Finding your elopement celebrant in Sydney is easier than you think. With thousands of registered celebrants in the greater Sydney region there's no shortage of options. But with such a large volume to choose from, it can be a daunting proposition to find the perfect person to officiate your wedding.
The quickest & easiest way to find the right celebrant for you, is to ask yourself some simple questions which are outlined below. Your answers to these questions will tell you what to look for and enable you to quickly shortlist the celebrants who will best fit with you & your partner.
If you’re eloping, one of the first criteria to look for is a celebrant who specialises in elopements. Here’s why...
An authorised celebrant is legally required to make the wedding official, so your celebrant, by default, is always the most important (other) person at your wedding regardless of what type of ceremony you’re having. You can’t get married without them. But if you choose to elope, the role your celebrant will play in marrying you and the way they perform the ceremony is quite unique.
Who will share your elopement with you? Perfect Moment Photography
By definition, an elopement is a more intimate celebration that you will share with fewer people. Instead of addressing a large audience, your celebrant will be addressing everyone at your ceremony on a more individual level. Celebrants who specialise in elopements know how to maximise this experience for you, as well as your guests, in this more intimate setting.
Elopement celebrants know how to set a comfortable tone while at the same time creating a momentous event of your wedding with just a handful of people present. They are a special kind of celebrant, with a special expertise.
Because of the limited number of guests at an elopement, it stands to reason that your celebrant will play a more pivotal role in your wedding ceremony. Aside from being your officiant, they’ll also be one of your special wedding guests. Without the presence of a large audience, it will be with your celebrant that you share the joy of being freshly joined in marriage.
In short, you will create many fond memories on the day of your elopement (and during the planning stages) that will very definitely involve your celebrant. Elopements by their very nature put a keener focus on the ceremony part of the day, and so your celebrant will be a more present and involved person in your wedding. For this reason, it’s so important if you're eloping to find a celebrant that you absolutely love! So...
How do you choose an elopement celebrant?
And how do you know which celebrant is ‘the one’?
We’ve reviewed Sydney’s most recommended elopement celebrants so you can quickly enquire with those who feel like a great fit for you. In this guide, you’ll find a short description of the type of elopements each celebrant provides and the individual benefits that each celebrant brings to your wedding.
When you’re on the hunt for an elopement celebrant, it can be helpful to ask yourself the following questions which will provide criteria you can then use to search. Putting words to attributes you prefer and the type of ceremony you want will significantly help in filtering a shortlist of Sydney celebrants to enquire with. Ask yourself the following questions...
Why you are eloping?
Eloping is more fun. Image: JK Sniper
Think about why you are eloping. If it’s to avoid the stress of standing in front of a large congregation because you’re an anxious person who doesn’t like the spotlight, you might prefer a celebrant who specialises in wedding ceremonies for 'introverted' couples. There are some elopement celebrants that offer fun, high energy and very entertaining ceremonies, while others offer calmer and quieter services. A common preference among introverted couples is for celebrants who offer simple & quick ceremonies, and you'll find several of these celebrants in our list of Sydney elopement specialists.
If you’re in a hurry and you’ve chosen to elope in order to get married sooner rather than later, you’ll want to find celebrants who have last minute availability. Most experienced wedding celebrants book out many months in advance but there will usually be a couple who can make themselves available in your preferred timeframe. The trick here, is to provide plenty of information about yourselves and your elopement plans when you enquire. Celebrants are known to take on an extra booking if they love the story of the couple enquiring.
They wanted an intimate elopement in the countryside - Cavanagh Photography
The quickest way to find out who has last minute availability, is to use the ‘enquire all’ button on our list of recommended Sydney elopement celebrants. Simply enter your preferred wedding date(s), share your story, and the celebrants who are available will reply to you.
The more flexible you can be with your preferred wedding dates, the more celebrants you’ll have to choose from. For this reason you may prefer to enquire about availability during a preferred period of time (eg “within the next 3 months”) rather than specific dates.
