The Best Wedding & Marriage Celebrants in Canberra

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Lisa Joy Teasdale, Marriage Celebrant, officiating the marriage of Alex & George, one of Canberra’s most recommended celebrants.

Lisa Joy Teasdale, Marriage Celebrant, officiating the marriage of Alex & George, one of Canberra’s most recommended celebrants. Photo: Supplied.

Between catering, location, invites and music, organising and planning your wedding is one of the greatest and most important tasks many of us will take on in our lives. Securing the perfect wedding celebrant in Canberra may feel like just another item on your never-ending to-do list, but it isn’t. Instead, your wedding celebrant has the power to make or break your big day.

If you have chosen a non-religious wedding, then you need to find a civil celebrant to ensure you are legally married in compliance with both state-level and national requirements. Marriage in Australia is legislated under Commonwealth law and all civil celebrants must be registered with the Attorney-General’s Department to be able to marry you. But beyond all the legal stuff, how do you decide whether or not a wedding celebrant is right for you and your partner?

In this article, we’ll run through some of the most important things to consider when choosing your celebrant, as well as a list of some of Canberra’s best.

What makes a great wedding celebrant?

Before you go out and book any old celebrant, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for first. To help you gain some clarity, we suggest keeping an eye out for these must-have traits:

  • All legal certifications. First and foremost, ensure the wedding celebrant you choose is recognised by the Attorney General’s Department. Without this certification, your ‘I dos’ won’t result in a legal marriage.
  • Confident and experienced. The last thing you need on your big day is a celebrant that hasn’t a clue what they’re doing. Instead, they should be confident and experienced.
  • Friendly. No one wants an uptight wedding celebrant. Look for an individual with a personality that matches yours – they could be humorous, romantic, serious, or downright silly.
  • Organised and reliable. The best in the business always show up on time and organised enough to ensure the ceremony runs smoothly. No hiccups allowed!
  • Creative. Your wedding day will be one to remember, and your celebrant can add a touch of memorable creativity and personalisation to your ceremony.

COVID-19 considerations

For those planning to marry in 2020 COVID has made life much more challenging. Yes you can still marry – but your choices will depend on your priorities and commitments.

You only need five people to make your marriage legal. You will need the two of you, your celebrant and two witnesses over the age of 18. Apart from that and saying the legal words everything else is up to you.

The best wedding celebrants in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Lisa Joy Teasdale - Canberra Marriage & Life Celebrant

Lisa Joy Teasdale - Canberra Marriage & Life Celebrant

Lisa Teasdale is a Canberra-based celebrant who believes that every stage of life should be celebrated. Beyond acting as a fully-qualified and nationally registered marriage celebrant, Lisa can also help you with organising your child’s naming ceremony, vow renewal, and funeral preparation.

Lisa’s dedication to providing you with a fun, relaxed and personal experience as you prepare for your wedding is evident throughout her business. Her service begins with an obligation-free consult, where you can sit down and fully decide if Lisa is the right celebrant for you and your partner. She is happy to travel when needed, and has worked ceremonies on boats, lakes, wineries, and many more – rest assured that Lisa is fully committed to making your special day run as smoothly and perfectly as possible!

As Melissa Di Luzio writes in their Facebook review, “We had the pleasure of having Lisa perform our wedding and although it was very short notice, she was wonderful throughout the entire process, making it an easy and carefree experience. I would absolutely recommend Lisa to anyone looking for an awesome celebrant.”

Julie Rattenbury - Marriage Celebrant

Along with professionalism Julie also has a strong passion for people and for love. With over a decade of experience Julie is caring, calm and genuinely loves her role. Julie understands the importance of a wedding, and therefore highly respects unique needs to ensure that you and your partner forge a memory that will be remembered forever. Her reputation throughout the Canberra region is well earnt with every single Google review being 5/5.

One Google reviewer, Natasha Culley, had this to say, “Julie was an amazing celebrant, she made our day so special. She made us feel relaxed through the whole process and we just had fun. We would highly recommend her for your big day!”.

Shannon O'Heir - Marriage Celebrant

Shannon is a young, modern and fun celebrant who is a self-confessed love addict and also loves a wedding! She loves creating authentic memorable and personal ceremonies that make for a great start to a married life. Shannon is more than happy to catch up for a coffee just to hear your love story.

Facebook reviewer Lishaye said,  “Right from the beginning, she was just amazing. We felt so comfortable, and knew without a doubt that she was the one for us.”

Ceremonies by Sharyn

Sharyn is an authorised and accredited marriage celebrant who has been helping Canberrans commemorate their most special moments including baby naming ceremonies, funerals, vow renewal, commitments – and, of course, weddings. Whether your celebration is spiritual, traditional or unorthodox, Sharyn is committed to making it memorable, personal and loving, and promises to handle everything with respect and professionalism.

As Brooke C. writes in their Google review, “Sharyn was the celebrant at my wedding recently. Sharyn was professional, personable, accommodating, fun and I would highly recommend her as a marriage celebrant.”

