Here are some frequently asked questions, FAQ, in no particular order, and my answers to them. This may give you some idea of what you can expect if you would like me to be your celebrant for your wedding. Other questions will be added as they come in, so if you have anything you would like to know, please contact me.
Do you support marriage equality?
Absolutely, always have and always will
What do you charge?
My fee for a wedding is $600.00 within the Cairns area. If your wedding is on one of the islands, or outside of the Cairns area, my fee is $650.00. The ferry ticket to the islands is also to be paid (approx. $55.00 for locals at the moment). If your wedding is at Paronella Park, Bramston Beach or Mission Beach, or on the Tablelands, my fee is $650.00. Any other travel costs (eg plane, ferry, accommodation if applicable) will be an additional expense.
In Queensland you can marry at the Courthouse for a fee ranging from $344 to $588, depending on the day and time. My fee is based on this with the added consideration that I come to your venue, you have a wide choice of ceremonies, and my fee doesn’t change according to day and time.
Fees for other ceremonies are:
- Renewal of Vows $400.00
- Commitment Ceremonies $400.00
- Naming Ceremonies $350.00
Are there any extra costs?
Your official marriage certificate will cost an extra $50.40 payable directly to Births, Deaths and Marriages. If you are marrying on one of the beautiful beaches or gardens, you will also need a permit from Council (approximately $80).
How can we pay you?
You will be issued with a Statement of Fees, and a receipt once your payment has been received into my account. You can pay either through Direct Deposit or cash – either is acceptable. I require a non-refundable booking fee of at least $100.00 paid within 2 weeks of my acceptance of the Notice of Intended Marriage (this will give you a confirmed booking and the amount is included in the quoted price and is not extra) with the balance paid in full at least 2 weeks before the wedding.
What is included?
- An obligation free initial meeting if you are in Cairns or visiting in the near future. If you are not in Cairns we can phone, email, or Skype
- a professional ceremony delivered in a calm and clear manner
- unlimited contact, either in person, by phone or email prior to your ceremony
- a booklet (email) of sample ceremonies, vows and readings to inspire you to create your ceremony, or I will plan and create the ceremony for you according to your wishes
- a rehearsal (recommended for larger wedding parties)
- I will dress appropriately for the type of ceremony or your colour scheme if requested, including themes and costume although costume hire will be an additional charge.
- I will take care of all the legal paperwork required by the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages
- If you require the official certificate it will cost an extra $50.40 payable directly to the Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
- You will also receive a presentation folder containing a printout of your ceremony.
- I have a small signing table if required (for beach, park or garden weddings).
- If you have eloped and there are just the two of you, I can provide the two witnesses required by law. In this case I can also provide chilled champagne and flutes for a toast (champagne will be of your choice and at your additional expense)
What happens if we have to cancel our booking?
The booking fee of at least $100.00 is non-refundable, so if you cancel you will not be refunded this amount as I have held the date for you. Refund of any other amounts paid will be at my discretion.
What are your qualifications?
I am a Commonwealth registered marriage celebrant having completed my training in 2011. I am also a Justice of the Peace (Qual) in Queensland, and a member of the Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants.
What paperwork is required?
Initially you need to complete the Notice of Intended Marriage. This must be registered with your celebrant at least 1 month prior to the date of your wedding, and once with your celebrant it is valid for a period of 18 months. In the month before your wedding you will also complete a Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage which is a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration stating that you are both actually free to marry. On the actual day we sign three certificates – you keep the ceremonial one, the official one goes to Births, Deaths and Marriages, and I keep the other one.
What proof of identity is required?
- You will both need to have your original birth certificates if you were born in Australia. You may use your Passport if necessary but your birth certificate is preferred. If either of you was born overseas and you do not have your birth certificate you can use your Passport as long as it is valid.
- Photo id is required from both of you (driver’s licence, passport, or proof of age card)
- Divorce papers/death certificate if either of you has been married previously
How do you write the ceremony?
I will provide you with a booklet I have put together to give you an idea of what is available. This has many choices of introductions, vows, readings etc for you to look at. Once you have had a look and know the type of wedding you want, we can put it together. If you want your love story in it, let me know and we can discuss how you met, where you met, when you realised you were meant to be together, hopes for the future etc. Once I have this information I can put it into your ceremony to really personalise it.
What do you do on the day?
On the day of your wedding I will arrive at your venue at least a half to one hour beforehand and will use this time to set up. I will also advise you that I am on site so that will be one less thing for you to worry about. During this time, I will speak to your photographer and any other people working to make your day so special. I always visit the venue beforehand, so I know what to expect and who I will be working with
What happens if you are ill on the day of our wedding?
If I am ill and not able to attend your wedding, I will arrange for an authorised celebrant to take my place. This celebrant will need to sight your documentation and id, so it is a good idea to keep this handy until after the ceremony.
How many weddings do you do on any particular day?
If I am travelling eg to the Tablelands, I will only book one wedding per day. If venues are close, and there will be at least 3 hours between times, I will book multiples. At all times, the first booking I have taken for a particular day, with all conditions met, will be the one I will prioritise. At times I may agree to do a morning and an afternoon wedding on the same day.