Marriage celebrant

Frequently
Asked Questions

Cassandra Fisher, Marriage Celebrant

Send me an enquiry about your wedding date and I’ll check my availability. I’dlove to invite you for a meeting so we can chat about your ceremony. We can meet in-person, over the phone or via ZOOM. There is no obligation to book with me.

Each ceremony I create, is especially for you, to reflect your personalities, your story and your celebration. You may choose to have a short and sweet ceremony or a longer, more bespoke one.

You can write your own vows, have cultural traditions, make symbolic actions and much more. Let your creativity flow and together we can create your perfect day.

I will actively listen to what you want. By incorporating your personalities and individuality in to the ceremony and putting all your ideas together, I can create and deliver your perfect ceremony.

I have been described as: friendly, relaxed and a calming influence, who delivers heartfelt and perfectly written ceremonies. I’d love to help you celebrate your special day in your unique way.

Yes! I have a beautiful Bose sound system that is propped up to ear level on a speaker stand. I have two different microphones that we can use, wireless and wired. Both microphones have wind socks for better quality sound. I even have a special wind sock for those really windy days, which videographers appreciate!

Unique:  A uniquely written ceremony for your gathering of family and friends. You can choose to have a ‘short & sweet’ ceremony; or, add in a ritual, or perhaps include a reading – the choice is yours. I exclusively book your ceremony for the day, include a rehearsal and will personalise it with answers form your ‘Couples Quiz’.

Love Story Ceremony:  A bespoke ceremony including your personalised ‘love story’. All of the ‘Unique’ inclusions, plus extra ‘Couples Quiz’ questions to help write ‘your love story’ to be told during the ceremony. I’ll also contact a few of your nominated guests for their input and then surprise you on your wedding day with their comments!

Both packages include:  All legal requirements; in-person and/or ZOOM meetings; your Wedding Workshop; a Resource Folder to guide you; conducting your ceremony; Presentation Marriage Certificate; registration of your marriage with NSW BDM.

Unique Wedding Ceremony $750

Love Story Ceremony $850

There are some ceremony elements that are optional extras.

  • Registered Marriage Certificate from NSW BDM, $60.
  • I can provide a Music Assistant to play songs during your ceremony, $100.
  • Out of area travel, if over 50kms from my home in Elderslie, may incur additional fees, refer to Cass
  • Rose Ceremony, $15 per rose
  • Sand Ceremony, $30
  • Hire of Personalised Hurricane Lanterns for Candle Ceremony, $50

My sound system is available for you to connect a device via Bluetooth. You can nominate one of your guests to be your music assistant and I will guide them through the ceremony with a queue sheet and a quiet nod to help them with starting and stopping.

If you would like me to play your chosen ceremony music (I suggest four (4) songs), then I can bring my music assistant to queue them for us. There is a $100 fee for this service. Songs must be available on Spotify. I have a selection of songs as background music, for both before and after the ceremony (none of that awkward silence here, thank you!).

 

A Booking Fee of $250 will secure your special date. This Booking Fee is part of the quoted ceremony fee, don’t worry, it isn’t extra!

Payments can be made with PayPal, bank transfer or with cash.

There will be a part payment due four (4) months prior to your wedding day. Then, the final full payment is required one (1) month prior to your wedding day.

I am located in the Camden region of south-west Sydney. My home office address is 6 Gunn Way, Elderslie NSW 2570. The nearest cross street is Grimes Ave and there is a sign on my letterbox to let you know that you’ve arrived at the right house.

I am Authorised to conduct marriages in all States and Territory’s of Australia, and happy to travel! Included in my fee is an allowance for travelling the distance of 50km from my home. Depending on the distance, there may be an extra travel fee and/or accommodation fees too.

In the event that you cancel our Service Agreement, then you forfeit your Booking Fee. Any amounts paid above this amount will be refunded minus any subsequent ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses (such as Certificate costs and time for writing your ceremony). If it is my decision to cancel, then I will refund your Booking Fee and any further payments made, in full.

