A Wedding Celebrant in Brisbane

wedding celebrant brisbane I have often claimed that as a wedding celebrant Brisbane, I have one of the best jobs in the world.  When a bride and groom first meet with their marriage celebrant they are pretty excited and very happy.  That is just the beginning and things just get better from there.  As a wedding celebrant I am dealing with people when they are at their very best.  Add to that the extraordinary variety in ceremonies and it is no wonder I love being a marriage celebrant so much! I was reminded of this yet again when I returned from a short break, recently.

Two different couples who celebrated their wedding in Brisbane in totally different ways:

My first ceremony was a surprise wedding at Victoria Park Golf Club.  My wedding celebrant roadie and I sat and enjoyed a coffee while the bride and groom and their guests were at lunch ostensibly to celebrate their engagement.  When they finished and prepared to cut the cake as everyone gathered around, my wedding celebrant roadie and I entered from behind the crowd.

wedding celebrant brisbane

Wedding at Macarthur Park, Brisbane

I made my way to the front with the microphone and told them I would be their MC for the next little while followed by “We all know that MC stands for Master of Ceremonies.  However in my case, it also stands for Marriage Celebrant.  You’ve celebrated their engagement.  Now we are going to marry them, here and now, and continue the celebrations.”  Well, you should have heard the gasp of surprise followed by squeals of delight.  The ring bearer was the only guest who knew they had organised a wedding celebrant to be there to marry them that day.  It was a fabulous wedding – one of the happiest I have been involved in.

Our next wedding later that day was totally different.  This wedding was about as intimate as you can get it.  There were only six of us there – the bride and groom, me, my wedding celebrant roadie Ian plus Karen and Rick the wonderful proprietors of the beautiful Macarthur Park Gardens.  We all had a job.  I, of course, was the marriage celebrant, Ian and Karen were the witnesses while Rick took the photographs.  Thus we were all fully involved in the wedding and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  More importantly, a couple who thought they were just going to get married, did get married but in a fun filled party-like atmosphere. Totally different from the surprise wedding, yet still a delightfully happy occasion!

Call Gwen to discuss your wedding on 0403 164 279 today!

Just for fun I thought I would list some of the different styles of weddings where I have officiated as the marriage celebrant:

  • Surprise weddings.
  • Intimate weddings.
  • An English couple who came to Australia solely to get married (it is so much cheaper!).
  • Beach weddings – Gold Coast, Redlands, both Stradbroke and Moreton Islands and the Sunshine Coast.
  • Kitchen table weddings – a variant of the intimate wedding.
  • Vietnamese weddings – Now I am established I do a lot of these.
  • Garden weddings.
  • Sri Lanka couple – absolutely fascinating. The costumes are simply fabulous.
  • Underage bride – I’ve done one of these and about to perform my second. They are anything but straight forward with some significant legal areas to navigate.
  • Older couples – The oldest couple for whom I have acted as marriage celebrant were 89 and 91 (?). She was quite regal in her bearing and he was a genuine old-world gentleman.  They were just beautiful.
  • Theme weddings – The funniest one where I was the marriage celebrant was a mad hatter theme.

So, as you see, being a marriage celebrant in Brisbane is never dull!

What is the Role of a Wedding Celebrant in Brisbane?

Firstly, I would like to say congratulations, because the most likely the reason you are looking here is that you have just announced your engagement and are now looking into all that is required for your big day.

Before you can get around to sending out the invites, deciding on who you will employ to prepare the food etc you will need to think about who is going to officiate and what type of ceremony you would like.

What are the Options?

For lots of people the only option is to go to a priest and do the whole ceremony with a religious service.

But do you know there are lots of alternatives? You do not have to stick to tradition!

So you know all about priests, what of the other options such as Registrars and Celebrants?


Registrars are legally allowed to officiate at civil ceremonies that are purely secular and contain no religious tone. The Registrar will perform the wedding ceremony and take care of all the legalities both before and after the ceremony.

Make an appointment to discuss your wedding on 0403 164 279!

What is a Wedding Celebrant?

Here today we are looking at Celebrants and the role they can play in shaping your wedding into the day you want it to be. You may have noticed I highlighted the word ‘you’ that is because the day should be about what you (as a couple) want and not what tradition or society has deemed to be correct.

A Wedding Celebrant is someone who officiates at and performs formal wedding ceremonies, the big difference between a Priest and a Celebrant is that a Wedding Celebrant is not a member of the church or clergy. While the priest receives formal training to perform these ceremonies, a celebrant must complete a course approved by the Attorney General to become an “approved marriage celebrant” and undergo approved “Ongoing Professional Development” every year to maintain that approval by the Attorney General’s department to legally marry you.   

A priest is bound by oath to follow the religious conventions and rites of their faith, while a celebrant can adjust the ceremony to suit your demands or specifications, adding in themes if required, tailoring the ceremony and concept to make it your perfect day. The priest will assist with the planning of the ceremony and little else. A celebrant helps you to plan the entire structure of your day, checking and double checking everything is in place and will be with you every step of the way should you need this level of service.

Are Celebrant Weddings in Brisbane Legal?

In many western countries celebrants carry out basic marriage ceremonies but these celebrants are not registered or conducting legally binding ceremonies. In these countries you still need to apply separately for a marriage license.

However, in Australia and by location in Brisbane, there are authorised celebrants that are registered to conduct marriage ceremonies. Australia was the first nation in the world to have government appointed non-clergy celebrants. When they became law the intention was to create ceremonies that would be culturally enriching and as formal as church weddings when required yet did not interfere with those seeking traditional church weddings.

In Brisbane, an ‘authorised celebrant’ is someone that is registered (or authorised) by the government of Australia to perform legal marriages that adhere to the Marriage Act of 1961. A celebrant can perform religious or non-religious weddings and only those that are registered marriage celebrants have the legal power or right to perform marriages in Australia.

In 2016 (latest figures available) 76.4% of marriages in Australia were conducted by civil celebrants. In Queensland that percentage of 80.8% was the highest of all states except the Northern Territory that had 87.1%. Marriage ceremonies by independent civil celebrants are becoming more and more popular in other English speaking countries, although as yet they are not at the same level legally as those in Australia.

Why Should you use Wedding Celebrants in Brisbane?

There are a number of reasons why a wedding celebrant might well be a better option for your Brisbane wedding.

While priests just perform the religious ceremony and the registrar the legal side of a marriage ceremony, wedding celebrants offer so much more. Dependent upon the amount of assistance you require, celebrants can be offering you support and assistance from the moment you hire them leading up to the wedding and beyond. They can assist you with the legalities of marriage paperwork, the writing of your vows and planning everything needed to make your ceremony a successful one.

Many couples today think that a traditional wedding is not the structured occasion they want, celebrants can deviate away from tradition as much or as little as you want, you get to have a bigger input into what should be included and what to exclude from your wedding ceremony.

If you need some versatility in your wedding then you will need to hire a celebrant. If you have a theme to your wedding then hire a celebrant that is happy to join in, act and look the part. Celebrants are also more likely to be receptive to a remote location or just to fit in with your requests.

Celebrants that are good at their job will ensure the day is just about the happy couple and stick to the parameters that you as a couple have chosen.


Weddings done by the book are a thing of the past, celebrants will ensure you get the wedding ceremony you want that runs smoothly from the paperwork being completed correctly down to the finer points of registering your marriage. They ensure you are left with a day to remember.