Josh Withers

5.0  ( 43 reviews ) · Australia's best freestyle celebrant, travelling from Southeast Qld worldwide · Show Phone
Josh Withers SupplierHero Marriage Celebrant Popular Choice 27 +

OVERVIEW

Josh Withers is an internationally renowned wedding celebrant like no other, guaranteed to leave you and your guests smiling all day. Prepare to veer off the beaten path and experience an extraordinary, unscripted ceremony that's as unique and dynamic as your relationship. Josh with his wife, Britt, are also The Elopement Collective, where they arrange simple and significant elopements worldwide.

Josh Withers is a an internationally renowned wedding celebrant like no other, guaranteed to leave you and your guests smiling all day. Prepare to veer off the beaten path and experience an extraordinary, unscripted ceremony that's as unique and dynamic as your relationship. Josh with his wife, Britt, are also The Elopement Collective, where they arrange simple and significant elopements worldwide.


No cliches, no templates, no scripts being read from in the ceremony. Honest and great wedding ceremonies.


Josh Withers brings heart, charm, and engaging storytelling abilities to the table! He strives to share your unique love story in a way that's authentic and honest to you. Passionate about creating new, memorable moments, Josh won't disappoint.


As seen on Married At First Sight, The Today Show, the New York Times, and Seven Sunrise, Josh is the go-to fun wedding expert in Australia.


With a past career in breakfast radio and TV, Josh boasts a confident speaking voice and delivery. He's known for his adventurous spirit and has spent years travelling, marrying couples from all walks of life. As part of The Elopement Collective, Josh and his wife — Britt — can organise a magical day for you and your nearest and dearest. 


What you'll love about working with Josh Withers Wedding Celebrant for your wedding:

  • Adventurous, creative personality. You'll adore Josh's bright, upbeat personality and natural storytelling style. He strives to create epic yet honest ceremonies dedicated to your unique love story. Short and sweet, large and glamorous — the choice is yours. 
  • The Elopement Collective. Josh and his wife — Britt — lead The Elopement Collective. This fantastic collective comprises some of the finest suppliers in the industry, including photographers, videographers, florists, and more! For more intimate moments, this may be the option for you! 


Highlights of working with Josh Withers Wedding Celebrant:

  • Professional, adventurous marriage celebrant 
  • Beautiful storytelling style 
  • The Elopement Collective — photography, videography, florals 
  • Confident speaking voice and delivery 
  • Passionate, welcoming atmosphere 

About

For over 15 years I've been creating the world's best wedding ceremonies for adventurous couples. I honestly believe, with all my heart, that the best part of your wedding should be your wedding ceremony so I work my behind off to create a ceremony that is honest, fun, meaningful, and 100% focused on the two of you.

Josh Withers

Celebrant


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FAQ

Every year I perform marriage ceremonies around the world. I'm literally typing this answer in Austria. My home is on the Gold Coast and also in Tasmania, but I travel worldwide every week to create epic wedding ceremonies for adventurous couples.

Australian law requires a notice period for your celebrant before you get married, that's currently one month. But if I'm available for your wedding date you can book as early or as late as you like.

My best advice for booking a wedding venue and wedding vendors, isn't to choose a date and then find out who's available, but to choose a venue and team, then collaborate on a date everyone is available on, so you get the perfect team.

My personal belief is that your marriage ceremony should be meaningful and really bloody good. Like the best thing that happens on your wedding day. So personal and intimate.

So to achieve that I think it's worth exchanging vows that matter to you. Words that are yours.

So yeah, I'm pretty passionate about personal vows. But if you don't want to, then that's that. But I think you'd be missing out.

A Commonwealth marriage celebrant is the official and legal way Australian law describes the person who has been given the authority by Australian federal law to marry people. They could be a religious minister, a religious celebrant, a government officer, or a civil celebrant. A civil celebrant is the most common with almost 90% of all Aussie weddings being officiated by an Australian civil wedding celebrant. They typically have no public religious ministry, they're just good old plain Aussies who create awesome marriage ceremonies. They're not bound by how the churches do it, or how tradition does it. They can create personal and meaningful marriage ceremonies. There are about 60 seconds of words that have to be said to satisfy the law, everything else that happens in the ceremony is up to the celebrant and the couple.

When you hire me for your wedding, you're asking for bucketloads of my time and energy, from today through to the wedding, and then on the whole day. My every thought, action, and family planning takes into account your wedding and how we can make it awesome.

My reputation and reviews speak for themselves, I do the best work and for over 15 years I've created marriage ceremonies around the globe, and I've had no complaints yet.

That's what the fee is for, so you have no regrets about choosing the best celebrant.

I take full responsibility for your marriage's legal paperwork and registration and for my audio amplification. Of course I'm also including all my meetings, travel, and being the guy you hired me to be at your wedding!

The first step is to make sure that I'm the kind of guy you'd like to stand at the end of the aisle with you and your favourite person. Look through my social media, website, Google me, look at my reviews on the different websites, and do your own research.

