What are my career path options?

As a qualified celebrant, most will choose to become a marriage celebrant. However your Cert IV will also train you in how to be a funeral celebrant or a baby naming celebrant should you wish to pursue those options. To aid in making more money, many qualified celebrants choose to also become qualified in wedding planning so that they can offer a complete package of services to their wedding clients.

How much do celebrants earn?

Less than you think! The average annual income for celebrants in Australia right now is between $5,000 and $10,000 so understandably most celebrants have other jobs to supplement their income or choose to be a celebrant as a retirement hobby (this is why celebrancy attracts many mature age people who have the time to enjoy it as a hobby without relying on it as a sole full-time income). Read more about that here.

How do I apply to become a marriage celebrant?

You’ll need to contact the Attorney-General’s Department and request an information pack. Your tutors in your Cert IV course should also walk you through how to apply.

How do I know if being a celebrant is the right choice for me as a career?

As celebrancy doesn’t bring in a large income, you’ll need to do some soul searching and decide why you want to become a celebrant… if it’s to earn big bucks, you’ll need to be realistic in that that will be an uphill battle and the odds may not be in your favour, especially as celebrancy is a highly competitive industry. If however you are looking to be a celebrant as a part time job, as a hobby or to find emotional fulfilment in the work that you do, then becoming a celebrant can be a very rewarding career path!


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Highs & Lows of being a Celebrant

How To Become a Celebrant

Deciding to become a celebrant is a big move and one that can bring immense personal fulfilment. However just like any other job, there are highs and lows and it’s important to do your research before embarking on this career path to ensure that you’re adequately prepared for all that the job will entail.

First, let’s address the lows of being a celebrant. It may sound pessimistic to start off on a low note but unfortunately there are some real lows to the industry that many people don’t often consider.

Many people will romanticise the idea of being a marriage celebrant but it’s important to know the very real downsides.  As a wedding celebrant, you’ll often be working weekends (as this is when most people choose to get married so that most family and friends are able to attend their ceremonies). If you have a busy family life and weekends are free for you, having most of your jobs booked on weekends may actually be a blessing for you… however for others it can be an inconvenience.

Of course perhaps the biggest drawback of being a wedding celebrant is the low income. If you plan to be part time or a celebrant as a hobby (for example, in retirement) then this may not be as much as an issue for you. But, if you’d like to be a celebrant on a full time basis then you’ll need to understand the risks, that it likely won’t be able to pay for your lifestyle and you’ll most likely need an additional job to supplement your income.

And as a celebrant, you’ll never have the opportunity to have an “off” day. Unlike a 9-5 job where occasionally if you’re feeling sick or in a bad mood where you can just rock up and do your job on autopilot… celebrants can never have those moments. It would be entirely unprofessional for a celebrant to give a poor performance at someone’s wedding, of course. But the reality is that celebrants – like everyone else – have low moments and days where they’re just not feeling it, but as a celebrant you’ll need to very quickly learn to be able to put your personal feelings aside and give 100% in the moment. Your clients deserve you giving your best!

On top of this, celebrants are in a very competitive industry and although the rate they charge per ceremony may seem high to the average citizen, the hourly rate is actually quite low and per year, most celebrants earn barely enough to cover a part-time wage.

However, being a celebrant isn’t all bleak! And what the job can lack in financial stability, it makes up for in personal satisfaction. To have the privilege of dealing with people at such significant moments in their life is wonderful and you’ll be part of the happy memories of countless couples, their friends and their families. Likewise, your clients will leave a mark on your memory and you’ll get to share in so much joy.

Plus, being a celebrant also gives you a chance to exercise your creative muscles and if you’re a social butterfly, you’ll love the opportunity to meet loads of interesting people at pivotal points in their lives.

Marriage will always be an in-demand industry so your services will always have a place, and if you couple your training with other specialist skills such as wedding planning, you can increase your income and find a real niche for yourself.

At the end of the day, being a civil celebrant is just like any other job and there will always be highs and lows in any industry. However unlike other industries, being a celebrant means that you must make serious decisions about what kind of income you’ll require as it’s not as simple a case of getting better qualified and then subsequently earning more. But, if the emotional rewards of the job outweigh the downsides, then it can be an amazing career.

Like anything else, carefully weigh up your options and make the best decision for your needs.

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Ongoing Professional Development

How To Become a Celebrant

Once you have completed your Certificate IV in Celebrancy and are a graduated, qualified and registered Celebrant, you are legally required to complete at least five (5) hours of ongoing professional development activities every calendar year. This ongoing professional development (OPD) can include some elective activities on top of some activities that are compulsory.

