How much does a marriage celebrant cost?

Finding the perfect marriage celebrant to marry you is important to many Australian couples and they are sparing no expenses to do so!

Generally, with marriage celebrants, 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.

Couples see the ceremony is the most important part of their wedding day and they want a professional celebrant who can customise it with special readings or rituals that are meaningful to the couple and make their wedding day unique. Therefore, it is so important to find a celebrant who not only has experience but also someone you feel a personal connection with because they will be narrating your love story and holding your hand through the ceremony.

marriage celebrant

Photos courtesy of Sam Wyper Photography. See the real wedding.

What is the average cost of a marriage celebrant

According to Easy Weddings 2019 Annual Wedding Survey, the average cost of a celebrant across Australia is $721, which is an increase of 1% from the previous year. 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.

marriage celebrant

Annual Australian Weddings Industry Report – Easy Weddings 2019

Victoria

Couples getting married in the state of Victoria will be paying an average of $796. Although that’s the second highest average in Australia (after Northern Territory at $840), that’s actually a slight decrease of 1% compared to 2018.

New South Wales

New South Wales couples are close behind, spending an average of $774 for a marriage celebrant. Results from our Easy Weddings Annual Australian Wedding Industry Report shows that is an increase of 8% from the year before.

marriage celebrant

Photos courtesy of Inlighten Photography. See the real wedding.

Queensland

In Queensland, the increase is a lot less drastic with couples paying 2% more than in 2018. The average cost couples are paying for their dream celebrant is $612, which is quite a fair bit below the national average.

South Australia

Over in South Australia, a marriage celebrant will cost couples $599, which is the second lowest in the country. Not only are the couples paying below the national average, it is also a decrease of 4% from the previous year.

Western Australia

Western Australia couples are also paying below the national average, with most couples forking out $642 for a marriage celebrant in 2019. Considering the average cost back in 2018 was $620, that works out to be an increase of just 3%.

marriage celebrant

Photos courtesy of Photography House. See the real wedding.

Tasmania

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 just an average of $508, even with a slight rise from $494 in 2018, it still stands to be the lowest rate in the whole of Australia.


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Australian Capital Territory

The average couple from ACT spends $602 for their celebrant and similar to South Australia, they enjoy a 3% decrease in 2019 compared to 2018. Couples also pay the least in terms of average total wedding cost, paying just $23,339 when the national average cost of a wedding is $32,333 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2019.

marriage celebrant

Photos courtesy of Cavanagh Photography. See the real wedding.

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. Communicate openly and honestly with the celebrant so both parties are on the same page about expectations. Keeping 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.

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.

Location

Many marriage celebrants have specified location radius from their home or office and if your venue is further than that, there can sometimes be additional charges.

Duration

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!

marriage celebrant

Photos courtesy of Rabbit and the Bear. See the real wedding.

Why couples are choosing their celebrant

When choosing their perfect marriage celebrant, couples tend to go with the one that has a genuine interest in them and their story, able to walk them through the process step by step, help calm nerves,  and the ability to include personalised references that are meaningful to the couple.

53% of couples select their celebrant based on their approach to ceremonies.

21% say their celebrants were chosen based on family and friend recommendations.

17% of couples make the decision based on their budget and;

9% say they choose based on reviews.

38% of couples will hire a female celebrant compared to 44% in 2018 and 35% will hire a male celebrant, up from 32%. We are also seeing a continuing trend from the previous year where more couples have no preference, at 27% versus 24% the year before.

marriage celebrant

Photos courtesy of Folk + Follow. See the real wedding.

2020 prediction

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 and this may be seen reflected in the overall average spent on marriage celebrants.

Ready to find your perfect marriage celebrant? Check out your local celebrants in the directory. 

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