Marriage celebrants in Canberra – Recommendations?

lula 21 May 2020 41

My partner and I are tying the knot next year but are a little stuck on selecting a celebrant.

There are so many to choose from, who all pitch themselves in the exact same way. I’m hoping that fellow Rioters might be able to give some recommendations.

It will be a civil ceremony in the garden, and we would hope to find someone who is friendly, reliable and supportive with a good sense of humour.

I’m terrified of ending up with someone who dresses like they got spewed on by a rainbow and talks in that sickly-sweet sing song sort of way that makes you feel like you’re either going to be sick or burst into an inappropriate fit of laughter.

So if you can suggest some names and any feedback about local celebrants please share!

Horror stories also welcome (about celebrants, that is, not marriage) 🙂

If you’re looking for a marriage or wedding celebrant, take a look at our article, The Best Wedding & Marriage Celebrants in Canberra, for a helpful guide to Canberra’s best.

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41 Responses to Marriage celebrants in Canberra – Recommendations?
Michele the Celebrant Michele the Celebrant 10:30 pm 18 Nov 09

Hi Lula
Congratulations on your happy plans. I’m a well-established Canberra celebrant and I’d love to be there for you and your partner on your big day. I am confident you would find me ‘friendly, reliable and supportive with a good sense of humour’.. I wear suits that blend discreetly with the colour scheme the bride has chosen. I’ve had two years of voice training and have an excellent PA system – hope you find all this reassuring. You’ll get a good feel for the service I provide by visiting my blog, and my contact details are there.

The other reason for commenting on your post is to let you and other Rioters know that there are no longer any Registry Office weddings in the ACT. It’s been that way for several years now. This means you must use a private celebrant. In response to this, I offer my beautiful garden in Weston (at no extra charge) to couples who want a small, quiet weekday wedding. There’ll be three weddings in my garden in the next couple of weeks.

I wish you and your partner well with your decision. Your celebrant is certainly a significant part of your wedding and of course, you want all your memories to be wonderful ones. All the best to you both for tying the knot, and for a long and happy life together.

its_bella its_bella 3:33 pm 06 Nov 09

Daphne Cole 02 62910131. Friendly and professional, have seen her perform several ceremonies and always has happy customers. Specialises in including children or family members.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 2:38 pm 26 Oct 09

James-T-Kirk said :

Is VY here?

I would so become a celebrant to marry hot chicks!

You may now kiss the bride.

Awwww yeah…

Booyah Booyah 2:15 pm 26 Oct 09

+3 for Roger, he’s married my wife and I, plus 3 couples we know. 5 years later we’re all still married, so he must be good 😉

James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 2:12 pm 26 Oct 09

Is VY here? I would so become a celebrant to marry hot chicks!

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 2:03 pm 26 Oct 09

I only believe in gay marriage when both chicks are hot.

bergamot bergamot 1:13 pm 26 Oct 09

+ 1 more for roger – I have seen him do several weddings and never with a hitch, he is very calm and composed and if something had ever gone wrong, you wouldn’t know about it, he just deals with it. best wishes for your wedding & marriage, I hope it is a very special day!

Cannex Cannex 11:46 am 26 Oct 09

Hi Lula, feel free to message me direct about who my celebrant was. I’d hate to publically defame her as the celebrant we had was particularly challenging! We got married in April and at first really enjoyed working with her in the lead up to the wedding. She had lots of resources on hand and really assisted us. Closer to the wedding though she was really pushy about what we should include. We kept telling her it was a laid back casual wedding and she kept trying to insist we include elements in our service that we didn’t want. For example she kept pushing us to include a section where we thanked out parents for raising us so well.

Our wedding was a night wedding and we had a candle lit church. We had a rehearsal the night before (at the same time the wedding was going to happen) and everything was fine but come the night, she couldn’t read the service! She had a little torch but had put everything in a plastic sleeve that reflected the light so she mumbled her way through trying to read the service! We couldn’t focus on the service as we were all cringing as she kept ummming and ahhing!

Then when she publically declared us husband and wife she called my husband by the completely wrong name!!

Oh and during the rehearsal she was trying to dictate what photos we should have and how the lighting should be positioned. Our photographer was a friend who is a proper photographer who normally shoots advertising and commercial images and not weddings so to have her boss him around and tell him about lighting was quite entertaining.

lula lula 11:41 am 26 Oct 09

Thanks so much everyone for all the useful advice!
Looks like a few names keep coming up repeated, so might start by meeting a few of them and seeing how we go!

