Welcome to My Frequently Asked Questions page.

I’m sure you have heaps of questions relating to your upcoming wedding, elopement or vow renewal ceremony.  Don’t worry it’s all quite straight forward! I’ve helped and guided numerous couples throughout their wedding journey as they prepare for their big day. Let’s create some magic!

To view our questions simply click on the question and the answer will drop down below. If you can’t find the information you are after, feel free to contact me via email weddings@shaunarowecelebrant.com.au or by calling me on +61416252869

How much does a Celebrant Cost?

In Australia there is no set scheduled Marriage Celebrants fee.

Therefore from state to state, location to location Marriage Celebrant fees and inclusions can differ significantly. When it comes to planning your special day, cost is an important factor for most couples. That’s why it is so important when choosing a marriage celebrant to either, have an in-depth phone conversation or if possible, a personal face to face obligation free meeting.

A highly motivated and passionate celebrant will discuss at length your thoughts and ideas, the type of ceremony and inclusions you are seeking. Don’t be afraid to ask for clear and concise information on exactly what is provided for the agreed fee Gold Coast Celebrant  0416252869.

My initial upfront outlay is a $200 non-refundable booking fee. This secures my services/your date/lodgement of your Notice of Intended Marriage. I look forward to helping you plan one of the most important milestones in any couples lives.

My celebrants fee is also inclusive of travel, rehearsal, the creative planning, writing and fine tuning your ceremony. On the day turning up in a timely manner, looking fabulous and extremely prepared to conduct your wedding ceremony. So as you can see, there is so much that goes into being a celebrant. So please consider all of this when questioning how much a celebrant will cost to perform your wedding, renewal of vows, baby naming ceremony or memorial service. To learn more about my fees please contact me to discuss your celebration. 

What Does a Celebrant Do?

Keeping things on track before you make your grand entrance!

The journey starts from the first time we meet, right through to the moment you both say “I do”

There are so many things to consider when booking a celebrant. Typically, celebrants will meet with the couples they are marrying two or three times, each meeting lasting between 45 minutes to an hour. This is to complete the necessary legal paperwork and to explain the flow, format and legalities of the ceremony. Meetings also allow the celebrant to get to know the couple and develop a rapport. Knowing the couple well and working together to design a
ceremony that captures the essence of your relationship, values and personalities is a key element.

I always provide my couples with a short set of questions so that I can have them on hand when drafting your bespoke ceremony. Each ceremony I write and perform is totally approved and reviewed by the couple! So basically, no two ceremonies are the same. On average, as your celebrant I will spend a total of 13-15 hours preparing for your wedding ceremony. Investing in a celebrant’s time and expertise allows their Special day to run smoothly. We are the best source of support and knowledge for you throughout your entire wedding journey.

What are the Legal Requirements for getting married and how does a celebrant help?

Firstly an “authorised celebrant” is authorised by the Australian Government to perform legal marriages. For couples who choose a non-religious ceremony, according to the Marriage Act 1961, must engage the services of a registered Marriage Celebrant.

A marriage celebrant’s role is the preparation and lodgement of all legal documents to Birth, Deaths and Marriages in the state where your wedding ceremony takes place. Your chosen marriage celebrant will supply you a detailed list of what legal documents must be sighted.  Your documents must be in English—or you must supply accredited translations if they are in another language. The Notice of Intended Marriage commonly referred to as the NOIM must be lodged with your authorised marriage celebrant at least 1 month prior and no earlier than 18 months before your ceremony date (unless for specific reasons the couple obtains a shortening of time from a prescribed authority).

Either at your wedding rehearsal or as close to your ceremony date as possible both of you will sign The Declaration of No Legal Impediment. The DONLI is a legal declaration that both parties are of marriageable age, are not in a prohibited relationship, are not married to someone else, and are not aware of any other legal impediment to your marriage taking place.

Lastly, my celebrant role covers the submission of the legal paperwork to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This ensures that your marriage is legally registered with the BDM of the state or territory you were married in. This must be done within 2 weeks of the Ceremony date.

When do I need to book my celebrant?

