celebrant questions

Everything you ever wanted to know about getting married in Australia, but didn’t know you needed to ask!
Along with everything you want to ask, but think it is a silly question!!
No question is a silly question. In fact, if you ask it I will probably add it to this page if it’s not already here.

Frequently Asked Ceremony Questions

From the fun stuff, to the stuff you worry about at night when you can’t sleep… Let’s look at some of the basics of creating an amazingly beautiful ceremony.

I see my role as a Celebrant as split into two roles - Firstly in Australia a Civil Marriage Celebrant is the person who is legally responsible for marrying you. I am authorized to marry couples according to Australian law, anywhere in Australia. (You can read more about me here) It is a process of paperwork, and certain words said on the day of your wedding day. And then the other side of the role is to create and facilitate your ceremony. This moment, the time of your ceremony, is the moment that kicks off your Wedding Day. It sets the scene for the rest of the day, so it is really important that it is reflective of that.
The question is, what do you want your Ceremony to be like? How long or short? Formal or fun? Two witnesses or two hundred? Elope in a forest, or a big family event in a wedding venue? Although I obviously have a 'style' my ceremonies are led by what my couples want... I ask lots of questions about your dreams for the day, and I ask you questions about you as a couple. This way I build a picture of you both, and together we can create a magical ceremony that will exactly suit you as a couple.
No, but I will help you write them! These vows are personal to you, and there is no way as a Celebrant that I can ever get near to writing heartfelt words as you can... I have resources to help you write, or if you don't want to read something on the day, I have a questionnaire that you can fill out and I will create some heartfelt questions to ask you as part of your ceremony instead. For those that do write vows, I will support you, assist you, even edit your vows for you, and I will make sure that they are just right. There is no must do here....
I have an amazing, professional, and yearly serviced MIPRO 303 speaker system. It is portable and wireless, so I haven't found anywhere that I cannot take it yet! The system comprises a speaker, a speaker stand, covers in black or white (if needed), a handheld microphone for my couples to use, and a headset microphone that I wear. The system will play your ceremony music via a USB or by plugging in some sort of portable music device. I do not use Bluetooth as it can be unreliable with so many people in a small place. All you have to do is provide the music, and someone to start and stop the songs, and everything else is covered! I also have a couple of different signing tables and chairs that I can bring along on request if your ceremony location does not provide them, and an array of styling items that I hire out to my couples as part of their package with no extra cost, often saving them some money on hiring these items independently. If I stay on to MC your reception, this system is also adequate for a small, casual gathering and you can simply create a playlist for your reception. These are all listed on my Statement of Fees.

Frequently Asked Legal Questions

What about those scary legals? Do you know what you need to know to get married in Australia? Click through these questions for a guide on what you need to do, and what you certainly don’t have to do.

