Lots of the questions celebrants ask me relate to how far they can push the legislative requirements or ethics of our role, e.g. how closely do we have to follow the Guidelines, what’s the furthest out from a wedding the DONLIM can be signed, are surprise weddings really forbidden? I have one simple test you can apply to any situation, and if you’ve ever been to one of my OPD classes you’ll probably have heard me talk about this before.

If you had to go to court to testify about the validity of a marriage, could you, under oath, stand by every decision you made? And preferably, could you back up every decision with reference to the Marriage Act, Marriage Regulations, Guidelines on the Marriage Act, and other relevant legislation?