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Blog aka KWC Wisdom: Blog2

Frequently Asked Questions for your Celebrant

Updated: Jan 27

So you're meeting with Celebrant's and you are wondering what questions you should ask a celebrant to help you decide if they are "the one" right! I've compiled a list of my most frequently asked questions which may assist you. If you have another question that you don't see below, feel free to reach out and let me know and I'll add it in for you.


Celebrant, Kerri Watkins available to answer all your celebrant frequently asked questions
Kerri Watkins Celebrant answering all your frequently asked celebrant questions

What paperwork and evidence do we need to supply you?

You will need to provide your celebrant with the originals of your Passport OR Your birth certificate and driver's licence. If you have been married before, you will need to provide either your divorce certificate or, if your spouse has passed away, their death certificate.

What legal documentation is required to be completed?

You will lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage form, known as the NOIM, with your celebrant between one month and 18 months prior to your wedding date. Before your ceremony commences, you will sign a Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage. This is usually done at a rehearsal or as close to the wedding date as possible or signed prior to the ceremony commencing. After the ceremony, together with two witnesses over the age of 18, you will sign two copies of the Official Certificate of Marriage and a Form 15 Certificate of Marriage (this is the one you get to keep on the day).

What documentation should our celebrant provide us?

Your celebrant should provide you with a copy of the Happily ever… before and after brochure that outlines information for couples planning to marry. They should also provide you with information on how to Complain about a marriage celebrant and the celebrant's code of practice.

What if one of our divorces isn't finalised yet?

You are still able to lodge your NOIM with your celebrant, but it will be lodged as divorce pending. You will need to provide a copy of your Divorce Certificate prior to your marriage taking place.

What time should we put on our invites?

I always suggest to my couples 30 minutes prior to the ceremony time. This gives your guests time to arrive, freshen up and be at the ceremony space for the required start time. So for example if you are having 3.30pm ceremony, you would put 3.00pm arrival for 3.30pm ceremony. Or if you have regular "late comers", just put 3.00pm ;)

How many meetings will we have?

Generally 1-3 meetings, but this is totally optional. I have instances where I haven't met my couple until the day. Note: all meetings can be done via Video - I get it, we are all busy so my aim is to make this as easy as possible with limited disruption's for you. Example timeline: 1. Obligation Free Meeting to ensure that we vibe and an opportunity for us to meet prior to you making a decision. 2. NOIM meeting where sign the Notice of Intended Marriage form. 3. Planning meeting 4. Rehearsal

How will you personalise our ceremony?

All of my clients get "homework" aka a personal journey questionnaire (and you get date night to complete it 😉) I then incorporate ideas and notes from our meetings and your answers into your personalised ceremony script.

Will you help us with writing our wedding vows?

Absolutely, all of my clients get vow-writing guidance and sessions (if required). Vows are my jam - and I absolutely loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee when my couples write their own vows, even better when they keep them secret AND Ninja Vows - have you checked those out? For more information check out Writing Epic Wedding Vows and Ninja Vows.

Can we include rituals or readings?

Of course, but please, only include these if they are sentimental to you and not "just because". If you would like something unique to you I can definitely assist with this. Check out my Lego Unity Ceremony that I wrote for one of my couples and their boys.

Can we include loved ones in our ceremony?

1000% yes, we can even honour those that can't be with you on the day, or your loved ones that have passed on with a short and sweet memorial verse. I promise this isn't morbid, and I am happy to share with you how I deliver this in our meeting. Here is an example: Though we cannot see you, we know you are here. Though we cannot touch you, we feel the warmth of your smile, as we begin a new chapter in our lives.

What if we need to change our wedding date or time?

All requests will be required in writing and I will absolutely accommodate you where I can. If I can't I will work with you to find a suitable replacement celebrant.

What happens if we cancel or postpone our wedding?

As above, if you need to postpone your date, I will work with you to find a new date. If you cancel your wedding, the non-refundable booking fee is forfeited. Balance of fee will be depending on the work assigned to your ceremony. Please refer to your Client Agreement.

Do we need a backup plan?

We can't control mother nature, so I always suggest a backup plan. This might look very different depending on the situation. We'll work together on this closer to the date.

Do you have insurance?

Yes!!!!!!

Are you LGBTQIA+ friendly?

I can't believe I even need to put this one in here. Love is Love baby! If you can legally get married, love each other, and we are the right vibe for each other, I will #hitchedwithlove the heck outa you!

How do we communicate with you?

My preference is email, but I am happy to work with your requests. In order to provide you with the absolute best service I possibly can, I have set up a link where you can schedule a call, office meeting or video call directly. You can do that here.

How many weddings do you book a day?

One wedding a day :) There has been the very rare occasion where I have also performed a legals only ceremony in the same day, but both couples are informed and I would never book myself unless the logistics work. Just ask hubby, I won't even go and get milk on the morning of a wedding, just incase ;)

Is your price negotiable?

I understand your big day, is a big deal and you're paying a lot of money for a lot of things! However, my price is a reflection of the service, time, heart and soul, energy, and all "the things" that I bring to the party - before, during and after your ceremony😉 I don't negotiate on my fee, because I don't negotiate on my service.

What are your payment terms?

40% non-refundable deposit to lock your date in and to cover the preparation of all legal documentation and planning requirements. 40% due 6 months prior to your ceremony to cover additional resources and time that I have spent preparing for your day. The 20% balance is required 6 weeks prior to your big day. If you require a payment plan, please reach out.

Do you have a refund policy?

This will be outlined in the Client Agreement. Due to the nature of celebrant work and the amount of time spent on your wedding before your big day, this may not be possible.