Yurgle_the_Yeti Yurgle_the_Yeti 11:41 am 26 Oct 09

We had Margaret Mitchell ( for ours. She was calm and professional (dress and speaking) and actually listened to what we wanted to do. She supplied all her own sound gear and all we really had to do was turn up and she ran the show based on what we had organised with her. Quite a good feeling knowing that someone knows what is going on and you don’t have to stress…

I have seen some shockers over the last couple of years and I was really happy not to have one myself. I saw one recently who stopped the ceremony so that she could get a photo of herself and the couple together to put on her website… Not classy.

Coach Coach 9:39 am 26 Oct 09

Try Karen at
She will help you create the most special and memorable ceremony
You should shop around and speak to a few different celebrants.
You can reach Karen on 0423814162.

Xanthomyza Xanthomyza 12:39 pm 25 Oct 09

Always shop around first! You must meet them and feel comfortable with them. They should be able to do anything and everything you ask.

I’ll never forget, ten years ago, looking for a celebrant. We met one in Belconnen. She a had a speech impediment. She rolled or slurred her Rs. I couldn’t believe anyone would use her as a celebrant! She sounded like Peter Cook in the Princess Bride (“Wuv and mawwiage…”)

sirocco sirocco 8:16 am 25 Oct 09

also, it’s always best to shop around first – go and meet a few and see who you like…

sirocco sirocco 8:07 am 25 Oct 09

+1 Roger Thompson.

Lovely chap. Calm, clear spoken. Was happy to do it virtually anyway you like with or, as in our case, without all that frilly, touchy-feely, hippy, spiritual crap.

Really calming, gentle sort of bloke – nothing fazed him which is what you need on a day when your head is going to be worrying about lots of things.

Also, before he was a private celebrant he was the Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages for the ACT for 20yrs so he knows what he’s doing and, if you are like my wife and were born in Canberra, his signature is probably on your birth certificate too!

Ryoma Ryoma 10:44 pm 24 Oct 09

I can also recommend Peter Hyland. My Japanese wife and I got married in Nara Park, and Peter was very patient with her, both in practising, and on the day itself.
He was able to be both friendly and professional, which took much of the stress out of the situation 🙂

If it’s needed, the other person we found really helped us was Thierry Nguyen Cuu of Nomad Photography (

Good luck, hope it all goes well ;D

fabforty fabforty 6:14 pm 24 Oct 09

darakat said :

I would say that Mick Andrews was the bloke I found most useful for the more alternative wedding, he was quite happy to help us do exactly what we wanted and include it in a legal ceremony.

Mick married friends of mine. He is lovely.

misshelly misshelly 5:37 pm 24 Oct 09

StrangeAttractor said :

We had Roger Thompson, very nice man, based in Chifley. It was nice to see him again presiding over a mate’s wedding.

Another vote for Roger Thompson. He has been used by quite a few people I know.

junkett junkett 2:21 pm 24 Oct 09

gertel said :

Bill Marsh was our celebrant – a lovely man, dressed well, easy to speak with and supportive before the day…!

+1. Attended to our ceremony over a decade a go, and both naming ceremonies for our kids. Nice bloke, very good at putting nervous brides, grooms and later parents at ease!

Igglepiggle Igglepiggle 10:50 am 24 Oct 09

edgyoyster said :

Peter Hyland:
We married in 2006 and he did a wonderful job. Very dignified and professional. We were provided with lots of ideas without being overwhelmed and the ceremony was exactly what we wanted. Reliable, and to my memory wore a dark-coloured suit – no tree-hugging hippy s**t 😉

molongloid said :

We were very happy with Peter Hyland. We heard good things about Roger Thomson and also Stefanie Morosi too.

Another vote for Peter Hyland- we were extremely happy with him for our small garden ceremony in 2003. Lovely man, unobtrustive but gently guiding you when you forget the words (nervous anyone?), extremely professional. you get to write your own ceremony but he had a book of options/suggestions you could choose… would not hesitate to recommend him.

Joe Canberran Joe Canberran 10:25 am 24 Oct 09

I’m fairly sure that I and my (now ex) wife used Mick Andrews as well. Nice bloke.

Not exactly a horror story but at the end of the ceremony when he introduced us as a married couple to the gathering he called us by my wife’s maiden name. Quite funny and he was very embarrassed. Given that my ex has a very strong personality everyone thought she had put him up to it.

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