Once you've decided on me being your celebrant you have one of two paths to take. If you already have a wedding date and it's unmoveable, get in touch and find out if I'm available. Or if you don't have a date set in stone, let's meet up and get to know each other. When you are ready to start talking dates, work with me and your other vendors on the team to find a date that works.

Once we have a date, I'll send you my booking form - it's all online with credit card payments etc.

From there the planning process begins. I'll start on your legal paperwork, move on to your ceremony and reception planning, and we'll meet as many times as we need to make sure that I, and the two of you, are comfortable and prepared for your wedding.

I ask for a booking fee to secure your wedding date. That payment makes sure that my entire life, my family life, speaking at conferences, mentoring other celebrants, other weddings, and travel plans, all take a back seat to your wedding date.

The remaining payment is the balance of my fee and it's due one month before your wedding, or four months after your booking, whichever date falls first.

I take cash, direct debit, or credit card including VISA, American Express, and Mastercard, so those frequent flyer credit card points are coming in quick!

The very second the two of you exchange vows you are, by Australian law, legally married. Saying "I do" doesn't make you married, that's why most of my ceremonies don't include those words, and saying "I now pronounce you" doesn't legal pronounce you anything. It's the moment you exchange vows.

So after then, you can do whatever you like, some people get photos, some eat meals with their guests, some just go home and eat pizza in a hotel room. But I'm guessing by "post-wedding" you want to talk about the next day, and thereafter.

The first step is to be awesome to each other. Communicate your expectations, your hopes, your dreams, and work your ass off to love one another. I recommend joint bank accounts because the research says that couples that join their finances become wealthier, more successful, and happier.

You might want to consider coming under the same family name as well. Not that names and having the same name makes you more or less married, but there's a powerful signal delivered when you use all the resources available to you to leave your old life where you weren't married and you come together under a new banner, a new tribal identifier, a new name.  

This might be one of your existing last names, or a new last name you create yourselves.

Either way, communicating, joining your money and unifying your tribal identifier - name, are the three simplest ways to enter marriage with an air of success and partnership. In the end, you can do what you like, I'm not your mum. I've been given feedback that joint bank accounts aren't great for people in abusive marriages, and for those people I agree. But I could only hope you wouldn't enter into marriage with an abuser, and honestly I don't know how to square this circle. Healthy marriages are where both people are consenting, where both people are heard, both people are loved, where both people can talk about all things including money, and both people are safe. If that's not you, please seek help.

All of that said, to get a joint bank account, and to change name, you're going to need an Official Certificate of Marriage. The yellowish Certificate of Marriage that you're handed on your wedding day is lovely and formal, but it's missing that word "Official" because an OCoM can only be issued by the Births, Deaths, and Marriages department of the state of Australia where your marriage was registered, and your marriage is registered in the state in which the ceremony occured. Not the state where you live, or where the celebrant lives. Some states in Australia make this easy, some make it hard, when I'm your celebrant I'll walk you through the steps so it's easy.

Every celebrant has a different impassioned view on where the celebrant should stand, as for me, I think the most natural, the least weird, the nicest place for a celebrant to stand is with the couple, in the middle of the ceremony. This isn't a stage production, it's a conversation about something really intimate and beautiful.


43 reviews 5.0 Write a Review

May 2023

From the moment Ben and I met Josh we knew we were in good hands and he was the perfect person to officiate our marriage. Josh was personable, helpful, down to earth from our first meeting and again on our wedding day. What I loved is that he doesn’t read off a script you know it’s his own words in the moment which were heartwarming yet fun and personalised to us. Thank you for playing a special part in our big day Josh. Ben and Teala

Teala P.

Josh Withers

Thank you so much Ben and Teala! It was such an honour to create something epic for you at Gabbinbar Homestead.

June 2016

Josh was excellent. He was so awesome, so funny. He was so relaxed and did a really good job. He made it fun!

Melissa S.

Josh Withers

Thanks Melissa!

December 2015

Josh was absolutely AMAZING. While our ceremony felt like it was made just for us and that we were the only ones there, but our guests also said they enjoyed our ceremony more than any previous family weddings, no stuffiness and long winded meanings of marragies here! I wouldn't even continue looking for a celebrant after you found Josh just give him a call, message, email, skype or contact him on social media he is everywhere!!! Big Love to you Josh for making our moment perfect.

Sara Jane T.

Josh Withers

Big love right back atcha!

December 2023

Josh was our celebrant for our intimate elopement (just us!) in December 2023. I could not recommend him more, he made us both feel at ease and relaxed. It was a truly magical afternoon and we are still in awe of what Josh created for us.

Amber

September 2023

Josh is the perfect choice for a celebrant who is personable, focused on the couple, and creates a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. Our elopement with Josh was an incredibly stress-free and intimate experience. We wholeheartedly recommend his services!

