The guide to finding the right same-sex marriage celebrant
You’ve found the perfect ring, popped the question and saved the date - now it’s time to find the perfect same-sex marriage celebrant to make it official. Your wedding ceremony is something you can make uniquely yours. The right same-sex marriage celebrant will help guide you through the planning and preparation as well as ensure everything runs smoothly at the ceremony. The laws regarding celebrants have changed since marriage equality was passed in December 2017. They must now read a new monitum - the statement explaining the nature of marriage. Rather than the “union of a man and a woman”, the statement is now the “union of two people”. Further, couples may now refer to each other as spouse, rather than “husband” or “wife” during the ceremony if they prefer.
Working with a celebrant for a LGBTIQ ceremony
It’s a good idea to meet with a couple of same-sex marriage celebrants, as they each bring their own personality to the ceremony and you’ll want to find a celebrant who’s the right fit. Once you and your partner have selected a celebrant, you’ll meet with them a couple of times to discuss your vows (which can be highly personal or just the legal requirements) and how you’d like the ceremony to run. There will be a rehearsal (get your rings and tissues ready) and then the big day!
Our Top list of Same-sex marriage celebrants
With her background in luxury hospitality, Hazel Nihad can not only perform your marriage ceremony, she can also advise you on events, suppliers and getting that wow factor. Hazel is based in the Eastern Suburbs but happily travels all over Australia to give couples a wonderful wedding experience. Cost: $890 for an all-inclusive ceremony. www.marriedbyhazel.com
Same-sex marriage celebrant Stephen Lee has performed hundreds of marriage ceremonies and was actively involved in the equality campaign. He’s well versed in handling all the paperwork and legalities. As a former journalist, he is also a master storyteller who will bring warmth, personality and professionalism to your wedding day. Sydney-based Stephen officiated at Australia’s first legal male same-sex marriage just days after the laws were passed. Cost: From $550 for a simple ceremony to $995 for a tailor-made ceremony. www.stephenleecelebrancy.com.au
The many positive reviews that Johan Khoury has received from happy customers, guests and suppliers mention his charisma and sense of style. The paperwork is covered with this same-sex marriage celebrant and his sound system ensures that no guest will miss a moment of your ceremony. Cost: From $500 for a weekday, registry-style ceremony and from $700 for weekend location ceremonies. www.johanthecelebrant.com.au
Same-sex marriage celebrant Nitza Lowenstein is an SBS radio journalist who often reports on the darker side of life. As a celebrant, she feels “fortunate to participate in a wedding which I regard as the real celebration of life as it is full of love, hope, happiness and personal commitment. It is so rewarding!” Nitza has officiated at weddings as far flung as Mumbai and is also licensed to perform Jewish Civil Weddings. Cost: $500 - $800 www.sydneycelebrant.net.au
Based in the lower Blue Mountains, Susan has performed more than 1000 ceremonies in her 20 years as a civil celebrant. This same-sex marriage celebrant will take care of the administration required to get married. Susan can also perform ceremonies in French, German and Indonesian. Ceremonies can be as simple or elaborate as you require. Cost: From $550 for a simple ceremony www.ceremonybydesign.com.au
Are you and your partner wanting a same-sex church wedding? The answer is yes, you can, as well as no, you can’t. We explain how it works here.