Do we have to have a rehearsal?

Not at all. I am legally obliged to offer you one, but more and more couples are opting not to have one. I understand how busy it can get the closer it is to wedding day, so I won't "make" you have one. Generally a phone call or video call is sufficient in most instances. I like to finalise all of your wedding details two weeks prior to ensure that I have enough time to get printing done and liaise with your other vendors.

Will we need a permit?

Depending on your location, yes. For Moreton Island Weddings and elopements, I will work with you to apply on your behalf.

Where can we find reviews on your service?

Haven't you stalked those yet? Just kidding. Check out: Kerri Watkins Celebrant Facebook Kerri Watkins Celebrant Google Moreton Island Celebrant Facebook Moreton Island Celebrant Google I was also around before Social Media (showing my age here hey) so you can check out other amazing reviews here.

What time will you arrive on our wedding day?

Legally a celebrant is required to arrive 20 minutes prior to the start time. I'm generally arriving 60 minutes prior to your ceremony time to give myself ample time to set up, meet your amazing vendors and greet your guests as they arrive.

What's your top tip for wedding planning?

Oooooh I love this! Remember, it is you and your partner's day! Noone elses. Plan your day for YOU! Jason and Bronnie have some great tips on this exact tip if you'd like to check that out here. My second favourite tip would have to be DATE NIGHT.

Do we need two witnesses? How do we choose?

Yes, you will need two witnesses over the age of 18 that speak and understand English. If you are eloping and you don't have two witnesses, let me know and I am happy to help you arrange them. If you are struggling to choose your witnesses, check out this blog post for some hints and tips.

What do I do with my engagement ring during the ceremony?

Great question! Check out these 3 ideas to include your engagement ring during the ceremony - my favourite is number three!

How many songs should we have for our ceremony?

Your wedding, remember, so totally up to you. I suggest the following:

  1. Is your partner walking down the aisle? ✅ Song 1

  2. Are you walking down the aisle or have a large bridal party? ✅ Song 2

  3. The kiss ✅ Song 3 that continues to play if you are signing the registry after being announced

  4. Signing the Register ✅ Song 4

  5. The big announcement at the end ✅ Song 5


So generally, 3 to 4 songs 😁Check out these blog posts on Music Inspiration and a link to previous KWC couples' music choices for inspiration.


Will we be legally married on our wedding day?

Absolutely. Once you say your legal vows during the ceremony, you are legally married. The signing of the registry after the ceremony has finished is the legal proof of your marriage.

What signature do I sign with on the day?

You will sign the same signature that you signed your NOIM with.

What will you wear?

I will always discuss your theme and colour scheme with you and discuss wardrobe options. I'm even happy to dress up, but yes - there must be clothes, sorry no nudes here (and yes I have been asked :O)

Do you supply a PA System and Microphone?

Another legal requirement is that a celebrant must ensure that you and your guests can clearly hear the ceremony. I have a portable PA system that doesn't require a power source and a wireless microphone. This is the only reason why I ask you how many guests you have, because I'm not going to bring it for 4 people ;)

Can we play our music through your PA System?

Absolutely, I have AUX capability and my only request is that you provide someone to press play. Note, for smaller weddings where a PA system is not supplied, I'm happy to bring my JBL Charge.

Can our videographer connect to your PA?

Of course! I am always happy to work with other vendors to assist you in having the most amazing day.

How long will our ceremony go for?

I suggest to allow 30 minutes for your ceremony from start to finish, but this may vary depending on your script requirements. We can confirm this in our initial meeting. Legals only ceremonies are generally around the 10-15 minutes.

Will you provide us with a copy of our script?

Of course. But did you know that more couples are opting for a "surprise script". It's all about having that rapport with your celebrant and ensuring they capture your love story.

What happens if you are sick or there is an emergency and you can't attend?

Touch wood, never have I ever.... but I have an amazing bunch of celebuddies surrounding me that I know that I can reach out to if I am sick or there is a family emergency. And on the front seat of my car is an "In case of emergency" on my way to your ceremony. It outlines who to call in the event of an accident. 1. My Hubby and tell him that I love him, 2. My couples emergency contacts and or my couple, and 3. A list of amazing celebuddies to contact to get someone to you as soon as possible.

Do you have a signing table and chairs?

No sorry. Your venue or stylist will be your go to for this one. The folder that I bring on the day for your certificates is hard and acts as a table for our sneaky signings if required.

Do you lodge our paperwork after the wedding?

Absolutely - the rule is within 14 days. However, I'm generally lodging your wedding online before you've even cut your cake, or the very next morning if I've travelled.

How do I get evidence of our marriage and change my name after the wedding?

As part of my service, I will apply for your Official Certificate of Marriage as evidence of your marriage and the certificate you will need to change your name. This generally takes two weeks to arrive to you. I've got this handy blog post on how to change your name, check it out here.

Where should we leave a review after the wedding?

Nawwwww, reviews are my absolute fave, it's so important to me that my couples share their thoughts on my service for other couples considering having me as their celebrant and especially to provide feedback for me as part of my ongoing professional development. Here's Kerri Watkins Celebrant Google page 😉 Don't forget to make it public and you are welcome to share photos too 😘 If you need ideas for writing a review, check out this page. or this one.

We've got more questions, how can we contact you?

I'm more than happy to help, please shoot me a message through my contact page here.

We're ready to book our obligation-free chat with you!

Let's chat. To get started, fill in the details on my contact page here.

We're ready, are you available to be our celebrant?

Yayyyy, I can't wait to share your journey with you both. Let's check if I'm available on your date here.


If you'd like to be updated on the list as it changes, head to the FAQ Page here and fill in your details :)

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