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 legal responsibilities. Failure to meet those responsibilities can have serious consequences.
What you need to do
People wishing to apply to become a Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant must have completed the Certificate IV in Celebrancy, which includes the marriage celebrancy units, awarded by a registered training organisation or an equivalent university qualification.
An external review of the Certificate IV in Celebrancy qualification resulted in streamlining the marriage celebrancy units from four to three units. The revised Certificate IV in Celebrancy was endorsed in December 2015 and registered training organisations have until June 2017 to update to the revised qualification. The department will continue to recognise the previous four marriage celebrancy units as well as the three marriage celebrancy units for registration.
If you want to become a Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant, you will need to:
- Successfully complete a Certificate IV in Celebrancy qualification that includes the marriage celebrancy units through a registered training organisation or an equivalent university qualification. There are specific requirements for training organisations delivering the marriage units. These are set out in the Marriage (Celebrancy qualifications or skills) Determination 2009 and summarised in the following document:
Further information about the Certificate IV in Celebrancy qualification and registered training organisations delivering the qualification is available on the Department of Education and Training's website.
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 email@example.com for more information.
Before you apply
Many marriage celebrants perform few or no marriages each year as there are:
- more than 8 000 Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants
- more than 23 000 ministers of religion who can perform marriages
- about 121 200 marriages that took place in Australia in 2014.
Just paying for and completing qualifications does not mean you automatically become a celebrant. For more information about a marriage celebrant’s responsibilities, including key resources and the code of practice, visit the Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants page.
Fees and charges
Aspiring marriage celebrants are required to pay an application fee of $600. If your application is successful, you will need to pay the annual $240 registration charge (or part thereof, depending on the timing of your registration).
In limited circumstances, an exemption from these fees and charges may be granted. Guidelines on eligibility are available below:
All fees and charges are non-refundable.
Sending your application
Apply to become a Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrant through using our Marriage celebrants online application form. If you are unable to lodge your application online, contact the Marriage Law and Celebrants Section by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 1800 550 343.
The following documents may assist with your application: