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Canberra Wedding Celebrants: What You Need To Know

By Emily Morris 28 November 2017 1

Finding the right wedding celebrant is one of the items on the seemingly never-ending list of things to do before the big day arrives. And while you will likely focus a lot on selecting the perfect venue and best caterer, many couples don’t put as much effort in choosing their wedding celebrant.

It is not unusual for soon-to-be newlyweds to hire a wedding celebrant based on recommendations from friends or family. This solution is easy and takes another task off your agenda, but can lead to issues once it is time to say, “I do”. In order to have a dream wedding, it is necessary to find a good wedding celebrant for you, not one who was right for your friends or family.

Before starting the search, it is important to note that the Attorney General’s Department only recognises three types of wedding celebrants. The civil marriage celebrant, celebrant of an independent religion and religious marriage celebrant are the only ones who can legally grant marriage registration.

Apart from being obligated to conduct a marriage ceremony, there are a few other traits that make a good wedding celebrant. Some of these are obvious. The celebrant you hire should be confident, friendly and cool under pressure since weddings can be unpredictable. As long as the celebrant can roll with the punches and keep a smile on everyone’s face, small problems won’t escalate into large issues.

Organisation is another characteristic of a good wedding celebrant. They will take care of all the legal documents well ahead of time and keep you informed of the other details to ensure there are no surprises on wedding day. Finally, a celebrant should be creative. You likely have a vision of your ideal ceremony and they should bring that to life.

Looking for a wedding celebrant in Canberra? Here are a few to consider.

Hannah Noller

The namesake of Hitched by Hannah is Hannah Noller who decided to become a wedding celebrant after her own wedding in 2011. She fell in love with the planning aspect of getting married and served as the MC at several of her own friends’ weddings. She decided to put these skills to good use and became a celebrant. These days Noller is helping couples in Canberra have a wedding that highlights their personality.

Steven Murray

Recognisable thanks in part to his distinctive bowtie, Steven Murray boasts 17 years experience in the Canberra wedding industry. He manages to be professional without coming off as stuffy and looks to make sure the couples that work with him are relaxed. In addition to serving as the wedding celebrant, he has the knowledge to provide advice on everything from photography to locations.

Susanna Jose

After a distinguished career as a teacher and school principal, Susanna Jose decided to become a civil marriage celebrant in Canberra. Among her skills is the ability to add the bride and groom’s personal touch to the wedding ceremony. She has conducted numerous ceremonies over the years and has experience with couples of different religious backgrounds.

Roger Thomson

Perhaps the most experienced wedding celebrant in ACT is Roger Thomson who presided over his first marriage ceremony in 1970. Since then he has celebrated more than 7000 marriages. He is also very active in the marriage celebrant community having introduced many reforms in both ACT and Australia. Even after 40 years, his philosophy hasn’t changed and he promises to recognise your day, your way.

Shannon O’Heir

Specialising in working with Canberra’s younger couples is Shannon O’Heir. She avoids template, or what she calls boring, weddings and instead creates a bespoke ceremony built with the couple tying the knot. O’Heir also has her own PA system which can be used during the ceremony.

Your experience with Canberra wedding celebrants

Have a Canberra wedding celebrant you would like to recommend? Used the services of one of the celebrants on our list? Please give us your feedback.

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Canberra Wedding Celebrants: What You Need To Know
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Julie Rattenbury 11:35 am 04 Apr 18

Julie Rattenbury- Loves meeting couples from all walks of life, cultures and backgrounds. With a decade of experience Julie is flexible, knowledgeable and importantly calm, cheerful and has a great sense of humour. Julie loves variety and all ceremonies big and small. Provides wireless PA for music and mics and can provide assistance with applying for Official Marriage Certificate.

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