Under Australian law you must lodge a notice of intended marriage with your chosen elopement celebrant at least one month before the date of your wedding. So if you’re really in a rush, you could be married within 31 days from today!
Who are you eloping with?
If it’s just the two of you eloping, you can simply find a celebrant that you both love and there’s no need to consider anyone else. But if you’re having guests attend your elopement, you may find it adds to your ceremony to consider them when choosing your celebrant.
An example of when you might consider your attendees when choosing your officiant, is when one or more of your guests speak a different language. There are many bilingual marriage celebrants in Sydney including some who specialise in elopements. Other guest considerations when choosing a celebrant might be cultural fit or shared faith. Remember though, these considerations are only relevant if they’ll enhance your day - for you.
Where are you eloping?
Intrepid celebrant Josh Withers in action. Image: Bulb Creative
If you’re planning to throw on your hiking boots and exchange vows on a snowy mountaintop, you’ll want to choose a celebrant who will wholeheartedly embrace your adventure with you. You’ll find several of these intrepid individuals on our list of Sydney elopement celebrants.
Similarly if you’re intending to get married on a beach, you’ll want a celebrant who loves, or is at least happy to have sand between their toes. The more comfortable your celebrant is in the surrounds that you choose, the more they’ll be focused on you and enjoying themselves alongside you on your wedding day.
Also note, that your elopement celebrant need not be locally based. Many of Australia’s best elopement celebrants will travel to marry their couples. You’ll notice there’s a Queensland celebrant in our Sydney list, and for good reason. He is one of the most recommended elopement celebrants in Australia and couples regularly choose him to marry them throughout popular wedding destinations in NSW. (He performs weddings all over the world including on the snow capped peaks of Queenstown in New Zealand on a fairly regular basis - in case you happen to be considering an overseas adventure wedding).
Elopements are sometimes performed in places that hold a significant meaning for couples and this can also inspire a preference for who will marry you. You might prefer a local who knows the area well and can suggest locations for your ceremony and/or photos. Alternatively, if you're getting married in a cultural institution such as a library, museum, university or gardens, you might prefer to hire a celebrant with a joint interest or affinity with such places.
What are you including in your elopement ceremony?
Most elopement ceremonies include an exchange of vows and rings. You’ll also need to sign a marriage document and be pronounced as a married couple. In addition to these formalities you can pretty much include whatever you like in your wedding ceremony. Thinking about these additions can help you identify criteria that’s important to you when finding your celebrant.
Some common inclusions are; a welcome to country, elements of faith or religion, items of cultural importance, homage to origins, symbolic rituals, respect to elders, pledges such as to step children, readings, songs, the inclusion of pets or animals etc.
Bringing your fur babies to your elopement? Search for pet friendly elopement celebrants. Image: Perfect Image Photography
In addition to asking yourself the above questions, try to find celebrants who share a common interest with you. We’ve included the common interests of these Sydney elopement celebrants for this very reason. Shared interests give you and your celebrant a connection beyond the pretext of your wedding and add another level of intimacy & friendship to your wedding ceremony.
Imagine if your celebrant wove relevant pop culture references into your ceremony. Or spoke of your life experiences with the understanding of someone who has shared them. Or can make subtle in-jokes relevant to your profession/hobby/sport.
So although there are literally hundreds of wedding celebrants in Sydney, it’s actually not difficult to filter those who would be a great fit to officiate your special day. Start here, with our list of Sydney’s most recommended elopement celebrants.
We recommend you enquire with any celebrants you feel a connect with and shortlist those who have availability on your preferred wedding dates. You can decide from the replies you receive who you will take the time to meet. Most celebrants will offer you an appointment via zoom or another online phone or live streaming platform, and having a first meeting in this way saves a lot of time during the planning stage.
Find your own special celebrant to create your elopement with here...
Cover Image: Odd Socks Society