Wedding celebrants Annual Professional Development Melbourne

Marriage celebrants are required to do five hours annual professional development annually.  I chose to do mine earlier this week as part of the Australian Federation of Civil Celebrant annual conference which was held in Melbourne this year.

It was a great opportunity for networking with other celebrants as well as keeping up with the latest changes to the Marriage Act which came into effect in December 2017.  The marriage equality bill has brought about a few changes to the legal paperwork and the wording in the ceremony.  The description of the parties to the marriage is now Party One and Party Two, and they can call themselves Groom, Bride or Partner.  When saying their vows they have to use the words husband, wife or partner in marriage

The biggest change is to “The Monitum” (a passage from the marriage act) which the celebrant is required to say during the ceremony.  The words “Marriage according to law in Australia is the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others”  can no longer be said.  Instead the words, “Marriage according to law in Australia is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others” must be said.

There are other minor changes.  I was surprised to learn that we can no longer call ourselves “civil celebrant” but must add the word civil marriage celebrant or just use marriage celebrant.

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Photo by Jasmine Wallace Carter on



Bride’s Name Change through Marriage

  should-i-change-my-name Current polls suggest that there is a decline in bride’s changing their name to that of their husband once marriage takes place.

A number of brides now either retain their surname after marriage, or use the hyphenated name which includes her own, and the groom’s name.

To continue to use her own name, the bride doesn’t need to do anything.

If she wants to change her name to that of the groom she needs to contact the various organisations or services concerned. Some of the changes she will be making could include:

  1. drivers licence
  2. car registration
  3. passport
  4. bank accounts
  5. Medicare
  6. private health fund
  7. insurance policies
  8. superannuation
  9. electoral enrolment
  10. memberships
  11. store accounts

While in some cases, the wedding certificate the bride receives from the celebrant on the wedding day will be sufficient proof of her married status, there are a number of authorities which require the official wedding certificate.

This can only be acquired from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriage after the marriage is registered by the celebrant.  I will the registration process for you online and let you know when your certificate is ready this can take up to six weeks in busy periods such as March and October.

To apply for an official marriage certificate (current cost $31.00) you can do it in person at:

The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages 595 Collins Street Melbourne

Phone 1300 369 367

Office hours 8 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday

Download the application form from the Victoria BDM website.  You can also apply online and have it sent to you.

If the bride wants to hyphenate her name with that of the groom, the process becomes a legal change of name.

Apply to the Registry of Births, Deaths or Marriages in the state of your birth, or find out more by seeing your solicitor.



Official marriage certificate

How long does it take for my marriage to be registered by Births Deaths and Marriages so I can get the official marriage certificate?

In Victoria your celebrant can track the progress of your certificate online. Depending on what time of year you got married the certificate can take up to 8 weeks ( eg March and October).
You need to download an application form and can apply online or pick it up in person once you know your certificate is ready. The cost is $31.00.

You will need the official certificate for identification purposes if you wish to change your name.
For more information go to

professional development

Well that’s my 5 hours of professional development done and dusted!  Two hours compulsory on legal recognition of foreign marriages in Australia and related topics.  We then spent 3 hours learning how to use Pinterest, instagram and YouTube to promote our business.  Very helpful even if my head is spinning a a bit!

Professional Development

It’s winter time in Melbourne a bit quiet on the wedding front, time to get ready to do my 5 hours of professional development.  Apart from the compulsory 2 hours set by the Attorney General’s Department I have decided to concentrate on furthering my social media skills i.e YouTube, pinterest and instagram.

Always important to keep up with any legal issues and changes to the Marriage Celebrants Program.