In the event that a government mandated Public Health Order forbids us from holding your ceremony, then I will make practical allowances to be available for your new date. All monies paid will be transferred across to your new date. If I am not available for your new date, then any financial amounts paid above the Booking Fee will be refunded to you.

I have completed a Certificate IV in Celebrancy and am Authorised by the Attorney General’s Department of Australia as a Civil Marriage Celebrant. I am also a Justice of the Peace for NSW.

I was officially appointed by the Attorney General’s Department in October 2016.

The Marriage Act 1961 and Marriage Regulations 2017 set the rules for getting married in Australia.
To get married in Australia, you must:

  • not be married
  • not be marrying a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister
  • be at least 18 years old, unless a court has approved a marriage where 1 person is 16-18 years old
  • understand what marriage means and freely agree to marry
  • use specific words during the ceremony
  • give a Notice of Intended Marriage form to an authorised marriage celebrant at least 1 month and no more than 18 months before your wedding
  • be married by an authorised marriage celebrant

You don’t have to be:

  • an Australian citizen
  • a permanent resident of Australia

If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia and you want to live in Australia after your marriage, you should find out about getting a visa.

There are three (3) legal documents that are required to get married. The Notice of Intended Marriage is the first document. I will need to sight original documents to prove your date and place of birth. Also, any documents to prove dissolution of any previous marriages. This Notice need to be received by me at least one (1) month before your ceremony. I can receive it with a maximum of eighteen (18) months.

The second document is the Declaration of No Legal Impediment to Marriage. This is a statutory declaration document that you sign to acknowledge that you know who you are, who you are marrying and that there are no legal reasons for
you not to be married. The third document is your Marriage Certificate. There are actually three (3) Certificates that you will be signing on your wedding day. One ‘Presentation’ copy for you to keep, one for BDM records and one for my records.

To prove your place and date of birth, I am required to see an original birth certificate and photo identification (eg. Driver’s licence; club membership; Proof of Age Card). Or, a passport will satisfy both your date/place and photo identity.

I will need to sight evidence to support the dissolution of your previous marriage. This could be your decree nisi, divorce order or a death certificate.

Your witnesses don’t necessarily need to be in your wedding party, you can choose family or friends, even strangers! They need to be over the age of eighteen (18) years old, understand the language spoken in the ceremony (interpreters can be used, if not in English) and be able to hear us say the compulsory legal words and vows. I’ve had couples choose their mothers, fathers, uncles and cousins… If there is someone special to you, then have them participate in your wedding with this wonderful honour.

No worries. I can receive documents electronically. One (1) signature from either of you can activate the ‘Notice’, or you can have your signatures witnessed by an accepted authority in your country. When you arrive in Australia, I will meet with you personally before the ceremony so you can sign any outstanding documents and I can sight your original ID.

There is a process called ‘Shortening of Time’. You will need to request this ‘Shortening’ with BDM or your local court. There are five (5) special circumstances that a ‘Shortening’ will be granted. You will need to meet at least one of those five (5) criteria. I will provide a letter explaining your circumstance and the original copy of the ‘Notice’ that we have completed. You will need to provide documents as evidence and pay a small fee to BDM or the court.

Yes, you can. There is a legal requirement for me to say particular words, in a certain order, and for you to say the legally required vows; but other than this, we can use our imaginations to bring your ideas and dreams alive. I have a great resource book to help you decide the elements of your ceremony.

We will have a ‘Wedding Workshop’ to discuss the elements of your ceremony. The Workshop can be in-person or via ZOOM. After this Workshop I will send you a ‘Couples Quiz’. This will help me personalise your ceremony even more. You can borrow my Resource Folder to help with your choices. There are some great examples of vows, ring exchange verses, readings, music selections and ideas for symbolic actions. Along with the notes that I make from our meetings, I will use all of this information to craft your ceremony. I use Google Drive – so the Resource Folder is also available online, and your ceremony will be drafted in a Google Doc, which makes editing much easier

I use the answers from your ‘Couples Quiz’ to help me. I am the only one who sees your answers and it is only used for this purpose. Please answer only the questions you feel comfortable with. Your ‘Couples Quiz’ is an online form, and you answer it separately! This adds to the fun and excitement of reading your first draft together!

