The success of your marriage ceremony starts with choosing the perfect marriage celebrant. And many Australian couples are sparing no expenses to find the best!
When it comes to your marriage celebrant you really do get what you pay for. To become an official, certified celebrant is a long and costly journey and not everyone will be successful. It takes a lot of passion and commitment, as every Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant undergoes 12-months of intensive studies of the different laws and regulations. After all, they will be playing important roles in the community.
The majority of couples see the ceremony as the most important part of their wedding day. They want a professional celebrant who can customise it with special readings or rituals that are meaningful to them. There has been a 56% increase in couples focusing on good online reviews when choosing their celebrant. Savvy couples are more likely than ever to dig deeper into a celebrants background and experience to determine if they are the right fit.
What is the average cost of a marriage celebrant
According to our 2020 Australian Wedding Industry Report, the average cost of a celebrant across Australia is $794. This is an increase of 10% from the previous year as more couples invest in their wedding ceremony.
However, there are no hard and fast figures when it comes to weddings, and the prices can differ depending on the state you’re in or the type of service package you’re after. Understandably, the more personalised and unique a ceremony is, as well as the most experience your celebrant has, the more it could end up costing. Expect to spend $1000+ if you’re looking for a customised and personalised service.
Couples getting married in the state of Victoria will be paying an average of $862. Although that’s second-highest average in Australia (after New South Wales at $887), the increase from the previous year sits at 6%, which is below the national level.
New South Wales
New South Wales couples knocked Nothern Territory couples off the top spot for the highest average in 2020, coming in at the top with a spend of $887. Results show that this is an increase of 14% from the year before, which is the highest increase in the country.
In Queensland, the increase is a little less dramatic with couples paying 9% more than in 2019. The average cost couples are paying for their dream celebrant is $669, which is quite a fair bit below the national average.
Over in South Australia, a marriage celebrant will cost couples $658, which is also an increase of 9% compared to the previous year. The jump is quite significant but the average is still way below the national average.
Good news for Western Australia couples who are not only paying below the national average, with most couples forking out $642 for a marriage celebrant in 2020, this figure is unchanged from the year before!
Tasmania appears to be the state where you can get the most bang for your buck in terms of marriage celebrant costs. With couples paying an average of just $515, even with a slight rise from $508 in 2019, it still stands to be the lowest rate in the whole of Australia.
Australian Capital Territory
The average couple from ACT spends $613 for their celebrant, which is the second-lowest in the country. The average cost a wedding in the ACT is also the second-lowest in the country, with couples paying $23,332. The national average of a wedding in 2020 is $32,940.
If you’re up north you can expect to spend around $788 on your marriage celebrant. This has been knocked off the top spot but still comes in as the third-highest cost of a celebrant around Australia.
What else affects the cost?
There are a number of things that marriage celebrants consider when giving you a quote for your wedding. Our advice is to discuss as a couple what your expectations are and what roles you want your chosen celebrant to play.
What type of reception venue are you using?
Communicate openly and honestly with your celebrant so both parties are on the same page about expectations. Keep in mind that marriage celebrants with more experience tend to have higher prices. But it is definitely worth paying a bit more for a memorable ceremony and that experience.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that a marriage celebrant does more than just the ceremony on the day. They’re there to help guide you through the process and help give you advice. In fact, the average celebrant actually puts 23 hours into every wedding. When you average that out to how much you’re spending, it’s a pretty good deal!
Type of ceremony
Marriage celebrants often offer different packages depending on each couple’s needs. Basic packages that are ‘legals only’ are cost-effective and perfect for simple, intimate weddings. If you are after a more personalised service with a script written specifically for you and your partner with unlimited changes to drafts then you can expect to be paying more for the time and effort required.
Many marriage celebrants have a specified location radius from their home or office. If your venue is further than that, there can sometimes be additional charges.
Depending on your needs, your celebrant may charge you by the hour if you have a longer ceremony involving religious rituals. This is why there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the cost of a celebrant.
Why couples are choosing their celebrant
When choosing their perfect marriage celebrant, couples tend to go with someone who has a genuine interest in them and their story. A celebrant who can walk them through the process step by step and help calm nerves are highly valued. If they also have the ability to include personalised references that are meaningful to the couple that’s an extra bonus!
45% of couples select their celebrant based on their approach to ceremonies.
21% say their celebrants were chosen based on recommendations from family and friends.
18% of couples make the decision based on their budget and;
14% say they choose based on reviews.
50% of couples will hire a female celebrant while another 30% will hire a male celebrant. 20% of couples don’t mind who their celebrant is as long as they have the perfect day.
With an increasing number of couples who are getting married at a later age and also with more allocation to their wedding budgets, it is unlikely that the number of celebrants being hired to officiate weddings will decrease.
In fact, with more couples reporting that they see the ceremony is the most important part of their wedding day, we expect more personalised and longer ceremonies. This may be seen reflected in the overall average spent on marriage celebrants in the year to come.
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