There’s always so much talk in wedding world about price. Price of celebrants in particular.
The thing is, like anything in life- you get what you pay for.
FACT: The majority of celebrants in Melbourne charge between $800-$1600. In the $800 spot you’ll get yourself a fresh recruit or a mid ranger.
At $1500 you’ll get a shiny Uber X with a free bottle of water and a heated seat.
It depends what you are looking for.
As a celebrant myself, I obviously place a decent amount of worth on what we do.
For the record- you can get married in a bog standard ceremony amidst the salubrious surrounds of the Registry Office in the city for between about $400 and $600, depending on what day of the week you want. This means you go to them, there is zero personalisation and it’s purely a stiff legal affair basically. Too easy if that’s all you want.
However, if you want something more personal you’re going to have to pay more.
If you want someone to absolutely smash it- again- you’ll be paying more.
The greatest misconception is that a celebrant is charging you ‘$1200 for 20 minutes work’. That conveniently disregards the meetings, the travel, the document preparation, the research, the use of our audio equipment and yeh, the actual ceremony presentation.
For me personally, this encompasses a minimum 15 hours per couple. I put a lot into my ceremonies and into developing relationships with my couples. As such, my service is pretty popular and I’m often booked more than a year out from the wedding date.
A really amazing celebrant is a gifted writer and a charismatic presenter. They’re organised, experienced and reliable. They will get to know you, be approachable and available and full of good ideas- and take you into the day calm and ready. Then they’ll smash it. It’s a real talent to be able to engage people on the right level.
When all your guests are remarking on the ceremony and you’re all on an absolute high afterwards- you see the value then for sure. But it’s a bit harder to see it when you start your celebrant search. Perhaps you’re not really sure what a celebrant does, what differentiates an average one from a good one- from an absolute weapon.
So, when you’re sending out emails to celebrants – can you have a quote etc and you get one for $800 -900 and one for $1400-1500- there’s a reason for that price divide. That cheaper celebrant doesn’t have the same experience/ popularity or dynamic of the dearer one. They may do, in time mind you. But at this point you are getting what you pay for.
So, it depends on what you place value on. Call me naïve but if you’re getting married, I’d hope that there’s some importance placed on the actual ceremony itself- not just getting boozed afterwards. That being said, if you’ve never seen a brilliant ceremony then it’s possible you haven’t considered the value of dynamic.
I’d love to say the days of cookie cutter dross delivered in a monotone voice are past us. But they’re actually not. There’s still plenty of that that goes on. And plenty of ceremonies that are not written from scratch. Just the same pap rolled out at every single wedding blah blah yawn. You’ll get that cheaper for sure.
If you want an absolute banger that is totally you as a couple, that’s been lovingly crafted based on your celebrant’s relationship with you and their excellent writing capabilities- then you pay more. If you want the one where your guests laugh out loud and are totally captivated throughout- it costs more for that level of skill.
So, before you compare quotes, first of all, decide what kind of experience you want to have.
Then make sure you’re comparing apples with apples.
If you receive a quote for $1500, you can be sure that person is at the top of their game and you’ll be bloody lucky to get them.
Incidentally, these celebrants are being referred by photographers, venues and previous clients and their guests constantly. What does that say to you?
So, if you’re happy with a Camry- then you order standard Uber. If you want something spesh then you order Uber X.