Choosing your wedding celebrant can be one of the most important decisions of your big day. Which celebrant should I choose, what do I need to consider when choosing a wedding celebrant and how can we make sure they match our personalities are just some of the questions that you may be asking yourself. So who better to ask than Camden/Macarthur wedding celebrant Rita O’Reilly from Divine Celebrancy. Rita was kind enough to take 5 minutes of her time to answer some great questions that every bride should know before choosing her wedding celebrant.
1: Are couples able to personalise their ceremony or does it have to follow a certain format?
As long as all of the legal requirements are met during the wedding ceremony, my couples are more than welcome to include anything they wish to ensure that their ceremony fulfils their expectations. I loan my couples a resource folder which has many suggestions and samples of vows, ring exchanges, readings and rituals. My couples are encouraged to imagine their wedding ceremony and suggest anything that would like to include so that I can ensure that they are happy with everything that is said and done during their ceremony. My aim, as a celebrant, is to reflect my couples’ personalities and recognise the things that they believe are important to them. I also encourage my couples to be involved in the creating of their ceremony and to provide as much detail as they want to ensure an individual and personalised ceremony which for my couples would include writing their courtship story.
2: Which types of ceremony styles are couples in the Camden/Macarthur area requesting most commonly.
My couples are generally looking for a warm, heartfelt ceremony that reflects them both; honours their family and their heritage and engages their family and friends in a way that makes them feel like they have just experienced and shared in a very special moment.
3: How can we get to know our Celebrants personality before the wedding so we can be 100% certain we have made the right choice?
I believe that your wedding ceremony is the most important part of the wedding day so it is important to get to know your Celebrant to ensure that they are the right person to conduct your ceremony. One of the best ways to do this is to have a meeting with your celebrant which will allow you to openly discuss your wishes for your ceremony as well as the Celebrant’s services, inclusions and fees. I offer all of my couples an obligation free meeting to discuss every aspect of their wedding ceremony and to see if they are comfortable and happy to engage me for their very special occasion. It is also a good idea to research your celebrant by checking their reviews, testimonials and their Facebook Business Page.
4: What are the legal requirements in Australia to get married?
A person must give their personal consent to the marriage and of course, be free to marry. They should be at least 18 years of age which is the legal age to marry in Australia although, one party to the marriage may be as young as 16 with the other party being at least 18 and if this is the case, parental consent as well as approval from a Magistrate must be sought and a Court Order provided to the Celebrant before a Notice of Intended Marriage form (NOIM) can be accepted by the Celebrant.
The NOIM is the first legal document required to be signed by the couple, witnessed by an approved person and received by the Celebrant as lodgement. This is the couple’s written notice of their intended marriage. The Celebrant must receive the NOIM no less than 1 month prior to the wedding day (unless there is a special exception from the Magistrate) and the marriage must take place within 18 months of the date of receipt of the NOIM by the Celebrant.
5. What documentation will I need to present to the Celebrant?
Evidence of Birth i.e. your official Birth Certificate if you were born in Australia or if you were born overseas, either your foreign Passport or your foreign Birth Certificate. This is required to ensure that you are of legal age to marry and that you are not related to your fiancé in a way that you are not permitted to marry. Evidence of Identity i.e. driver’s licence, proof of age/photo card, an Australian or foreign passport so that the Celebrant can identify that they are marrying the persons referred to in the NOIM. If either party to the marriage has been previously married, then evidence on how the last marriage ended must be sighted by the Celebrant to ensure that the party is legally able to enter into another marriage. Generally speaking, I would complete the NOIM with my couples upon sighting the abovementioned documentation.
Thank you Rita for all your valuable information. If anyone wishes to contact Rita with any further questions she can be reached at www.divinecelebrancy.com.au/home/ or via her facebook page www.facebook.com.au\divinecelebrancy