Hitched by Hannah

Hannah Noller’s philosophy as a celebrant is that rules are made to be broken. All about creativity and originality, Hannah is here to make sure that your ceremony is just as fun as the reception. She creates ideas for ceremony design completely from scratch, so couples can truly feel like they are getting a personal experience that is completely tailored to their authentic selves. If you want to think outside the box a little when it comes time to planning your ceremony, you’ll be in more than capable hands with Hannah.

Google reviewer Susannah Crispe wrote the following about their experience with Hannah, “It was love at first wine when we met Hannah! Every step of the process with her was an absolute pleasure – she made us laugh and cry and feel completely at ease. I truly don’t think my wedding would have been my dream day without her and if I could give her more stars than 5 I would.”

Pat Coehlo - CBR Celebrant

Pat Coehlo is a young, fun and charismatic celebrant. His only intention is to ensure that your big day is everything you dreamed of and more, by providing you with a completely unique ceremony and his complete attention the entire day and walking you through the step-by-step process of everything you need to know to get married, so that you don’t have to worry about a single thing on your special day.

Jacinta Giselle Lo had the following to say about their experience with Pat, “Pat was the most calming, professional and fun influence over our wedding day. He tailored the ceremony to suit our needs and made us feel comfortable every step of the way. I’d highly recommend him to everyone (and have!). Thank you so much Pat!”

Judy Aulich Celebrant

Full time marriage celebrant Judy is an active member of the professional association: Australian Marriage Celebrants. She is also a published writer and a highly experienced public speaker. Needless to say, you’re in good hands with Judy and her friendly disposition is the icing on the 3 tier wedding cake.

Happy couple and Google reviewers Cassie and Zac said, “Judy provided us with what we can only explain is THE best customer service experience we have ever encountered to date.”

Gina Callen - Licensed to Wed

Gina is an authorised Civil Marriage Celebrant who believes that ceremonies should never be created with a “one size fits all approach”. She provides completely unique ceremonies that include a couple’s personal story and a ceremony that reflects who you are as individuals and as a couple, whether it be small or large, formal, informal, traditional, contemporary or thematic.

Facebook user Jessica Ye writes in their review, “Gina did a great job ensuring our wedding ceremony was exactly the way we wanted it. She listened to our needs and delivered. Gina is such a pleasure to work with, thoughtful and kind! We highly recommend her!”

If you’re looking for more services in Canberra that can help you on your special day, our articles on Canberra’s best wedding venues and best wedding photographers may be very useful to you.

Who did you pick to officiate your wedding?

Thanks to our commentators who have provided insightful feedback on the best and worst Canberra Wedding Celebrants.

If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Please comment below detailing your experience with Canberra based Wedding Celebrants. Who would you recommend? Who would you use again? Who would you steer clear of?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a celebrant and an officiant?
While a wedding officiant is responsible only for the technical, legal side of making your marriage official, a celebrant will also help plan the whole ceremony. On top of providing the appropriate documents, a celebrant can advise you on the structure of the ceremony, any meaningful rituals you might want to include beyond the exchange of the rings, and even help you pen your vows.
What can I expect from a marriage celebrant?
A civil marriage celebrant is authorised by the government to perform legal civil marriages in a dignified and culturally acceptable manner, for those who choose a non-religious ceremony. You can also ask your celebrant to advise you on the structure of your ceremony, any meaningful rituals you might want to include beyond the exchange of the rings, and even help you pen your vows.
When should I start looking for a celebrant?
Finding a celebrant should be a top priority for the wedding planning - after all, without the celebrant you can't actually get married. Given how many choices you have to make when looking for a celebrant and the wide range of services available, plan to allow yourself enough time to find the perfect fit.
What documents do I need to give my celebrant?
There are, of course, a few administrative hurdles to jump before your celebrant can marry you. Before the ceremony, your celebrant must sight several proof of identity documents, such as your birth certificate and passport. Afterwards, you will need to sign a Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage, and finally, your marriage certificate!
Where do I find a marriage celebrant?
The Attorney General’s Department holds database for all registered civil celebrants. You can also search through the Celebrant Association Directories – such as the Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants (AFCC) and the Australian Marriage Celebrants Inc (AMC).

What's Your Opinion?


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6 Responses to The Best Wedding & Marriage Celebrants in Canberra
Nalini Hoogland Nalini Hoogland 10:39 am 26 Jul 20

Hitched by Hannah!!!

Jules Anne Jules Anne 8:56 am 26 Jul 20

Sharyn Gunn. Inclusive, adaptable, empathetic, considerate, thorough and will travel. Plus she is just beautiful inside and out. Weddings by Sharyn. Awesome

Marnie Thomas Marnie Thomas 9:48 pm 24 Jul 20

I would totally recommend Val Lambert (values all love) she is the most down to earth, lovely celebrant you could have! I would recommend her to anyone. Val even travels, we are from Canberra and we’re married down at Lincoln Downs and Val was there! Awesome lady, knows her stuff

CBR Celebrant CBR Celebrant 9:25 pm 24 Jul 20

Thank you SO MUCH for the mention! I am truly honoured. 😍

Mon Mon Mon Mon 10:49 am 24 Jul 20

Sharyn Gunn - we absolutely adored having her as our marriage celebrant.

Jeff Bradley Jeff Bradley 10:59 pm 23 Jul 20

Try Amanda Mackenzie.

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