How to become a Marriage Celebrant

Becoming a Marriage Celebrant in Australia

I often get asked how did you become a Marriage Celebrant?

I honestly love being a Marriage Celebrant. I first became a celebrant to marry friends of mine and fell in love with being involved with happy couples on one of the best and most important days of their life; their wedding day. It is such a beautiful day to help the couple plan for and be involved in and to witness the joy and happiness they have and their family and friends have for them.  It is truly an honour to help a couple with the ceremony planning and wording for their vows and exchanging of rings.

To become a legally registered Marriage Celebrant by the Commonwealth of Australia you need to be over 18 and firstly complete a Certificate IV in Celebrancy.  There are a number of education institutions that offer this Certificate for study. It is usually around $785 (online course and usually you can take up to 6 months to complete it), up to $around $1800 for classroom course.  It was previously 4 units but they are changing to 3 units from 2017.

Here is a link to current education facilities that offer the Certificate IV in Celebrancy.

Once you successfully pass the Marriage Celebrant course need to complete the Marriage Celebrant online application form with the Attorney General’s Office.  To complete the form you need to register an account.  You can register online at the Attorney General's website. You need to answer some questions about marriage law successfully and be assessed as a ‘fit and proper’ person by the Registrar and Marriage Celebrants.  For this part you will need to get a police check and several references.

To determine whether a person is a "fit and proper person" to be a marriage celebrant, the Registrar takes into account the following:

  • whether the person has sufficient knowledge of the law relating to the solemnisation of marriages by marriage celebrants; and

  • whether the person is committed to advising couples of the availability of relationship support services; and

  • whether the person is of good standing in the community; and

  • whether the person has been convicted of an offence, punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer, against a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory; and

  • whether the person has an actual or potential conflict of interest between his or her practice, or proposed practice, as a marriage celebrant and his or her business interests or other interests; and

  • whether the person’s registration as a marriage celebrant would be likely to result in the person gaining a benefit in respect of another business that the person owns, controls or carries out; and

  • whether the person will fulfil the obligations under section 39G

The application fee to become a Marriage Celebrant is $600.  If your application is successful, you will need to pay the annual $240 registration fee.  An annual registration charge will apply in July each year you are registered.  You also will need to complete an annual Marriage Celebrant professional development.  This cost can vary from $135 online to $ 195 in a classroom.

The Australian Government considers Marriage Celebrants' role in the community to be an important one with  obligations and legal responsibilities.  There can be serious consequences if these responsibilities are not met, including large fines and jail time.

For more information, contact the Marriage Law and Celebrants Section of the Attorney General's office: email or phone 1800 550 343.

Trudy the Brisbane Marriage Celebrant x