Find a celebrant

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Where do celebrants come from?
Who started this and when?


In Australia, a celebrant is a professionally trained creator and conductor of all nature of ceremonies. Australia is unique in the world, in that non-religious persons, or persons with spiritual beliefs that are not aligned to a particular church, can become legally qualified to perform the rite of marriage.

Celebrants in Australia have been performing rites of marriage, commitment, funeral, naming and other ceremonies since 1973. (The Find Your Celebrant pages will help you find the right celebrant for your occasion.)

Australia Leads the World In Civil Ceremonies!

Have a good look at the couple above. What a wonderful scene! Off camera 50-100 guests are clapping with happiness too. 

It wasn't always so!

Before the appointment of Civil Marriage Celebrants by Attorney-General of Australia, Lionel Murphy, in July 1973, this couple would not have had such a happy smile. They probably would not have been smiling at all. Lionel Murphy changed the face of the marriage ceremony in Australia for all time by appointing Queensland mother and teacher, Lois D'Arcy as Australia and the world's first civil marriage celebrant. Lionel Murphy's vision was to see non-religious couples enjoy a marriage or other ceremony that was to be emotionally satisfying, powerful in meaning, and in accordance with their wishes. 

Due to his untiring efforts you are able to choose everything about your wedding ceremony that you could desire — vows, words, music, poetry, symbolism, style, celebrant, venue, day and time.

Lionel Murphy founder of civil clebrancy in AustraliaWithout Lionel Murphy's vision and courage, our couple would have had to get married in a Registry Office* on a week day in office hours. They would have had to queue up on a long dreary bench, they would only have been allowed two witnesses and one photo. Their ceremony would have been purely legal and would have taken, at the most, two minutes. (Editors Note: *Registry Offices are much improved these days!) 

Because of the work of AG's Murphy and some other succeeding Attorneys-General, this couple could and did, choose their own place (Overnewton Castle -Melbourne), their own time (11am), their own day. They chose their own professionally trained celebrant (by the International College of Celebrancy, of course), Genevieve Messenger DipMC. They invited as many guests as they wanted to. The guests heard every word. A PA system amplified Bride, Groom, Readers and Celebrant - another PA system played music at an appropriate volume and level. Most of all, the couple worked on, planned, chose and wrote, then rehearsed with the celebrant on-site, their own ceremony of substance. 

Charles and CamillaNot even Prince Charles and his bride Camilla Parker-Bowles had this much freedom in their ceremony! (They had to go to a Registry Office!)

We know you want YOUR wedding ceremony to be special and unique to you!

Call the Celebrant Centre on 1300 446 786 and obtain our books and booklets on ceremony. (Author Dally Messenger is a pioneer of civil celebrancy in Australia. His books, containing may example ceremonies and ideas for civil ceremonies are always in stock or available as eBooks. Many couples prefer to read these books first so they have their ideas prepared before they see a celebrant - recommended!

You Should Choose Your Celebrant Wisely!

Even if your wedding is low key, it often requires more time and organization than you can imagine. Ceremonies are like everything else in life, the more you put into them, the more you get out of them. This applies to you as Bride and Groom. It also applies to your professional celebrant. 

Choose your celebrant on the basis of the services they provide plus their professional manner, their conduct, training, attitude; look in Find Your Celebrant ... to find celebrants who are recommended on the basis of their commitment to you and the successful outcome of your day. 

So Choose Carefully!

Choose a celebrant who has attained a Diploma of Marriage Celebrancy from the International College of Celebrancy or another genuine trainer-educator. Our courses are designed, presented and assessed by practising celebrants. And sorry to tell you this, but there are many who have been "trained" by dodgy operators, and so have to learn on the job (we call it "victim based learning").

The celebrant movement, so unique to Australia, has brought wonderful opportunities. The main privilege a celebrant ceremony brings is choice. All the choices are yours. It is within your power to choose a ceremony with deep and lasting meaning, providing an indelible memory which will help you sustain a loving relationship.