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What is a Registry Style Wedding Ceremony?

Updated: May 18

Registry Style Wedding in the country

A few months ago I wrote about what we celebrants deem a “Legals Only” wedding and a few are still wondering about the difference between Legals Only and what happens at the Brisbane Registry Office. Not every celebrant offers a Registry Style option, but before you can make a decision if that’s for you, you have to know what we’re talking about.

What happens at a Registry Office Wedding?

If you decide to book your wedding ceremony at the Brisbane Registry Office, this is basically what happens.

  • You book an appointment in the city office during business hours where you attend with all the relevant ID documents and you fill out your Notice of Intended Marriage at least one calendar month ahead of time.

  • You pay their fees in a lump sum, which are quite reasonable during office hours, but have a pretty big jump in price for Saturdays, and they don’t open on a Sunday.

  • Yes you can have a photographer come with you.

  • You have a place to get ready and get some pre-ceremony pics taken

  • You are allocated a Ceremony Room based on the number of guests attending. Sometimes you can get lucky and have the “big room” with the better views if a larger party isn’t scheduled at the same time.

  • There is no on site parking.

  • You are allocated one of their celebrants who delivers a generic, simple ceremony.

  • Yes you can write your own vows.

  • You’re in and out relatively quickly so your guests need to move on to the reception venue straight away while you go off for photos.

  • You can change your booking once (subject to availability) before they then charge you a fee.

  • Even if they say they can’t, if you’ve lodged a Notice of Intended Marriage with the office and change your mind, it can be transferred to a private celebrant.

So what is a Registry Style Wedding Ceremony?

A registry style wedding ceremony mimics this experience, but you can have it at your chosen place and time with a celebrant of your choice.

This is how we’re different:

  • You organize to do the paperwork with your celebrant at a mutually convenient time which is much easier to work around your job or your family commitments.

  • Most celebrants will still offer a payment plan for a registry style ceremony.

  • You can get ready at home, or at whatever venue you please, without having to pay for parking or a city hotel overnight.

  • You can have your ceremony anywhere, at any time you prefer.

  • I offer you the choice of 10 different simple wedding ceremonies which you are free to mix and match – if you like the ring exchange in one but the final announcement in the other, just say so.

  • We make this ceremony much more personal, not just by including your personal vows and letting you choose the script, but you can also include quotes or readings of your choice and I’ll still give a little introduction that relates specifically to you.

  • There’s no rush to get it over with and move people on if you want to spend time having a hug and a bevvy with your loved ones – or a group photo – before moving on with your photographer.

Registry style wedding ceremony at a wedding venue

How is that different to a Legals Only ceremony?

A Legals Only wedding is about 127 words and takes 5 minutes – it is NOT a ceremony. You and your celebrant say a few compulsory sentences, sign the certificates (with 2 witnesses) and you’re done.

A registry style wedding ceremony gives you an actual ceremony, for people to watch and engage with, but without the additional costs involved with your celebrant learning all about your innermost feelings and writing a long piece specifically for you.

Some providers shy away from doing this on a Saturday, and some restrict numbers but honestly, my registry style ceremonies are still fun and engaging and your guests will not be disappointed. I don’t care if there’s 6 or 106 people in attendance, I want you to have a great experience.

Why me?

Registry Style Wedding Ceremony in the back yard

I do a lot of Registry Style wedding ceremonies in private back yards. They are a perfect for this, as great way to have a memorable day within a very tight budget.

So check out the registry, then compare it to my Just I DO it package and you decide what’s going to be more fun, personal and memorable.


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