Process of becoming a marriage celebrant in Australia

Dec 21, 2019

It took me a while to take the leap from dreaming of becoming a marriage celebrant, to actually doing it. If you’re reading this and have not taken that leap, do it. Below is my experience, of course, it is subject to change and may be different person-to-person, but I hope that this helps.

Choose your RTO to study a Certificate IV in Celebrancy

I selected my RTO based on a recommendation from someone who had recently completed the course, however, you may wish to consider:

  • Your preference for delivery – Online or face-to-face
  • Cost – Cheaper courses may have less interactive materials, but better on the purse strings
  • Support available – What is your preferred method of receiving assistance, and is this available
  • Electives – There are a number of electives that form part of the course. If you have specific ones in mind, research which RTO’s provide those specific units


 Complete the Certificate IV

It is recommended to complete the course within 12 months. I personally wanted to do it quickly, and spent approximately 15-20 hours/week on it, over a period of two months. For me, I was really glad to get it out of the way and done quickly.

The course that I did (external) included a lot of reading, followed by a 100+ question exam, many short and long answer assessments, practical completion of marriage paperwork, designing of ceremonies, and video assessments of the full wedding process end-to-end, including a fake wedding with 20 attendees. I felt that the course provided me with ample experience to be able to perform the role.

Upon receiving your certification, submit your application for registration and payment of $600 to the Attorney-Generals office

The registration process is comprehensive, and requires a criminal history check, certified ID, personal references, and further assessments. This is undertaken online and once submitted, takes up to three months to be processed. Mine personally took 1.5 months, but timings would depend on workload and how comprehensive the application is.

I have been told that this process felt tedious to other marriage celebrants. I highly recommend that you start preparing your application before you finish your Certificate IV. For example, get your references to start writing their reports, see your local JP to certify your documents etc., this means that when you’re ready, you can do some finishing touches, undertake the assessments and hit submit.


Whilst waiting for your registration (up to three months!), I would recommend that you use this time to start doing the following. This means you’re ready to go when you get your registration

  • Register for a business name and ABN
    Create a logo, forms, templates, invoices and tools for when you have your first customers
  • Design your website, and secure social media handles
  • Research and purchase a PA system. I personally love my Bose S1 Pro speaker with tripod, and my Sennheiser microphone
  • Research Associations and insurance (some Associations include insurance!)
  • Study the Guidelines, and ensure that you understand them inside and out.


Please note that the guidelines prevent you from advertising services until you’re registered, so ensure any preparations are dormant until your registration is processed.


You will be notified of registration via email, which will include your official ‘A’ number. Once registered, undertake the following:

  • Order official stationery such as certificates and brochures from CanPrint (this can be done online)
    Go-live with marketing
  • If you wish to use online portals for Births, Deaths and Marriages (highly recommended, it’s efficient, free and better for your clients!), register for these.



Get a network of other marriage celebrants within your local area, just in case something unforeseen happens and you need coverage, to borrow a PA, to bounce questions off, or to refer clients to when you’re unavailable.

On an annual basis, pay the annual registration charge ($240) and undertake five hours of Ongoing Professional Development (OPD)



Georgia Lutvey Brisbane Marriage Celebrant

Georgia Lutvey
Civil Marriage Celebrant

Georgia Lutvey, is a Brisbane based Civil Marriage Celebrant.