frequently asked Australian wedding questions, Deborah Lilley C.M.C. A NOIM, or a Notice of Intent to Marry to give it its correct title, is the document that you must lodge in order to marry. It must be lodged with a Celebrant or with a BDM (Births, Deaths and Marriages office) no later than one month from your chosen date, but no earlier than 18 months before your date. The lodgement date is the date that it is received by your Celebrant. Most times I witness signing the NOIM with my couples, but for interstate or overseas couples there are others who can be your witness and then you can send the NOIM to me for lodgement (see details of allowed witnesses here on page 41) You can fill a NOIM out to email to me here. You can, in exceptional circumstances, apply for a shortening of time and get married within a month. Read more about that here
Anyone over the age of 18 years old can be your legal witness. You need two witnesses who will sign your marriage documents on the day of your wedding. They do not need to know you personally, but often are part of the bridal party, or maybe Mums, Dads, or older children from a previous relationship. In the case of an elopement, you can pluck two strangers off the street, or maybe your photographer and videographer if you are having them.
Nope! It is an English tradition, from the days when couples had to stand in front of a priest and confirm they wish to marry. You have signed a NOIM, that's basically saying 'You do'. In Australia, there is no legal component of a ceremony that you must say 'I do'. However many couples do, as they like to make promises to each other along the lines of 'Do you promise to ???' But 'I do' is often swapped out for 'I will', 'Yup', or sometimes a joking reply like 'Maybe' or 'If I have to' if the question is along the lines of 'do you promise to pick your socks/jocks/clothes up off the floor?'
There are three legal components to a legal marriage ceremony in Australia. 1. The Celebrant's Authority, otherwise known as The Monitum This goes as follows, and must be said in full before you say your legal vows. My name is Deborah Lilley and 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. 2. Your Legal Vows You must use the legal words in full, but you may add your personal promises before or after the legal words. Each party to the marriage must say - I call upon the persons here present, To witness that I (full name) Take you (full name) To be my lawful wedded husband/wife/partner in marriage (you may choose what descriptor that suits you best). 3. Finally the signing of the three marriage documents with your two witnesses. You can read my full ceremony guidelines here
Because being a Celebrant is a professional, full-time job, that puts food on my table and clothes on my back. The cost that I charge for a ceremony, not only covers the 15-20 hours of work that go towards your ceremony, but also pays towards the background expenses of running a business. Including but not limited to - yearly professional development, indemnity, liability, and business insurances, membership of professional bodies, and associations maintaining reliable and professional equipment, maintenance of my car to keep it reliable, and membership of the RAA (just-in-case). I also keep current my Senior First Aid certificate, Mental health first aid certificate, Child safe, police clearances, and working with children checks. All these things are what I hold important and integral to running a professional and successful business. It also includes all of the things for your wedding day (and before) that are laid out in my Statement Of Fees.

Frequently Asked Questions about Deb

Is there anything you want to know about me? Hopefully I have answered your question here!

Dog or Cat? Dog Coffee or Tea? Tea Winter or Summer? Summer Beach or Forest? Beach (just) Chick flick or Action movie? Action movie Morning Lark or Night Owl? Night Owl Love or Money? Love Music or TV? Music Sweet or Savoury? Sweet Text or call? Text Fruit or Veg? Veg Piercings? 3 Tattoos? 2 Hair colour? Um .. Pinkish (usually) Eye colour? Hazel Children? 1 of my own and 3 of my partners. Pets? Two dogs And lastly .... Chocolate should never be kept in the fridge!
If you need to ask, then maybe I am not the celebrant for you. But hopefully, I am 🙂 So, if you are asking just to make sure that I am the Celebrant to make your day start in an amazing way, then my answer is simple... Because I am me, and no other Celebrant is like me! I am as unique as I will make your ceremony. I am an atypical Gemini, equal parts - Super organized (great at legal paperwork, timing, organization) But Relaxed and at times totally out-of-the-box (think amazing retro dress style, coloured hair and a nerdy tendency to play board games and watch Si-Fi films.. To learn more about me, pop over here to read more about me.
In short, it means that I believe that every person, couple, or family has the right to celebrate their life event in the way that suits them.... regardless of their skin colour, life choices, physical ability, or sexual preferences. My pronouns are she/her and I am cisgender. However, I wholeheartedly support all humans to be who they are, and I long for the day where they can do this without prejudice or hatred.
Because I ask you.... I love clothes, and I admit that being Celebrant gives me the perfect excuse to buy amazing dresses. I quite literally have a dress for every colour scheme or theme you can think of. And if I dont, I will have before you get married. In 2017 I made myself a Steampunk outfit and in 2019 a flapper dress for a Gatsby wedding. I'd love to wear them again. And then, of course, there is my retro dress collection, well that just keeps growing... Whether its a particular colour toy want me to wear, or a themed wedding ceremony that you want to to fit into, I love the whole part of deciding which is the perfect dress for your day. Check out some of my dresses here - Retro

If you have got this far and you are still wondering what, why, or how? I would love to answer your question so flick me an email with your question, using this link