A professional celebrant’s best friend

The Celebrant Institute of Australia is the peak professional development institute for Australian celebrants. Home to the free Celebrant Talk Show Podcast; a membership program for professional celebrants; and the Certificate IV in Celebrancy.

The Celebrant Institute is a supportive safe space for you to learn and ask questions about anything and everything related to being an Australian marriage celebrant, including marriage law and legal issues, building and running a sustainable celebrant business, plus creating and presenting ceremony.

Members of the Celebrant Institute set the standard for a high performing professional celebrant in Australia.

For the best

Founded by Josh Withers and Sarah Aird, two of Australia’s most respected celebrants in their field, the institute was created as a home for celebrants to find the support, encouragement, training, and professional development desperately missing in the Australian celebrant industry.

Marriage Law & Legal Issues

In the membership program we address the legalities associated with our role, covering the Marriage Act 1961, Marriage Regulations 2017 and Guidelines on the Marriage Act (think anything you’ve ever asked Sarah Aird, aka The Oracle, about)

Building & Running A Sustainable Celebrant Business

Running a successful and sustainable celebrancy business in the Australian context, think marketing, business processes, automation, client journey, technology, accounting, and other associated topics are important to us.

Ceremony

The ceremonial aspects, including ceremony writing and inclusions, ceremony logistics, PA systems, guest involvement, are valuable topics covered in the program.

Everything Else

Literally anything else you can think of, if you ask the question we’ll answer it, and if we think of an idea and it’s good content, we’ll publish it on the blog.

Helping Australian celebrants be the best they can be

The membership

The Celebrant Institute is a paid membership program hand made by Josh Withers and Sarah Aird to help Australian marriage celebrants become the best celebrants they can be. We write articles weekly, and answer questions directly asap, plus provide mentoring and support for members. Membership is $10 a month or if you sign up for the annual plan you get a month for free.

The podcast

The Celebrant Talk Show Podcast is a candid conversation between Josh and Sarah and the occasional guest on the beautiful process of being a marriage celebrant. Covering celebrant news, industry developments, legal issues, and the rigmarole of just merely existing as a celebrant in the modern wedding world. Listen to the most recent episodes at celebrant.fm where you can also find the links to subscribe and listen to the back catalogue.

The Certificate 4 in Celebrancy

The gateway course to becoming a civil marriage celebrant and funeral celebrant in Australia, the Certificate IV in Celebrancy, is now offered by the Celebrant Institute! Taught by Sarah Aird, with student support from Josh Withers, under the auspice of our RTO partner, Talented Training, RTO #45144.

Over 71% of Certificate 4 in Celebrancy graduates feel unprepared for their work as a marriage celebrant, so we have designed a course that tackles that problem head on. Our celebrant candidates graduate with the confidence needed to stand in front of weddings every day and absolutely rock at what they do, whilst also being prepared to address the legal structures and requirements of being a Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrant.

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Latest articles published

What are the ABIA awards? A guide for celebrants

A reader asks: “I’ve noticed the ABIA awards presentation nights have been occurring but what is the ABIA awards and how do people win the ABIA awards? What is the scoring based on? I see these marks of 99.93 etc.” I’ll answer this question on behalf of ABIA, then with my own opinion, which may or may not include the now famous, Billockery Awards, the celebrancy industry’s most favourable fictionalised awards system.

Please put the (sales) gun down!

A quick Saturday morning flick through the social media feeds showed me six celebrants doing a bad thing on social media.

They’re not breaking the law, and in their minds they’re not doing a bad or evil thing. Many people would see the same thing I did and think it’s perfectly fine.

But my advice would be to stop.

Parents’ names on the NOIM. Part 3

Party to the marriage is completing their NOIM and has advised me that:
1) her father is not listed on her birth certificate or any other official/legal documents relating to her identity
2) she knows who her father is, and they are involved in each other’s life
I’m aware we don’t have to check evidence of parents names – so just wanted to double check that I am correct in advising that she should list her father on the NOIM despite him not appearing on her birth certificate (as to write ‘unknown’ would be to knowingly make a false statement on the NOIM)?

Communicating timelines with couples

Alex asks: My question is regarding communication with couples – specifically timelines. Before I became a Celebrant I remember hearing a few off-hand remarks from a family friend and also a cousin about their Celebrants. The general feedback was that they never heard from their celebrant after booking them, had no idea what to expect (for example commented “we hadn’t heard from her in 4 months”) and both had doubts about how the day would run. I was horrified! To me, managing expectations is super important but I also understand it may be different with each couple. So my question is – sorry it took me a while to get there – do you have any advice on how you communicate a “timeline of events” with the couple – or can you provide an example of one? And also advice for me on ceremony writing….how soon before the wedding do you start it and if requested or preferred by the couple when do you send a first draft for them to review, and how soon before the ceremony do you “lock everything in?”

Witnessing the NOIM via videoconferencing

With the new law, we are able to sight their identification online, so can we do the same if they sign the documents in front of us but online? So signing in America, we watch them do that over Skype, then they mail us the form, and we sign NOIM and date when we watched them sign over Skype.

A review of Wedwordy, a ceremony script creator

I was email marketed by the team at Wedwordy recently, with their offering of a ceremony script builder. Wedwordy promises to create personalised wedding ceremony scripts “as easy as 1-2-3” so I reached out to them and requested a review. I’ve listened to many celebrants through the ages talk about their ceremony script writing process, some put way too much effort in, and many simply phone it in by inserting names in the right places and clicking print. Some don’t even go that far and thanks to those celebrants the profession has that reputation of saying the wrong names in a ceremony.

PDF’s are losing their contents when imported to Notability

Victoria asks: I downloaded Notability on my iPad so I could easily get signatures on my doc as you said you found that one the best – however when it opens the filled in versions of the PDFS from the AG’s site as that’s what I use – they appear blank. Any tips on how to get them to appear filled in?

Where do all the people come from?

Jeff asks: When you look back on leads, what seems to be working? Do you have a rough breakdown of where/how couples are finding you? Do you find Instagram/Facebook ads work? Venue referrals? The Google…?