What is a Civil Marriage Celebrant in Australia?

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A marriage is an important day in a couple’s life and those close to them, such as their friends and family. You need to plan so many things properly, and well ahead of time, to ensure your big day plays out as envisioned. Whilst you will have many important guests at your wedding, one of the most important individuals at the wedding will be the civil marriage celebrant who performs the wedding ceremony.

In Sydney, Australia, a marriage celebrant is approved by the Department of Attorney General in Australia to conduct formal events such as marriages. Other than marriages, they also conduct other events like funerals, renewing of vows or baby naming ceremonies. In order for the celebrant to conduct the marriage, they must be authorized under Australian law.

Marriage celebrants from religious communities are known as religious celebrants. The main difference between religious or civil ceremony is that during a religious ceremony, it is about being wed in the eyes of God.

Celebrants, whether they are civil or religious, must follow all the legal requirements for marrying a couple as outlined by the federal government. If the marriage takes place in a place of worship such as a church then there are few rules to follow. On the other hand, civil ceremonies have fewer restrictions.

Apart from weddings, celebrants also handle other services such as:

  • Naming ceremonies- This is a function where couples ask the celebrant to help them celebrate the arrival of the new baby.
  • Renewal of vows- Many couples ask celebrants to help them renew their marriage vows. This is a nice way to reiterate your love for your partner.

Funerals, memorials, and living Wakes- funerals and memorials are services where celebrants help loved ones celebrate the life of people they lost and come to terms with the void in their lives. A living wake is where someone with a terminal illness has their life celebrated by loved ones.