Your wedding day is arguably one of the most important days of your life, and there are two major people that you’ll be sharing the altar with. One is the person you’re about to marry. And the other is the person who marries you.
In Australia, 75% of all marriages are performed by a civil celebrant. And while just 30% of couples say that the ceremony is the most important part of the wedding to them, picking the right celebrant can make or break your wedding. Your celebrant is the person who will perform your service, be in most of your ceremony photos and more importantly, lodge the paperwork that says you’re actually married. So you want to make sure they’re a good fit.
That said, there’s always the wedding budget to fit into. Celebrants are usually the fourth wedding supplier that a couple books (following the venue, dress and photographer), showing that they are an important factor in your wedding. However, being higher in the buying cycle means that you still have time to rearrange your budget if you connect with someone you love who costs more than what you were initially expecting to pay. After all, isn’t feeling comfortable when you’re getting married more important than your budget?
The average cost of a marriage celebrant in Australia
The average marriage celebrant cost has risen over the last year, going up nearly 7%. Whereas last year a celebrant would cost you around $665, the national average cost of a marriage celebrant is now $711. We contribute this to the rise in how much it costs to become a celebrant, as well as more celebrants offering tailored and personalised services.
If you’re in Victoria, you’re likely feeling the rise when it comes to the cost of a marriage celebrant. The cost of Victorian celebrants has increased the most since 2016, with a celebrant now costing an average of $800 compared with $695. According to our Easy Weddings Annual Australian Wedding Industry Report, that’s a 15% increase between 2016 and 2017.
New South Wales
New South Wales marriage celebrants are next on the list, costing around $716, and coming in just above the national average. They have also gone up in price over the past year, though not as steeply as those down in Vic.
Surprisingly, the cost of a civil celebrant in South Australia has also increased dramatically over the past year. South Australian celebrants now cost 12% more than they did in 2016, though they still come in under the national average. A celebrant in South Australia will now cost you an average of $626.
Australian Capital Territory
Like the states before them on this list, the ACT has also seen a rise in the cost of marriage celebrants. ACT marriage celebrant costs come in just under the cost of a celebrant in South Australia at $623, compared with $560 in 2016.
Costing around the same as celebrants based in SA and the ACT are WA celebrants, costing an average of $620 compared with $590 in 2016.
The cost of a celebrant in Queensland has increased the least amount over the last few years, going up by less than 1%. A celebrant in Queensland will still cost you $601, compared with $600 the year before. Don’t worry, that dollar will be a good investment!
While most states have seen an increase in the cost of a marriage celebrant over the past year, the services of Tasmanian celebrants have decreased in price, making them the most cost-effective across the country. A marriage celebrant in Tasmania will cost you just $494, compared with $515 in 2016.
Why other couples chose their celebrant
When couples choose their celebrant, they often seek reputation, individualisation, reliability, professionalism and most importantly a connection that they believe best suits their moment.
47% of couples chose their celebrant based on their approach to ceremonies. This is definitely one of the most important factors to consider when booking a celebrant, as liking how your service is going to be delivered and structured is important to the vision you have of your wedding day.
Another 22% of couples chose their celebrant because they were referred by a friend or relative, while 21% chose their celebrant based on how they fit into their budget. 10% of couples chose their celebrant based on great reviews from other couples.
Interestingly, we’re still seeing female celebrants being preferenced over male celebrants. 44% of couples would still prefer a female celebrant, with just 32% preferring a male. However, we have seen an increase in couples who have no preference, now at 24%.
What to look for in a marriage celebrant
When it comes to choosing your marriage celebrant picking someone who is right for you and your partner is important.
No wedding is the same, so when you’re looking for a marriage celebrant find someone who can personalise and tailor your service rather than just sticking with the traditional script. This will mean that your service is more about you as a couple than a copy and paste of someone else’s wedding. Though don’t forget the legal bits!
A celebrant who can also help you by giving advice, or even making you less nervous on the day, is also important. Finding someone who is happy to spend time with you as a couple to get to know you before your wedding will mean that you’re more comfortable with them on the day.
Predictions for 2018
Every couple still needs someone to legally marry them, so we don’t think that the number of marriage celebrants being used is going to change much in 2018. It’s also still quite expensive for a family member or friend to be certified as a celebrant themselves, so we doubt that this is going to change.
Particularly with the legalisation of same-sex marriage in December 2017, we expect the number of celebrants being used by couples to go up again this year. We expect this demand to be reflected in the cost of a marriage celebrant by the end of the year as well. Though we do anticipate that there will be more couples without a preference as to whether their celebrant is male or female.