Do your research, choose a few marriage celebrants you wish to contact and meet with. Often civil marriage celebrants will offer an obligation free first meeting. This is a great opportunity to get to know each other and see if they are someone you feel a rapport with. I then recommended booking your chosen celebrant as soon as you have decided on a date and secured your wedding venue.

During busy months, and popular dates such as Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, Easter, long weekend’s or popular Saturday’s many celebrants can be booked out up to 12-18 months in advance. Planning ahead is the key to a successful wedding or any type of Special Celebration. To avoid missing out on your preferred celebrant get in early! It only takes a minute to contact me.

How Quickly Can I Get Married?

Once you have lodged either in person or electronically your Notice of Intended Marriage with your celebrant you are free to marry 1 calendar month later. Under certain circumstances what’s known as a Shortening of Time can be granted to couples who wish to get married in less that the required 1 calendar month. However, there are strict guidelines that need to be adhered to and approved by a prescribed authority. If you have any questions about this process please send me a message or give me a call

What Does a Celebrant Wear to a Wedding?

As your Marriage Celebrant I am always tastefully dressed and in sync colour wise with your Bridal party. I do have bit of a passion for clothes and love dressing up to complement your Special Day, and often run through my choice of outfit with the couple prior. Being well presented is another integral element to engaging the services of a professional, vibrant and highly experienced Marriage Celebrant.

Do we need a back-up plan for our wedding day?

Definitely YES! Once a couple has met and booked my services for their forthcoming wedding ceremony this is a topic we always discuss. Getting married on the beach or in a garden under sunny blue skies on the Gold Coast may be the dream, but occasionally rain showers is the reality.

Having a plan B waiting in the wings if the weather doesn’t cooperate is a must and I strongly advise my couples to contact their reception venue as an alternative ceremony location. Or even a plan C during these uncertain times, helps eliminate any additional stress on the day of the wedding.

Planning ahead is the key, implement a wedding back-up plan, you may not need it, but knowing you have one is truly a sensible idea.

Do you have to be an Australian Citizen to get Married in Australia?

No you don’t have to be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia to marry in Australia. Providing all the necessary guidelines and legal requirements are adhered to, anybody can come to Australia and be married. Your documents must be in English—or you must supply accredited translations if they are in another language. I will confidentially guide through the legal process, please contact me on 0416252869 to discuss, it’s quite simple and straightforward.

A Notice of Intended Marriage which I can provide, can be completed overseas and would need to be signed and witnessed by a prescribed authority, in your country of residence. The one-month timeframe is activated the date you scan the NOIM to your celebrant. If you are travelling alone with no guests in attendance, I can also supply the required witness each.

Do We Need to Have a Wedding rehearsal?

I always think, a wedding rehearsal, especially for a larger Bridal party is a wonderful idea. It allows everyone to be familiar with where they will make their entrance, timing of the music, spacing and where they will stand on the appointed day. Anyone who escorts the Bride or Groom down the aisle, including Mums and Dads can be a little nervous about their imminent important role!

For a garden, or beach wedding ceremony, I generally advise and plan your rehearsal around the same time as your actual wedding ceremony. This ensures we know where the sun will be and where you and your bridal party should stand so that sun is not shining directly into your eyes.

A wedding rehearsal also allows the couple to get a real feel for the flow of their wedding ceremony. For some couples it is a great way of working through and addressing any nervous moments, if you are incorporating a Ritual into your ceremony such as a Handfasting Ritual, we can practise the sequence thoroughly so that on the day it all proceeds without a hitch.

If you are planning a small intimate ceremony with no Bridal party you may not wish to have a rehearsal. Big or small, traditional, or formal I will talk and guide you throughout your stress- free wedding ceremony.

Why do we need to have a registered celebrant?

The Marriage Act 1961 and Marriage Regulations 2017 set the rules for getting married in Australia. Firstly an “authorised celebrant” is authorised by the Australian Government to perform legal marriages in a dignified and culturally acceptable manner. For couples who choose a non-religious ceremony, according to the Marriage Act 1961, must engage the services of a registered Marriage Celebrant. A registered celebrant must carry out your wedding ceremony. The Celebrant you choose is a big part of creating your stress free ‘perfect day’.

