Looks like an easy job, right? Surely they just rock up talk for 20 minutes and go home!
Let me tell you, I have been a celebrant for 11 years and I still spend a lot of time before every ceremony checking everything and reading through the ceremony again to make sure I am happy. It is their wedding day, they have planned for months for this moment and what I say and do on the day also has to be perfect, and legal! There is a lot of behind the scenes preparation. There will have been meetings to commence legal paperwork and to discuss the content for their unique personal ceremony. I provide many resources to help with the process and encourage input re writing their own vows, including children in the ceremony, providing information on rituals, symbols, music etc. I also encourage couples to have a rehearsal at the venue to help calm the nerves.
On the day of the wedding I arrive at least half an hour early to set up my P.A system and legal documents. I check to make sure everything is perfect, greet guests, calm groom and groomsmen, greet bride and bridal party. Liaise with wedding coordinator, organise music, bridal party, flower girls, page boys, ring bearer, readers.
After the marriage ceremony I lodge your marriage documents with the BDM and securely keep all of the necessary legal documents. I also have to keep my office running, answering emails, phone calls, writing invoices, receipts, bookkeeping, printing, filing, purchasing legal stationery, websites, social media, advertising.
All celebrants must have completed at least a Certificate IV in Celebrancy before they can apply to the Attorney General to become registered. The initial registration fee is $600. They are then required to pay an annual fee of $240 to stay registered. All celebrants are required to attend Ongoing Professional Development or they will lose their registration. They are also required to have professional indemnity insurance. So, whilst you might only see the Celebrant for 20 minutes whilst the ceremony is happening, please be assured that they have worked very hard before the ceremony even starts.