Yes, of course! I don’t say anything you don’t want me too! You will be able to suggest any changes. If you choose to include your ‘Love Story’, I will contact your nominated family and friends for their input. To make this part interesting, I will keep this section as a surprise until your ceremony.

An on-site rehearsal is a great way to see your ceremony space before your wedding. It may help to calm any nerves, knowing that it is familiar to you. I don’t need all of your wedding party at your rehearsal if they aren’t able to get there. I use techniques on your wedding day to help organise the brides-maids entrance and also mark the spots where each person is to stand. If it’s not practical to have an on-site rehearsal, then we can meet in my office for a run-through. Importantly, you will be signing your next legal document, the No Legal Impediment to Marriage. If you choose not to have a rehearsal or run-through, or have choose an elopement or legal only marriage, then this document will need to be signed on your wedding day before the ceremony begins.

Your ceremony length will depend on which package you choose, and if you are have any readers or symbolic actions. Generally, I allow for 30 minutes from starting your entrance to finishing with your walk back down the aisle. I will help with post-ceremony organisation by announcing to your guests whaT your next plan is eg. Group photo, drinks, reception start time and location.

I like to be on-site 45 minutes before your ceremony starts. I make sure the area is safe (I do a risk management assessment) and meet with any other vendors that are there.

Always! Please have a plan in case of bad weather. Rain, wind and heat can spoil your wedding day, but a well thought out Plan B can often be better than your original Plan A! One of my Terms & Conditions is the use of your Plan B space. I will consult with the partner on-site, the venue staff and other wedding vendors (musicians, event co-ordinators) to decide if and when we move to Plan B. It is my duty of care towards you and your guests to ensure they are safe and comfortable

I will advise you as soon as it is practicable. I have a network of other celebrants who participate in an ‘Emergency Backup Program’. If another celebrant needs to attend, then I will do my very best to assist with this.

Yes. In the extreme case another celebrant will be attending to solemnise your marriage, they will need to sight your original ID that we used for your ‘Notice’. Please have a photo of them, on your phone.

I exclusively book only one wedding per day. You won’t need to worry about me arriving late because a previous ceremony was running late, or needing to leave by a certain time so I can attend another one.

I will co-ordinate my outfit with your colour scheme and theme. At your Wedding Workshop I will ask for your wedding colours, then match my outfit accordingly. I have also been known to dress up in costume for the occasion! I was Princess Leia for a couple on Star Wars Day (May the Fourth). If you have any requests, please let me know! (If I don’t already have it, there may be an extra fee for the costume.)

I have a signing table that I can supply, if required

After your ceremony, I will register your marriage online directly into the NSW BDM system. Copies of your paperwork will be kept electronically by NSW BDM and myself, for a period of 6 years. If I have copies of your ID, I will return them to you after your ceremony.

Straight away! You will be legally married as soon as you’ve said your vows!

If you are planning to travel straight after your wedding day, then please book these arrangements in your maiden name. You will be using your current ID.

To change your name with government departments, you will need your official Registered Marriage Certificate from NSW BDM
You can order your official Registered Marriage Certificate from NSW BDM. It currently costs $60 and takes a few weeks to be delivered.

Or, I can order it on your behalf, at the same time as I register your marriage with NSW BDM. I can simply add the $60 fee onto your invoice.

If you choose for me to order your official Registered Marriage Certificate, it will be delivered to my address so I can make 5 certified copies for you (I am also a Justice of the Peace for NSW).

I Will Be With You As You Both Make Life's Most Important Promise.

Let’s meet and chat over coffee, or online about all things weddings.