Simone Butler Marriage Celebrant

1 5 5.0 (4 reviews) 
Service Area
Business Hours
By Appointment
02 9190 1276

Expert Advice

As a wedding professional, Simone Butler Marriage Celebrant offers expert advice to help couples plan their perfect day. Ask a question or read their expert advice.

Where can I get a notice of intended marriage form?

Is this something that I have to find myself?

You can certainly download one yourself from the Attorney General's website. Alternatively if you've chosen your celebrant they are able to assist you with filling out this form. A celebrant knows exactly what information needs be put on the NOIM and can save any errors down the track. Often celebrants will have software where the information can be entered and the NOIM printed off. Some of that information then generates on to the legal documents you will sign closer to the ceremony and at the ceremony itself. 

What does marriage celebrant do?

What don't we do?! Jokes aside, we actually do quite a bit but most importantly we make sure that you are legally married! We have done the study and have the experience to know what's legally required and also give you guidance in planning and executing the wedding of your dreams. I pride myself on personalised ceremonies so a lot of my time is spent getting to you know and your partner, your stories and writing a ceremony that is taliored to the two of you. On the day I make sure that the ceremony runs as we've discussed. I touch base with the photographer, videographer, venue coodinator, your parents, family and friends. I work out ways of encouraging little people down the aisle, provide your groom or partner with tissues before you make your entrance, calm nerves...the list is different for each ceremony! I speak for many of us when I say we love what we do and go above and beyond to make your day and ceremony memorable! 

Do Celebrants fly/travel to perform destination weddings?

Yes! They certainly do. 

Depending on the location they may ask that you cover part or some of their flights/accomodation. Each celebrant will be different but don't be afraid to be upfront and ask! 

I do know of some celebrant friends who spend a month in places like Bali or Thailand each year for weddings! 

If we're getting married in a garden, do we need a undercover plan B for weather reasons?

Yes, yes, yes! 

It's great to have a backup. That said, celebrants are professionals and we are good at thinking on our feet but a Plan B can put everyone's mind at rest in the case of bad weather! 

How does the idea of an unplugged wedding go over with guests?

Do some choose to ignore it?

These days guests are very understanding! Some couples ask that the whole ceremony is unplugged, while some ask that entrace of the bride/bridal party be unplugged. As a celebrant I always word it in a nice way that encourages the guests to present in the moment and that it's much nicer for the couple to see the eyes of their guests, rather than faces behind a camera. 

Can you become a celebrant and preside over your own wedding?

Something I've never thought of before, but no, you are unable to do this. 

What makes original wedding vows really stand out, in your opinion?

Vows that are heartfelt. I give my couples pointers on what they may like to say and usually once they given it some thought, they come up with some pretty special words and promises for each other...I have been known to sit there crying when they email them through! 

How do I ensure my vows sound good enough?

This is a regular concern for my couples. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say, how much to say, what your partner is going to say. 

I work with my couples to develop a tone or basic structure for their vows to assist with the above concerns. Sometimes  the couples write their own individual vows or write the same but your Celebrant is always there to help you or listen to your vows if you don’t want to share them with your partner before your big day. 

Does the celebrant have to do the whole "how they met" story?

I feel like that might be awkward for us. We are a super stong and stable couple now, but when we met we still had a lot of growing up to do (we were teenagers, and broke each others hearts.) We had a huge falling out and reconnected later. It was very messy and all of our fam and friends know that. Do we have to go into that when our life is so beautiful NOW, and has been for years now?

While there are certain things your Celebrant needs to say (for legal purposes) your story is not one of them. It is completely up to you as to what you what your Celebrant to say about your relationship. 

Is a person who is asked to do a reading at the church part of the bridal party?

Not necessarily. I find couples choose other special  family members or friends for readings as it’s another way to include people who are special to them. Readings from grandparents is always special! 

How can I incorporate my step-child into the ceremony?

Lots of great ideas in the previous post. 

One thing I've seen done is presenting your step-child with a gift, maybe a watch, necklace or another keepsake. This was done at my brother-in-law's wedding and it was a really beautiful moment. 

How does the name change process work?

Do celebrants help with this process?

You will need to obtain an official marriage certificate from Births, Deaths and Marriages. I often apply for this on the bride and groom's behalf when I send off their paperwork. 

Once you've received this, it's a good idea to make several copies and have them certified by a JP as many organisations require a certified copy. 

How can I encourage my partner to write their vows?

I've written mine and I'm still waiting to find out about theirs- is there anything I can do without nagging? The wedding is only two weeks away

Talk to your partner about what your vows mean to you and how important it is to you that you each write your own. Or maybe you can write them together. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, neverwracking and really hard to put your feelings into words. As a starting point for my couples I often suggest that they think about the things they love about their partner, what they are looking forward to in their life together and what they will promise. 

As another celebrant suggested, maybe they are already written...that's something my husband would do just to stir me up! 

All the very best with your wedding, 

Sim X

Do celebrants usually recommend pre-marriage counselling or courses?

Yes, it is our legal obligation to do so. When my clients lodge their NOIM with me, I give them a brochure title Happily Ever Before and After along with a list of relationship providers in the local area. It is then up to the couple if they proceed with pre-marriage counselling or courses. 

How much should I expect to pay for a celebrant?

And is it cheaper to go for a religious officiant? I'm not fussed about the cost just want to know what to budget for. :)

I would budget for $500-$1000 (possibly more). It really does depend on what you want though. I am around the middle of the price range given and I pride myself on offering a very personalised ceremony which can take a fair amount of time when it comes to writing and getting to know my lovely couples. I myself am always happy to discuss the breakdown of costs with my couples as often there are parts of our job that are not common knowledge. 

Do couples usually use vow books?

It's completely up to the couple. I offer them as a keepsake and then if couple's want to use them on the day - great! If they don't that's fine too. They are another 'thing' to hold and often couples are happy to repeat the vows after me or memorise them if they're feeling confident! 

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