Wedding Celebrants: What Couples Love (and Don’t Love)

Updated on: December 15, 2023

Along with the marrying couple of course, celebrants are front and centre of wedding ceremonies. Aside from making the union legal, wedding celebrants are generally responsible for setting the tone for the day, so it’s not surprising that it’s one of the first suppliers couples search for in their planning journey.

Marriage celebrants take note: We asked 4,200 Australian couples about their wedding plans, and what separates great celebrants from the rest. Here’s what they said…

Dan Ford wedding Celebrant And MC
Dan Ford Celebrant & MC

The average cost of a wedding celebrant in Australia

Celebrants are of the biggest growth categories this year, according to the 2024 Australian Wedding Industry Report. While the average cost per wedding declined or flattened in many categories across the industry, for wedding celebrants however, it increased 7% on 2023 prices.

The average cost of a wedding celebrant is $874 in 2024, up from $815 in 2023.

Where Celebrants Shine

Let’s start with the good stuff!

When selecting a marriage celebrant, the key qualities couples seek are warmth (56%) and a good sense of humour (27%). The flexibility of adding personalisation to the ceremony is also something most couples value.

Couples couldn’t stop raving about:

  • Coordinated outfit with wedding theme
  • Made to feel safe when discussing details of their relationship timeline
  • Kept everyone running on time leading up to the ceremony commencement
  • Explained legalities in simple terms
  • Couple felt like they were informed at each step of the process
  • Perfect level of entertaining without being overbearing
Marriage Celebrant Melissa Soncini
Marriage Celebrant Melissa Soncini

Room for Improvement

But, as we know, not everything goes according to plan in the wedding business. Here are a few areas that celebrants could work on improving, according to our couples:

  • They did not work well with the photographer when setting up for the ceremony
  • Official forms were filled out incorrectly
  • The microphone or speaker equipment was broken or not working properly
  • They were pushy about following tradition
  • They didn’t follow the agreed on script or brief for the day

Business Insights

On average, marriage celebrants in Australia:

  • Have been in business for 8 years
  • Are among 9,000+ registered celebrants across the country
  • Are booked 9 months before the wedding
  • Work 16 hours on each wedding
  • Spend 28% of their revenue on marketing and advertising
  • Mostly respond to wedding enquiries within an hour (42%), followed by within 24 hours (38%)
  • Are devoted 92% to weddings and 8% to funerals and other events
  • Are at the early stage of the Wedding Buying Cycle, just behind wedding venues and catering. The chart below shares where couples typically begin their planning journey,  with the cycle generally spread across 12-16 months

Wedding Buying Cycle 1

Pro Tips for Wedding Celebrants

  • As 75% of wedding ceremonies are ‘unplugged’, guests are asked not to use their phones, as your couples if this is something they would prefer, and include messaging in your speaking notes.
  • As 56% of couples want to write their own vows and 24% like a mix of traditional and personal, so support couples with suggestions on how to make them more personal. You could work with them separately to help them with their vows, or have them fill out a Q&A form to help you write them for them
  • Celebrants are often requested to MC the entire wedding, so include details of additional services you can provide (and pricing) in your communication materials
  • And as always, don’t forget to ask recent couples to review you on Easy Weddings and other platforms like Google.

For the full scoop on all things weddings, click the below button to download the latest Australian Wedding Industry Report.

Download the 2024 Wedding Industry Report

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Categories: Wedding Industry