"Dear Google. Please show me where I can find a great celebrant who won't cost me an arm and a leg. Okay...here goes nothing"
“How much should a wedding celebrant cost?”
“What does a wedding celebrant charge?”
“What is the average cost of a marriage celebrant?”
“WHERE CAN I FIND A CHEAP WEDDING CELEBRANT!!!”
Does that sound familiar?
I get it. Weddings are expensive. No one wants a cheap and nasty celebrant. But money doesn't grow on trees. So, something's gotta give, right?
Well, let's get this party started!
In the Newcastle and Hunter Valley area, you can hire a wedding celebrant from around $400 all the way up to $1500. The average price being around $700-$900.
Before you rush into hiring the cheapest celebrant you can find, here are a few pointers, from someone who isn't the cheapest, but isn't super fancy either.
1. The majority of weddings are performed by a minority of celebrants
There are a handful of celebrants who are absolutely kicking goals! They are marrying people on most weekends, their social media presence is on-point, their website ranks well on Google, and the enquiries keep coming in.
Then there's the rest of the pack.
Most celebrants only do a handful of weddings a year.
Why is this? Well, it's probably due to a variety of reasons (e.g. marketing, image, personality, online presence, consumer demand in their region etc.) They might also choose to do very few weddings for personal reasons. It's all good!
Why does this matter? Well, practice makes perfect. Do you want a celebrant who hasn't done a wedding in 6 months? Or a celebrant who marries people every weekend?
Naturally, the 'popular kids' are bit more pricey than the majority of celebrants, who might not be in such high demand.
That's not to say that a celebrant can only do an amazing job if they are heavily booked. It's just some food for thought.
Would you like to know how 'active' your celebrant is?
Stalk their social media and read their reviews. The majority of wedding vendors are hanging out on Instagram these days. Boil a cup of coffee, find somewhere comfy, and stalk the sh** out of them! Or don't, I might have gotten carried away there.
2. Saturdays, Saturdays, Saturdays...and more Saturdays!
Did you know that 62% of weddings take place on a Saturday and there are 10 Saturdays in the year in which the most weddings take place?
This means there is a significant issue of supply and demand. Therefore, popular celebrants have more control over their prices, as they're likely to have multiple inquiries for a single day.
Would you like to save some coin and have more choice over which wedding vendors you book? Consider choosing a day that is not Saturday. Most wedding venues will offer discounts for off-peak bookings.
3. There is only one Slim Shady
You might be employed as a service provider? Perhaps you run a service-based business? If so, you would understand that there is only one YOU. Only you can bring your skills, your personality and your experience. You can also only be in one place at one time (although Elon Musk is probably working on solving that problem right now...all hail Lord Elon!)
Look. The point is: celebrants provide a unique service. If most people agree that they are amazing at their job, naturally, their prices might reflect that.
While every celebrant has the exact same qualifications and is required to fulfil the same legal requirements to solemnise a marriage, each celebrant has a different level of competency, work processes and personal style.
Or we can take this up a notch: In bigger cities like Sydney and Melbourne, you can even hire “celebrity” wedding celebrants who cost THOUSANDS.
4. TYPES OF MARRIAGE CEREMONIES
Many celebrants will offer two different marriage ceremony options:
1) Registry Style: or “Legals-Only”. In a legals-only ceremony, the celebrant completes all the required paperwork and does the legwork to get you legally married – but the ceremony is “bare-bones”. Short, Sharp, to the point and it can take place in your kitchen!
2) Personalised Ceremony: This is the whole shebang! A start to finish performance, personalised vows, exchange of rings, confetti throwing, all about you, delivered to an audience with a PA and microphone.
Regardless of your ceremony choice – it becomes pretty clear that the work that goes into a marriage ceremony, is more than turning up for 30 minutes on the day.
HOW TO FIND A GREAT VALUE-FOR-MONEY CELEBRANT
Your celebrant can make or break your wedding ceremony. Why?
Public speaking ain't easy and some people are downright TERRIFIED of it!
Weddings can also be a bit intimidating and unpredictable.
Throw all of that together, and you quickly have a recipe for...awesomeness! If you do your due diligence (I like fancy words) and pick the right celebrant for you.
1) READ THE CELEBRANT'S REVIEWS!!!
2) A celebrant’s Website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc. is a great way to get to know them and their personal style.
This is why I recorded a quick ‘get to know me video’, so we can meet without having to sit in the same room! Efficient for you and me ;)
3) Try to avoid comparing price tags (within the scope of your budget of course!) and searching for the best deal. Choose a celebrant who matches your ‘vibe’ as a couple. This doesn’t mean you have to hold rigorous interview panels for 10 to 20 celebrants to find who the best match is. Reading reviews is the BEST way to find out what type of service you will receive.
Let's wrap it up
I am not the cheapest local celebrant, nor am I the most expensive. I have taken into consideration many factors, including: my legal expertise, level of experience and modern vibes.
If you would like a copy of my services and pricing document, get in touch! (Seamless plug right there!).
And if you’ve read this far – congratulations on your commitment and concentration – here is a reward.
Written by Rebecca Giles and Brendan Kelso from Advantage DJs