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Becoming a marriage celebrant

​This is the official site of the Australian Government Marriage Celebrants Program. Anything you read elsewhere that is inconsistent with this site is not accurate.

Update on changes to the Marriage Celebrants Program

The Marriage (Celebrant Registration Charge) Bill 2014 and the Marriage Amendment (Celebrant Administration and Fees) Bill 2014 were introduced into Parliament on 20 March 2014 and passed on 27 March 2014. This legislation introduces cost recovery and other reforms for the Marriage Celebrants Program.

More information can be found on the Changes to the Marriage Celebrants Program page.

What does this mean for me?

This means that aspiring marriage celebrants will be required to pay a $600 application fee once this legislation commences on 1 July 2014.

Please monitor this website for further information about future arrangements.

Information on becoming a marriage celebrant

Marriage celebrants are people who are legally allowed to perform marriages in Australia.

Being a marriage celebrant is a special and important role in the community. It also attracts serious legal responsibilities. Failure to meet those responsibilities can have serious consequences.

There are a number of steps involved in becoming a Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant.

You will need to:

You may only advertise your services and perform marriages once you are registered as a marriage celebrant.

Different criteria for registration as a marriage celebrant apply to people who are fluent in an Australian Indigenous language. Email us at marriagecelebrantssection@ag.gov.au for more information.

Before you apply—some things to consider

Many marriage celebrants perform few or no marriages each year as there are:

  • about 10 500 Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants
  • more than 23 000 ministers of religion who can perform marriages
  • about 121 700 marriages that took place in Australia in 2011.

Other factors that might influence your decision to become a marriage celebrant are that:

  • just paying for and completing the qualification does not mean you automatically become a celebrant
  • celebrants have high ongoing costs such as ongoing professional development, optional celebrant association fees, computer, internet access and website maintenance, business development, clothing, travel, marriage stationery, storage, office facilities etcetera.

The Coalition of Celebrant Association website has more information on deciding to become a marriage celebrant.

More information

More information about the responsibilities of celebrants is available on the For registered marriage celebrants page.

The Code of practice for marriage celebrants will help you understand a celebrant's responsibilities.

The document below also contains detailed information for marriage celebrants on marriage in Australia. It will give you an idea of the types of issues a celebrant deals with.