Ellie G.


Expert Advice

expert advice

As a wedding professional, Josh Withers offers expert advice to help couples plan their perfect day. Ask a question or read their expert advice.

Get Expert Advice

My daughter is being married in 12 months time . Am I able to become competent in that time to perform her wedding?

Josh Withers

Firstly, congratulations on your daughter's upcoming wedding. It's wonderful that you wish to take on the role of marriage celebrant for her special day.

To become a marriage celebrant in Australia and perform legal marriage ceremonies, you will need to complete several steps, which include training, applying for registration, and meeting ongoing professional requirements as set out by the Attorney-General's Department.

Here is a general overview of the process:

1. Training: All applicants must complete the Certificate IV in Celebrancy (CHC41015) through a registered training organisation (RTO). This certificate includes units specifically on marriage celebrancy.

2. Application: Once you've completed the required training, you can apply to the Attorney-General's Department to become a Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant.

3. Fit and Proper Person Test: As part of the application process, you must demonstrate that you are a fit and proper person to become a celebrant. This includes criminal history and other checks.

4. Ongoing Professional Development: If you become an authorised celebrant, you will need to undertake five hours of professional development each year to maintain your registration.

Timeframe: The key factor you need to consider is the time it takes to complete the Certificate IV in Celebrancy, which could take several months. After successfully completing your training, the application process for becoming a registered marriage celebrant can also take time. The Attorney-General's Department states that applications can take up to three months to be processed.

Given these steps and depending on various factors such as the availability of training programs, your study pace, and processing times for your application, it might be challenging to complete everything within 12 months. However, it could be feasible if you begin the process immediately and if all elements align in a timely manner.

You can find detailed information on becoming a marriage celebrant on the Attorney-General's Department website. It is recommended to commence the process as early as possible to accommodate any unforeseen delays.

Keep in mind that the role of a marriage celebrant is not only a ceremonial one but also carries legal responsibilities. Ensure you are well-informed about these duties and comfortable in fulfilling them for your daughter's wedding.

Good luck with the process, and I hope that you will be able to enjoy this special occasion with your daughter.

What can you say other than life partner and husband and wife?

wondering if there are any other ways to describe each other in our ceremony other than life partner, or husband and wife?

Josh Withers

In Australia, marriage celebrants have a degree of flexibility in the language and terminology used throughout the marriage ceremony, as long as the legal requirements are met. When reciting the Monitum (the legal wording required under Section 46 of the Marriage Act 1961), and the vows (as per Section 45(2) of the Marriage Act 1961), it is essential to include the specific legal wording required. Outside of these legal components, the celebrant and the couple can be as creative as they wish in terms of the language used to reflect their relationship.

When referring to the couple, there are many alternatives to "life partner," "husband," and "wife." Some of the terms include:

  • Spouse
  • Partner
  • Significant other
  • Beloved
  • Better half
  • Companion
  • Consort
  • Soul mate
  • Other half
  • Life companion
  • Sweetheart

The selection of terminology can be based on the couple's preference, the nature of their relationship, and the type of ceremony they are looking to create. It is important to speak with the couple beforehand to understand the language that resonates with them and accurately reflects their union and shared values.

Always ensure that any terms used respect the inclusive and non-discriminatory spirit of the Marriage Act, which allows marriage between any two people, not just a man and a woman, following the amendments made in 2017 legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia.

Remember, the most important thing is that the language used in the ceremony is meaningful to the couple being married and that it meets the legally mandated requirements.

What time should my ceremony be?

We're making a ceremony local due to a close family member that can't go far. Our reception venue is 1 hr away, We'll need to arrive around 6:30-7pm at reception. We have a wedding photoshoot prior to the reception venue, this will be about 2 hrs.

Josh Withers

My rule for ceremony time is for it to be as late as possible, as close to sunset as possible, once you take into consideration what your photographer needs for portraits (usually no more than one hour, and often ony 30-45 minutes), and what your venue plus caterer needs from you.

For my style of ceremony - fun and enjoyable - I reccommend scheduling an hour, not because it takes an hour, but a ceremony barely ever starts on time, my ceremony takes about 18-20 minutes, and there is signing and congratulations, and maybe a group photo and some family photos, which can all easily fill an hour.

So if the curfew is no issue, and the caterer is no issue, and the sunset is 6pm, your photographer might want you for an hour, so in that case you'd schedule a 3pm ceremony.

If you wanted to tighten the day up a little, your photographer was making your portrait photos on-site, and you weren't having a thousand family photos or group photos, then you could invite people with the wording "3:30pm for a 4pm start" so the ceremony starts at 4pm and you're still sailing through some congratulations and portrait photos before the sun sets.

For summer weddings when the sun sets later, around 8pm or 9pm in some parts of Australia, that starts cutting into recepttion time, so you might consider portrait photos at sunset time, but the ceremony could be at 5pm or so and the party starts straight after.

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