How much does a Marriage Celebrant cost?
Getting married doesn't have to cost you $65,000* and upwards. It can cost you as little as $300, or over $100,000. It just depends on what your priorities are.
Most Celebrants these days charge between $800 - $1500 to write and deliver a customised wedding ceremony. There are some that charge less, there are some that cost more, it just depends on what you're looking for. When you look at that number some people think it's a high price for what we do. But it really isn't. Let me break it down for you.
A registry wedding held by the BDM (Births Deaths and Marriages) will cost you between $320 - $490, depending on the day you want to get married and how many people you want to invite. For that you will have a set ceremony, with very little or no personal touches involved. You will have the choice of two different rooms to get married in. If you personalise your vows you can only add another 110 words into them, which really isn't anything at all. You will have to say the official wording that makes your wedding official and then you're out. It normally takes between 10 - 20 minutes.
An authorised Celebrant however will work with you to create a ceremony that tries to encapsulate the best of you and your partner. We will talk with you to find out what you're looking for, what you're NOT looking for and from there create something that is perfect for you. We will consult with you on the music, discuss with you if you're looking for readings or rituals, and advise you on your personal vows and wording for ring exchanges if you're struggling. On the day your ceremony will still only generally go for 15 - 25 minutes (depending of course how much you want in it!) but what you will get for your money is a lifetime worth of memories. My fees currently start at $1,000 inclusive of GST.
All in all, each ceremony a Celebrant creates will normally take around 20 hours to craft, prepare (from first meeting to the final draft) and deliver. It's a substantial amount of time. But it's a really great job to have.
But if you're not looking to have a wedding ceremony and would rather have a cheaper, registry style wedding without the stuffy rooms and vibes, ask the Celebrant that you're looking to book whether they'd be able to do a 'legal's only' ceremony for you. For a legals only ceremony I charge $350 for a ceremony in Preston or Reservoir, or the CBD during the week, and an extra $50 to conduct them in a suburb nearby. Imagine that. A small, simple wedding, at your bar or restaurant or other place of choice. With you and your partner left to celebrate the day how you'd like. Bliss.
You wedding day doesn't have to be the most expensive day of your life. But as it's one of the most memorable days you'll have I do recommend that people invest in a day that represents themselves and their relationships as best as possible.
*$65,000 is the average cost of a wedding in Australia these days