But most importantly my celebrant role covers the submission of the legal paperwork to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This ensures that your marriage is legally registered with the BDM of the state you were married in. This must be done within 2 weeks of the Ceremony date, nobody but your authorised celebrant has the legal capacity to do this.

What has to be legally included in our Wedding?

Whether you are choosing an elopement, a small intimate wedding ceremony with only a handful of guests, or a wedding ceremony with all the bells and whistles your marriage celebrant must by law include these 3 key legal components.

The Celebrant to state their full name and that they are an “authorised celebrant”.

The Celebrant must state the following required wording known as the ‘Monitum’

“I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”

The third and final wording relates to the wedding vows …. which must be stated by each person

I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, A.B (or C.D.), take you, C.D. (or A.B.), to be my wedded (wife, husband, or spouse).

(Or an acceptable variation of as defined by the Marriage Act).

At the completion of your ceremony there are three documents to be signed by the marriage celebrant, bride and groom, and their two witnesses (who must be at least 18 years of age)

Official Certificate of Marriage (Form 16) x 2 copies – which is used to register the marriage. Attached to the back side of one of the Certificate of Marriage is your completed and signed Declaration of no Impediment which must be signed prior to the start of your ceremony.

Celebratory Marriage Certificate (form 15) – which is presented to the couple

How do we apply for a marriage certificate?

Your celebrant must, within 14 days of your marriage submit your marriage paperwork to the registry of births, deaths and marriages in the state or territory you got married in. Once your marriage has been registered in that state you were married in you may then apply for your Official Marriage certificate. This important personal document can be used as proof of your wedding for official purposes, such as changing your name, for instance Medicare, banks, passport application or department of transport to name a few.

Please use the links below to apply for your Official Marriage Certificate



I am very happy to apply at your cost and on your behalf for your Official Marriage Certificate. A lovely gesture to complete your wedding experience!

How do we write our Wedding Vows?

I think many couples feel that writing their personal vows may be a daunting and difficult task. But in fact, once written, couples are elated to share their creative, amusing and touching thoughts with their soon to be Husband or Wife. I always provide my couples, with numerous examples from my extensive resources  that they can cut and paste from, adding their own flair and personality to.

I believe it’s a good idea to discuss the length of your personal vows and the type of content you are each planning to include. Take some quiet reflective time and ask yourself what makes your relationship tick, what marriage means to you, your hopes for your future as a married couple and what amazing things you have shared!

When you think of something great write it down. Then keep them a secret from one from another to share on your wedding day, I ask my couples to email me their vows separately. I will have any personal vows printed out on card for you to read from and include them with your certificate as a memento of your Special Day. I am only too happy to take a look at your personal vows once written and offer advice.

How do I change my last name once I'm married?

At the end of your wedding ceremony, the celebrant will hand over a beautiful celebratory marriage certificate signed by you, your witnesses and of course myself. This certificate has no legal representation, so as a courtesy I will apply on your behalf, but at your cost for your “Official Marriage Certificate”.

The turnaround can take a couple of weeks. This is the legal document you will need to take to all relevant authorities to change your name. Alternatively, you may wish to purchase a Name Change Kit which can save you considerable time and effort. A name change kit can put you on the right path but entirely up to you to purchase.

You can start the process here

Does the wedding celebrant also attend the reception?

No not usually, unless you are a family member or a family friend and have been formally invited. Once your ceremony has finished and you are being congratulated by your guests I like to sit quietly and check over all paperwork.

My final duty is to hand the couples celebratory marriage certificate to a trusted family member, relative or if applicable the wedding planner. Please note your celebrant is unable to issue another certificate if this one is misplaced or lost. I then like to slip away quietly as you now participate in your family and group photos.

But most importantly my celebrant role covers the submission of the legal paperwork to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. This ensures that your marriage is legally registered with the BDM of the state you were married in. This must be done within 2 weeks of the Ceremony date.

Do I need a Celebrant for getting an Elopement?

Yes you do need an “authorised celebrant” to conduct your Elopement ceremony. All you require is a celebrant, two witnesses over the age of 18, and yourselves and we have all the ingredients to proceed with a romantic and intimate elopement ceremony. The legal implications including all necessary paperwork is exactly the same as a larger wedding ceremony.

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