Celebrants who fail to complete ongoing professional development each year can have strict disciplinary measures imposed against them (including delicensing and removal of their Commonwealth-registered Celebrant status), so making sure that you are compliant with these regulations is of the utmost importance as a celebrant.
For 2018, the ongoing professional development required for celebrants is as below:

Compulsory Activity

This can be delivered by classroom, online and distance education and lasts for 120 minutes in total. It’s suitable for all celebrants and is provided by the following OPD providers: Australian Celebrations Training, GordonTAFE, Life Skills Pty Ltd and QualTrain.

Elective Activities

The below elective activities range from 60-180 minutes each, and can be taken by classroom, distance or online education.

Courses from Australian Celebrations Training:

  • Invoice design
  • Professional telephone skills
  • Special inclusions within marriage ceremonies
  • Significance of storytelling for ceremonies
  • Importance of ritual and ceremony
  • Copyright and the effective use of music and literature
  • Trendspotting in the Wedding Industry
  • Interviewing your marrying couple
  • Blended families ceremonies
  • Interfaith marriages
  • International Matters
  • How to write ceremonies creatively
  • Rehearse a marriage ceremony
  • Cultural diversity
  • Designing advertising
  • Twitter basics
  • Professional ethics for celebrants
  • Introduction to secular humanism
  • Using Instagram to connect with couples
  • Enhancing Clients Family Relationships
  • Create a business page in Facebook
  • Supporting people experiencing grief and bereavement
  • Social networking
  • Conducting a marriage ceremony
  • Working with PA systems
  • Design a love commitment ceremony
  • BDM presentation
  • Designing your website
  • How to write a marriage blessing
  • How to read poetry at marriage ceremonies
  • Working with interpreters at bilingual marriage ceremonies
  • Bespoke marriage ceremonies
  • Honouring one another
  • Being of the same mind
  • Conducting marriage ceremonies in the air or at sea
  • Rites of Passage Arnold van Gennep
  • Rites of Passage Joseph Campbell
  • Rites of Passage Ronald L Grimes
  • Special inclusions in marriage ceremonies interactive workshop
  • WHS contingencies and risk management
  • Design a client survey
  • International marriage ceremony traditions
  • Special needs of marrying couples
  • Forgiving one another
  • Retirement process for celebrants
  • Social media marketing
  • Renewing couples vows
  • LinkedIn for marketing
  • Preparing for the step family
  • Effective interpersonal skills
  • Morality in marriage
  • Love in marriage
  • Marrying with an already made family
  • Celebrant Wellbeing
  • Online marketing planning
  • Search engine optimisation basics
  • Blogging for your celebrancy business
  • Grief and loss Introductory
  • First Aid Preparedness for Celebrants
  • Marriage celebrants online Victoria only
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube to market your business
  • Marriage celebrants Eregistry Lifelink NSW
  • BDM Tour
  • Grief loss and bereavement theories
  • Introduction to Building a Facebook page
  • Special needs of marrying couples
  • Introduction to Twitter
  • Unexpected deaths designing the funeral ceremony
  • How to handle difficult clients
  • Introduction to blogging
  • Understanding mobile marketing
  • The Covenant of Marriage
  • Streamline your social media
  • Young at Heart
  • The basics of advertising on Facebook
  • Child Friendly Marriage Ceremonies
  • Design a Funeral Ceremony
  • Questionnaire on the Guidelines on the Marriage Act 1961 for Marriage Celebrants
  • Questionnaire on the Guidelines on the Marriage Act 1961 for Marriage Celebrants
  • Questionnaire on the Guidelines on the Marriage Act 1961 for Marriage Celebrants
  • Divorce healing ceremonies
  • Make a YouTube Clip to Market Your Business
  • Apps for Celebrants
  • Design a name giving ceremony
  • Ethical Choices in Modern Marriage
  • 2016 Compulsory Activity to count as 2018 Elective
  • 2017 Compulsory Activity to count as 2018 Elective
  • Funeral Home Tour
  • Final resting place tour
  • Bridal expo exhibiting
  • Writing a eulogy
  • Working with LGBTI couples to design ceremonies
  • Designing memorial ceremonies
  • Infants funeral and memorial services
  • How to create awesome social media content
  • Creating a wedding package for clients
  • Self care for funeral celebrants
  • Working in the funeral services industry

Courses from Life Skills Training:

  • Elements of a successful wedding rehearsal
  • Being heard and understood voice and vocal delivery
  • In a Nutshell
  • Wonderful naming ceremonies
  • Using interpreters and translators
  • BDM Victoria marriage celebrants online software training
  • Understanding our Workplace Health and Safety WHS obligations
  • Memorial Park and crematorium visit
  • Ceremony Transfer
  • Choreography in the marriage ceremony
  • Customer service master class
  • Forms forms forms from beginning to end
  • How ceremony promotes health and wellbeing
  • Hobby or business
  • Making the best of a wedding ceremony location
  • Marketing made easy
  • Plans A and B managing the elements
  • Feel the power PA systems for celebrants
  • Maintaining and enhancing your professional edge
  • Social media as a marketing tool
  • Incorporating symbols in the Marriage Ceremony
  • What do I do now
  • Writing a ceremony
  • Writing an authentic funeral ceremony
  • You’re the voice meeting audience needs
  • Communication is more than information
  • Beyond diversity and inclusion
  • Wedding ceremony structure
  • Update on the BDM NSW Lifelink system
  • 2016 Compulsory Activity to count as 2018 Elective
  • 2017 Compulsory Activity to count as 2018 Elective

Courses from Gordon TAFE:

  • Communication and developing rapport
  • Getting it right on the day
  • Essential celebrant record keeping and administration
  • Organising your celebrant office
  • Music in the marriage ceremony
  • Creative ways to involve loved ones and symbols in ceremony
  • Relationship support services and the celebrant
  • Using PA systems Dont just be seen be heard
  • Best practice for Australian celebrants
  • Celebrant skills review
  • Celebrant resources review
  • Poetry and readings in ceremonies
  • Interview questions and writing strategies for celebrants
  • Creating and maintaining a social media presence
  • Developing an effective wedding kit bag
  • How to personalise a ceremony
  • Public speaking skills for celebrants
  • Presentation skills
  • Evaluating your celebrant service
  • Mind your own celebrant business
  • Ethics and the Modern Celebrant
  • Celebrants bridging the generation gap
  • Celebrants make excellent stage managers
  • Celebrants embracing diversity
  • Creative Collaboration with Clients
  • 2016 Compulsory Activity to count as 2018 Elective
  • The Evolution of Marriage
  • Wedding Trends
  • 2017 Compulsory Activity to count as 2018 Elective
  • Inclusive Ceremony Design
  • Celebrant marketing with a website or blog
  • Celebrants working with palliative clients
  • Self-care for the Celebrant
  • Marriage Ceremony writing and delivery
  • The answers are in the guidelines

Courses from QualTrain:

  • Review communication strategies to identify needs and develop a support plan
  • Reflect and improve on your celebrant practice
  • Fieldtrip to identify correct funeral protocols and procedures
  • Develop digital infrastructure for marketing purposes
  • Develop ceremonies for love life and loss
  • Choreography of the ceremony at a wedding venue
  • Networking using social media
  • Design your celebrant service agreement
  • Celebrants on tour
  • The social and cultural impact of same sex marriage for celebrants
  • Document management
  • Wired for sound and performance
  • How to Set Up Your Own Blog
  • Funeral Home Chapel Protocols and Procedures for Celebrants
  • 2017 Compulsory Activity to count as 2018 Elective

The Department of Education does not recognise prior learning as satisfying OPD requirements in competency, so celebrants must ensure to complete the required training each year in order to avoid being penalised. Also it’s important to be aware that if you complete more than the five (5) required hours of training, any additional training that you undertake is designated as at your discretion, and does not roll over into your training requirement for the following calendar year.
Please note: From 1st January 2018, celebrants can now elect to complete units from a registered training organisation (RTO) with a Cert IV in Celebrancy. This will mean that your units count as OPD in conjunction with your Cert IV.

In some cases, celebrants may be granted an exemption from completing their required OPD. The Registrar of Marriage Celebrants is the body that will determine celebrants’ eligibility for exemption and for an exemption to be granted, a celebrant must be deemed as experiencing ‘exceptional circumstances’.

To be granted an exemption from completing your celebrancy OPD, you must demonstrate that you are prevented from undertaking OPD for a majority of the year (either by distance, online or face to face). Reasons for exemption can include ill health unexpected duress. However, many celebrants who apply for exemption are denied if their reasons aren’t deemed strong enough, so make sure you carefully consider your eligibility before applying for exemption.

(And similarly, make sure you consider whether you’re willing and able to complete ongoing professional development each year before you become a registered celebrant in Australia!)


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