What Does A Celebrant Do At A Wedding?

Melbourne Celebrant Answers Wedding Questions

A Marriage Celebrant is an essential wedding vendor for your big day because they not only do all the necessary legalities, but they also set the tone for your whole day. You should be able to rely on them for your sound system, a relaxed vibe and keeping your friends & family entertained and comfortable throughout the whole day.

Let’s take a look at all the other areas a Celebrant supports you to make your day everything it deserves to be.

Pete at a wedding ceremony

Pete (@petethecelebrant) introducing the Wedding of Natasha and Josh

How To Get Married By A Marriage Celebrant

A marriage celebrant will take care of all the legal documents before, during and after your ceremony; including all the legalities during the ceremony. There are surprisingly not a huge amount of legalities required to get married, but it’s very important that you do those legalities correctly.

You’ll Need These Legal Documents To Get Married:

A Wedding Celebrant will help you arrange and organise them; including assistance with the timing they need to be signed and submitted.

You will need to bring your Identity Documents so the celebrant can verify you are who you say you are. The best documents for this task is your Passport and/or your Drivers licence & Birth Certificate.
If you don’t have access to any of these identity documents you will need to either order them from Birth, Deaths and Marriages or talk to your wedding celebrant about organising a Statutory Declaration to explain why you are unable to get any access to them.

Notice of intended marriage

This is a picture of the Notice of Intended Marriage and it must be witnessed and lodged to a Marriage Celebrant one calendar month before the wedding.

What Makes A Wedding Ceremony Legal?

In the ceremony your full names need to be used, the monitum said by the celebrant, your vows must have the legal sentence in there, two witnesses and signed correct documents are needed to make a wedding ceremony legal.


Full Names: The celebrant will need to say your full legal name at least once and from there you can use your preferred name. E.g. ‘Peter Celebrant Melbourne’ must have his full name said at least once, before he can be called ‘Pete’ for the remainder of the ceremony.


The Monitum: The Monitum is a legal paragraph explaining ‘what marriage is in Australia’.

The Wording is:

“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”

*Fun fact: After Australia finally voted YES in Australia, the last sentence of the monitum changed from “between a man and a woman” to “between two people” – Great work Australia by supporting all people to marry their preferred humans, regardless of gender.


Wedding Vows:

You only need to verbally say one legal sentence, which is “I ask everyone here to witness, that I, Pete Melbourne Celebrant, take you, Melbourne Celebrant Peter Hordern, to be my wedded husband/wife/spouse”. There are some changes you can make and a marriage celebrant can help you with all of that.

Let’s not forget your personal vows! I help my couples by giving them a document of example vows and suggestions to develop their own. You can also choose to either keep them a surprise, share them before the day or say the exact same.



The witnesses can be any two humans who must be atleast 18 years old and understand what the wedding ceremony is about; the commitment two people are making.

couple signing marriage forms

Pete (@petethecelebrant) was Kathleen and Anthony’s chosen Melbourne Wedding Celebrant and MC
Pic by Erin & Tara

The Celebrant Brings Their Sound System

The sound system your marriage celebrant uses during your wedding ceremony is incredibly important. A Wedding Celebrant should invest a decent amount of money to make sure that all your friends and family can hear your story being shared, any readings and most importantly your Vows.

I’ve heard from multiple people who attended weddings where the celebrant didn’t have a good sound system and no-one could hear what the couple was saying. That’s just not good enough! It’s actually a legal obligation for a celebrant to make sure the witnesses can head the vows being shared.

When I became a marriage celebrant I purchased a Sennheiser LSP Pro-500, easily 3-4 times the cost of what other celebrants were spending on their own systems. I didn’t want guests not able to hear what couples had entrusted me to share on their behalf and what they were going to share to each other.

There’s also another important reason the sound system has to be good and that’s the music. Music creates an incredible atmosphere for your wedding ceremony and you deserve that to be made easy. If my couples aren’t having live music played at their ceremony, I encourage them to Bluetooth their device and play their music through my speaker.

If you’re looking for advice when it comes to organising music for your ceremony, see my other blog post by clicking here.

Celebrant and sound system

This is my sexy sound system; even the guests behind me are excited for how nice it is!
Pic by Shaun Mckenna

A Celebrant Is There Create The Vibe You Want

Your Wedding Day is a celebration and deserves to begin with a great ceremony right from the start. When your celebrant does this correctly, it sets the tone for your whole day instead of your wedding reception being a recovery of an awkward 30 minutes that everyone felt like they had to endure. The importance of the ceremony is more than its legality, it’s a reflection of the type of day you want everyone to experience.

The saying “no-one will remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel” is incredibly true and your Celebrant wields all the power with their presence, words and charisma.

Don’t subject your friends and family to anyone less than you deserve and who you would want to be entertained by. The process of finding the best celebrant can seem daunting because there are so many, but the guidelines down below will help you choose; and once you’re standing up the front with everyone smiling and laughing, you’ll know it was worth the search.

Dan and Jay get married

I had so much fun being Dan and Jay’s Marriage Celebrant and looks like they enjoyed it too!
Pic by Ashleigh Haase

How To Choose A Wedding Celebrant?

The best way to pick your Melbourne Wedding Celebrant is to do your homework on them; but don’t worry this isn’t hard, you’ve got this!

Here’s a checklist that will guide you to success:

Reviews: First place is to check out their reviews to see what other couples experiences were and what they specifically recommend about them. Did they couple like them because they were a cheap celebrant or a funny celebrant? An organised celebrant or a charismatic celebrant? Hopefully if they have 5 stars on Wedding Registries and Google then you’ll get the best of all those categories.

Videos: Watch how they perform their ceremonies; is it engaging or professional or boring or upbeat or hilarious or confident? Maybe it’s a mixture? The important thing is that when you watch how they conduct the wedding ceremony that you like how they do it. 
A Warning: if they don’t put any videos of themselves up, you’ve got to wonder why?!?!

Meet: Organise a time to chat with them so you can ask them a bunch of questions and see if you gel. Because in the end, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable with them and that they instil confidence in you. 

Wedding Reception MC

It’s a great idea to have your wedding ceremony celebrant double as your wedding reception MC because all you guests will have built repour with them and love them just as much as you do. You also know they have a sound system ready to be used in case you don’t have a DJ or Band.

On the night it’s so important to have an MC whose focus is not the get sloshed (which is the focus of most guests), but instead to: 

A good MC will make sure that everyone is feeling comfortable and engaged, while also informed about what’s going on. They’ll also relay and communicate information behind the scenes to your wedding photographer, videographer, band, venue and other suppliers so the night runs smoothly.

The last thing you want them to do for you is problem solve; have you eaten? Do you have a drink in your hand? Does something need to be moved or changed in the night?
No matter what arises, you’ll have someone you can trust to make sure the night is a success!

Want to talk with a Melbourne Marriage Celebrant

Click here to organise a time

Planning your wedding and need a Melbourne Wedding Celebrant – Look no further, you’ve found me! I’ll guide you through the whole process; vows, paperwork, story writing and stand by you on the day to deliver the ceremony you desire. Let’s talk!

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