Let’s face it weddings are notoriously expensive but there’s always ways to do it on the cheap. Ultimately it depends on what’s important to you and how much budget you have. If you’d like good quality, service and the right amount of effort from your wedding celebrant, then here’s a little info about the right price to pay.
When it comes to working out how much you should spend on a celebrant, it’s worth understanding what our role entails, what we are responsible for and how many hours it takes to work on your wedding. There’s plenty of preparation, planning, overheads, setting up and checking everything, in the lead up and on the day. Sometimes it’s best to work out the costs per hour instead of an overall figure.
Generally there’s around 10-15 hours of work involved for every couple. So if you divide our fees per hour, it looks a little like $60-75 per hour. Every celebrant decides what they charge so don’t be surprised if you find a big variation in quotes. If it looks cheap, be wary and expect no frills, similar to a registry wedding. Any celebrant charging this, is most likely putting very little effort into making your ceremony meaningful.
On average, a good celebrant will charge anywhere between $800-$1500 (and sometimes more) for a standard sized wedding. For elopements and small weddings, fees could be slightly less. Also note, these figures won’t include travel expenses if your celebrant happens to live outside of your wedding location. Celebrant fees are largely based on their experience, popularity, location and the amount of time spent personalising your ceremony.
If you are quoted $800-950 as a base, you should expect a good quality celebrant who is perhaps still in their early years of their career. For anything over $1,200, then you are usually talking to celebrants who are very experienced and popular.
Also it’s super important to remember that a celebrant is responsible for legalising your marriage. Behind all the legal paperwork, lies some serious work for celebrants to fulfil their legal obligations set by the Australian government. An area that doesn’t get much recognition.
To break it down, here’s an outline of the hours involved for any celebrant:
2.5 hours – get to know each other and what’s important to you through meetings, calls and emails
2.5 hours – prepare your legal paperwork and register your marriage
3 hours – writing your personalised ceremony, assistance with vows and other ceremony elements
1.5 hour – prepare for and practice your ceremony
0.5 hours – rehearsal
2 hours – on your wedding day: set up, greet key people and delivery of ceremony
Travel – travel time, petrol, flights, accommodation and meals
Overheads – compulsory training, celebrant licence, equipment, attire, stationary, marketing, office set up.
That’s 12 hours, not including travel time.
At the end of the day, celebrants are certainly not out to overcharge anyone. We love what we do! We also need to ensure our small businesses are sustainable. It literally takes lots of preparation, checking finer details, providing ideas, guidance, legal advice and emotional support, not to mention weekend work too in legalising a marriage and making every couple’s ceremony a wonderful experience, that’s unique to them.
Cheers to that!
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