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Why You Should Choose a Celebrant Over the Registry Office or Courthouse Wedding!

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

I’ve just completed a series of Facebook posts called “Sally vs the Registry”; I have a reel ready to go at a later date but I thought I wouldn’t hurt to write here in a bit more detail about the differences between what the Brisbane Registry Office have to offer and what a celebrant (that’s me) does for you.

What is an affordable wedding ceremony

Cost of a ceremony at the registry A registry wedding in Brisbane is an affordable way to get married (qld bdm website)

And right there, BOOM! “affordable” what does that even mean? My sister-in-law thinks business class tickets to Paris are affordable because she lives in a totally different world to me. It’s all relative and it all depends what you see as value for money. It’s a stupid word to use in this context and it makes me cranky; partly because it implies that anyone who charges more than they do is “unaffordable”. I charge more if I’ve delivering more than the Registry Office, but for what they do I charge less.

The cost for a registry ceremony includes:

The ceremony A celebrant The ceremony room A ceremonial marriage certificate

Where shall we get married?

Their rooms set up very nicely and can accommodate up to 50 guests. The views over Brisbane are quite breathtaking from some of the vantage points but there are also views and scenery in any number of public spaces around the city and beyond. I don’t come with a ceremony room, I come to you. You can get married in your own back yard, at the local park, at your mum’s, on a boat or a plane or a train…. (ps I’m NOT going up in a balloon, just saying).

How much does a ceremony cost?

To secure a time and date for your ceremony you will need to pay the applicable fee.

To secure my services (on any of my packages) you pay a deposit and can pay by as many instalments as you need so long as it’s all paid up 2 weeks prior to the ceremony.

A registry ceremony costs

$362.40 (Monday to Friday) $471.10 (Saturday and Sunday) $621.20 (Friday and Saturday evenings)

The cost of your ceremony does not include a standard marriage certificate unless you book an evening ceremony.

The certificate, if you want to order one, costs $57.20 so on Friday & Saturday evenings you’re actually paying $564 for the ceremony with no choice about ordering the certificate.

If you would like me to perform a registry style ceremony like they do, I will charge $300 and travel up to 50km otherwise there’ll be a small extra fee. Any time of day, any day of the week. I will show you half a dozen different ceremonies (about 10 minutes long) and you choose the one you like.

As for the venue, you should book the space in a public park if you want to set up furniture (arbour, red carpet, seats etc) or they might move you on. The cost for this varies between $60 and $300 (in my experience) depending on which council you’re dealing with. None of these trappings are compulsory and if you are marrying under a beautiful old tree with the ocean behind you that’s a better backdrop than a piece of timber draped in white netting in my opinion.

What if we get Covid just before our ceremony?

You can change your wedding date once for free if you contact us about the change at least 2 weeks before the ceremony date you have booked. If you change your date more than once, you will need to pay an additional booking fee.

And I reckon that is a rip off. You usually don’t know something is going to go wrong at the last minute (like a positive RAT) UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE. Subject to my availability you can change your date as many times as you need to so long as you have a good reason (I would draw the line at “I broke a fingernail” but otherwise I’m pretty flexible).

Are you really cheaper than the registry office?

As an example, a wedding at 2pm Saturday afternoon which at the registry will cost $470 plus travel and parking or a hotel room nearby (plus city parking for all your guests) vs a park near the waterfront on the peninsula which would be $435 (my fee plus MBRC booking fee of $135).

For a 10 minute ceremony you really, really don’t need the space to be styled with florals and chairs and fancy pedestal signs. You just don’t.

Obviously I can offer more than 10 minutes pre-prepared if you want to allocate more of your budget to a the ceremony and less on matching napkins (I’ve got a thing about napkins and I really should shut up about them) but you need to decide what is the main thing and where you want to invest the most time and money.

It’s your wedding and your choice; hopefully you choose me.


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