What do Celebrants Charge?
I get asked about pricing a lot, some people wonder how it's so cheap, others wonder why it's so much!!! Perspective huh!
People wonder why it's so expensive, usually because they assume all that's involved is that I arrive, chat with people, speak for a bit, have a laugh, shed a tear, shake hands and leave. They often compare my price to others that may be a few hundred dollars cheaper.
People wonder how it's so cheap, usually because they've been to other weddings where the ceremony almost ruined the whole day! They appreciate how personal my ceremonies feel and the creativity each requires. They appreciate the difference between an average wedding experience and what I'm able to offer. They often tell me 'You should charge more!' They also compare my price to others that may be a few hundred dollars more.
I thought I'd clarify my pricing for anyone who's interested...
Firstly, for all celebrants there are lots of costs to absorb. Things like (legally required) minimum ongoing training, registration fees, administration software, transport, marketing, legal stationary, consumables, capital investment and maintenance of equipment all add up.
Additionally, to excel as a celebrant I suggest we need to invest in the quality of our public speaking, appearance, self development and people skills.
Many celebrants have only ever spoken at weddings, they're using someone's wedding, as practise!!
Unless you're having a '70's' themed wedding you'd probably want your celebrant to wear an outfit from the current decade. For a good celebrant, appearance is an 'ongoing', (not a 'once off') expense! If a celebrant hasn't had a haircut for three weeks, wears an old suit, has some spinach in their teeth or could really use a breath mint... it reflects poorly on the wedding!
Then there's the people skills. It's really subtle but makes a huge difference on the day. A good celebrant has to find the right balance. We have to care enough - and be knowledgable and tactful enough, to know when (and how!) to step in and make the day work.
We can't be dismissive and let everything fall flat, nor can we be control freaks and go bananas, telling everyone what to do.
I also spend hours and hours (usually when everyone in my family is asleep!) doing the creative writing and editing required to make the process empowering, simple and fun for my clients. Then, more hours preparing and checking all the documents required before the wedding, on the day and also when my clients are off enjoying their honeymoon. Also, I spent $8500* last year at coffee shops, I still can't believe that!!!
I love doing weddings for people. I really feel that I'm able to prepare them, instil confidence and invest creatively. I love the incredible gratitude I see in peoples faces as they thank me after their ceremony.
If you're deciding on a celebrant based on price, please consider that we're not all the same. A couple of hundred dollars difference is a significant amount of money but a poorly orchestrated ceremony can ruin your wedding.
Don't use price alone to determine who will be standing with you on your wedding day.
* The coffees were not ALL for me. Honest!