Margaret Barwell

Civil  & Event Celebrant

Frequently Asked Questions

The most common things we are asked...

You are here:

Q: Can we write our own Vows and how do we put it all together?


A: Yes of course and I encourage you to do so.  I provide suggestions which you may choose or you may use these to assist you to mix and match or write your own personal wedding vows to each other.




Q: Do we have to fill out any forms or do any paperwork for the Government?


A: Yes, I provide all the legal documents required and will help you complete them and will submit them to the relevant authorities. You will need your Birth Certificates or valid passports and perhaps other documentation depending on your situation.




Q: What costs are involved when using a civil celebrant?


A: Most civil celebrant services cost between $450 and $770 depending on the time, travel and individual situation. The  mid range price seems to be around $650 including all legal requirements, personalised ceremony, and assisting with the many aspects of the ceremony. I provide a range of prices depending upon your individual circumstance which we will discuss.




Q: Do we face our guests during the ceremony?


A: This is a frequently asked question. This is a Civil Ceremony so you are facing your guests who are sharing your joy and commitment on your big day. At our final meeting I will discuss all of this with you and on the day will guide you.




Q: Can we have a religious element eg. Prayers at our ceremony?


A: Yes of course you can.  It is your marriage ceremony and I can incorporate anything that you ask for.  I provide total flexibility.




Q: Can we have candles or symbolism in our Ceremony?


A: Yes, I will offer you many choices of Symbolism for your Ceremony. Unity Candle, Rose, Celtic Handfasting  are just a few of the possibilities available to you. If you have any ideas or cultural rituals we can easily incorporate these into your ceremony.




Q: Can I use the Marriage Certificate we receive at our marriage ceremony as evidence for a name change?


A: No. The certificate you are presented with at the close of your ceremony is a commemorative certificate and will not support your application to change your identity documents.




Q: What do I need as evidence for a name change?


You will need a Registered Copy of your Marriage Certificate obtainable from the office of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the State in which you are married.

There is a small government fee for this certificate. You will be eligible for a new passport, free of charge, if application is made within 12 months of marriage.

Click here for more information on Legal Requirements and Registration of Marriage




Q: How long does a wedding ceremony go for?


A: This depends on your requirements but generally allow 45 minutes which includes a period of time for signing paperwork.  If you have one or two readings and symbolism then the ceremony can take longer. Weddings can be as long or as short as you wish but there are certain components of the ceremony that are required by law to be included.  Remember your guests have come to watch the wedding ceremony and will feel cheated if your ceremony is too short.




Q: We don’t know what we want in a ceremony.


A: Most couples don’t know what is involved in a wedding ceremony and that is why I am here to help you. My comprehensive Wedding Guide takes you step by step through many choices with a planner, to help you create your own unique ceremony.




Q: How far in advance can/should we book a celebrant?


You can book your celebrant anytime to secure your date and time.  Remember in peak months you may find that I am booked on your date.  Legal documentation can only be officially lodged no more than 18 months in advance of the wedding date and no less than one month before the wedding date.  The earlier you book your key services, Celebrant, Venue, Photographer etc., the more likely you will have your first choice.


Q: Where do we meet?


A: Meetings are held in my home in Blackburn. Meetings can be held day or night depending on my wedding schedule. The last weekday evening appointment is 8.30pm.  Daytime week-end appointments are available subject to my availability.




Q: What Questions will I ask you?


A: • Have you set a date and place for the Wedding?

• Do you have your Birth Certificates and/or valid passports?

• Have you got any ideas or cultural requirements for a Ceremony?

• How many people will be in the Wedding Party?

• Is there anything special/different you may want to include in the Ceremony?




A word from our clients


"Margaret I really appreciated your professionalism in handling the service. As it was my second Wedding, and my first time married at home, I felt kind of uneasy... but your gentle guidance quickly put me at ease and to go with the flow."


Alison T


"I love dealing with Margaret. She has been warm and friendly from the start. The process of completing our NOM has been very specific and easy. Throughout the ceremony she has been straight-forward and formal. Love her charisma."


Jessica S.


Ceremonies & Celebrations for all Occasions

Industry Associations

Members of:

Photo Gallery

Contact Me

Phone: (03) 9877 2746

Mobile: 0408 772 746



Contact Us Today...

Copyright © Margaret Barwell 2016. All rights reserved.


About Margaret

My Services

Photo Gallery

Contact & Links