A celebrant enquired today about a couple who wanted to do a live stream of their wedding to family in Europe, but the celebrant didn’t know where to start or what to do.

I thought it was a good prompt for me to remind celebrants of what we do have to do, and what we don’t have to do.

According to the code of practice we have to:

  1. A marriage celebrant must maintain a high standard of service in his or her professional conduct and practice.
  2. A marriage celebrant must recognise the social, cultural and legal significance of marriage and the marriage ceremony in the Australian community, and the importance of strong and respectful family relationships.
  3. A marriage celebrant must: (a) solemnize marriages according to the legal requirements of the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth); and (b) observe the laws of the Commonwealth and of the State or Territory where the marriage is to be solemnized; and (c) prevent and avoid unlawful discrimination in the provision of marriage celebrancy services.
  4. A marriage celebrant must respect the importance of the marriage ceremony to the parties and the other persons organising the ceremony.
  5. A marriage celebrant must: (a) maintain an up-to-date knowledge about appropriate family relationships services in the community; and (b) inform parties about the range of information and services available to them to enhance, and sustain them throughout, their relationship.

And that’s the whole list.

Things not on that list, and thus, things you don’t have to do, include:

  • Supplying table and chairs
  • Supplying a PA speaker system and microphone/s
  • Playing music
  • Providing copyright licenses
  • Providing insurances outside of your direct responsibilities
  • Supplying an arbour
  • Providing ornaments and decorations
  • Singing
  • MC’ing receptions
  • Live streaming anything
  • Recording video
  • Rehearsals
  • A thousand meetings
  • Audio recordings
  • Scripts
  • Folders
  • Umbrellas
  • Transport
  • Vow card printing
  • Emotional support
  • Covid-19 advice
  • Border closures and gathering restrictions advice

There’s probably other things, but everything on that second list is optional.

If you don’t feel competent, comfortable, and capable with doing anything on that list, not only do you not have to do it, you don’t have to offer it as part of your packages and you don’t need to do it to compete with other celebrants.

You need to prepare a space where you can excel at being you. You need to prepare yourself to walk into that ceremony and to absolutely rock it, and don’t let anything distract you from that.