When it comes to wedding celebrants (and weddings in general), the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ more or less rings true. That said, it’s important for suppliers to be completely transparent about their pricing.
As a newly engaged couple, there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re being taken for a ride (been there, done that – not fun).
With that in mind, one of our favourite Melbourne celebrants, Precious Celebrations, has kindly put her hand up to give us the low down on how much a wedding celebrant costs and, most importantly, why.
Getting married doesn’t have a fixed price. 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.
WHAT DOES A CELEBRANT ACTUALLY DO?
A question I get asked a lot is how can a celebrant charge this much when we’re only there for 15 – 20 minutes on the day?
All in all, each ceremony a celebrant creates can take anywhere from 10 to 20 hours to prepare (from first meeting to the final draft), customise and deliver. It’s a substantial amount of time. We also need to be there 40 mins – 1 hour before the ceremony starts to make sure that everything is going smoothly for you, to set up and check things over with a venue manager or point of contact on the day to ensure there’s no on-the-day hiccups.
We talk through with the photographer (and sometimes videographer) before the ceremony to make sure the shots that you and they want are captured, calm down any nervous bridesmaids or groomsmen and have a chat with your great aunt Mildred about how different weddings are these days compared to the 50s and 60s – I mean who knew you could get married outside of the church???
All in all, we are your go to person for your wedding ceremony – and whether you’ve been dreaming of this day since you were five, or had never given it a thought before – it’s definitely worth investing in.
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 $300 and conduct them all around Melbourne. Imagine that. A small, simple wedding, at your bar or restaurant or another place of choice. With you and your partner left to celebrate the day how you’d like. Bliss.
Your 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’re likely to have I do recommend that people invest in a day that represents themselves and their relationships as best as possible. And this starts with a great celebrant that will set the tone perfectly for you and your guests.
Photo credit: Eric Ronald.
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