Frequently Asked Questions

All ceremonies

Where are you located? Do you travel?


I live in Lalor, in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, so that's the area where most of my clients come from, but I also service the greater Melbourne area and surrounds. I do charge a small travel fee for any travel over 150km from my home; I will let you know of this when you notify me of your venue plans.




What do I need to do to hire you as my celebrant?


- Be legally allowed to marry in Australia (obviously this only applies if I'm marrying you!) - Contact me with your date and email/postal address so I can send you an information packet - Pay your deposit on time of booking - Pay the remaining fee at least one month prior to your ceremony - Make sure we're all in the same place at the same time for your ceremony!




When should I book you?


For weddings, I would advise booking 6-18 months in advance of your wedding date. This gives me ample time to write the ceremony, but also makes sure I have your NOIM within the legal timeframe. For baby namings and other life stage ceremonies, I suggest at least a month or so before the ceremony unless there's extenuating circumstances that mean the ceremony has to be done sooner rather than later. For funerals, I would generally be contacted through the funeral director as soon as you choose me as the celebrant. This can be anywhere between a few days to a few months before the funeral takes place. I am also happy to take bookings from those preparing for their own funerals, in which case I ask you book no less than two weeks before you expect your funeral to be taking place.




What will you wear on the day?


I ask in my initial interviews with clients if they have a colour scheme for their ceremony, and I generally work off of that colour palette. I also ask what the dress code is so I don't under- or over-dress - you don't want me turning up in a ballgown when the guests are all wearing jeans, for example! I'd be delighted to solemnise marriages or other formalities in costume as well, provided the person/people in question will be in costume alongside me. There may be a small fee for this, however, if I need to hire a costume.




I have another question you haven't answered! Help!


Oh no! Please feel free to visit my Contact page to let me know of this shortcoming - and also to ask your question!




Are you available on my date?


Probably! Get in contact and you can find out for sure. As a general rule, I have limited availability on/around the following dates, for family birthdays, anniversaries, or other annual events: - March 10th - May 12th - Second Sunday of May - June 10th - July 10th - July 25th-28th - September 19th - Last weekend of October - December 21st Even if your event falls on one of these dates, please feel free to ask anyway - we may be celebrating on a different day that particular year, or have easily-changable plans.





Weddings

Do you do LGBTQI+ weddings?


Definitely! As a member of the LGBTQI+ community myself, and a long-term campaigner for equal marriage rights, I was absolutely delighted when Australian marriage laws changed for the better. I try to include inclusive language in all my documentation, and am always happy for feedback on this matter.




What are the legal requirements for marriage in Australia?


To be married in Australia, you and your partner need to fit some fairly simple criteria. You must be: - Over the age of 18 years. There are special permissions that must be sought if a party to a marriage is 16 or 17, however. - Not legally married on the date of your wedding. You may lodge your initial paperwork with me during divorce proceedings, but your divorce must be final by the time of the wedding to your new partner. - Not closely related to one another. You may not marry a sibling or a direct descendant/ancestor. For example, you are allowed to marry a cousin or an uncle, but not your grandmother or your sister. You are still legally required to tell me of any family connections, though. There are additional requirements for paperwork as well: - Your Notice Of Intended Marriage (NOIM) must be lodged with me no more than eighteen months before your ceremony, and no less than one calendar month before the ceremony. Again, there are special circumstances in which you can obtain a Shortening Of Time. - You must provide me with identification. The best way to do so is with a passport, but if you don't have one I can also take a birth certificate alongside photo ID such as a drivers license. - If you have been married before, you must show me proof of that marriage ending. This can be divorce papers, a death certificate, or a decree of nullity. There are two parts of every marriage ceremony that *must* be said during the ceremony and heard by your two witnesses; the legal vows and the Monitum.




Do we have to have a wedding rehearsal?


It's entirely up to you whether you have one or not, but I would suggest doing so. That way we can all learn our places for the ceremony, we can work out any little bumps that may occur on the day (for my own wedding, for example, we hadn't realised the venue was unable to play the CD we had for our music, so we had to scramble to get the songs in a suitable format), and we can have a relaxed conversation about it all. This would generally be my first and only time meeting your wedding party, and gives them a chance to make sure their best friends are being married by someone they approve of!




What are the legal vows? What is a Monitum?


The only parts of any wedding ceremony that cannot be changed are the Monitum and the minimum legal vows. The Monitum is something I legally must say to you at some point before your vows:

"I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages according to law. Before you are joined in marriage in my presence and in the presence of these witnesses, I am to remind you of the solemn and binding nature of the relationship into which you are now about to enter. Marriage, according to law in Australia, is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life."

As well as the Monitum, the minimum words that must be said during your vows is asking your guests to witness that you are taking your partner as your legal spouse, using words to this effect:

"I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [FULL NAME], take thee, [FULL NAME], to be my lawful wedded [wife/husband/spouse]”

There are very strict rules as to what may or may not be changed in the Monitum or minimum vows. I am happy to talk about these with you, although I do recommend keeping everything as written.




Do I have to be an Australian citizen to marry in Australia?


You do not. I would be honoured to marry any visitors in my beautiful country.




Can I write my own vows?


Please do! I might be the one standing up and saying most of the pretty words, but what your guests AND your partner want most is to hear how you feel about each other in your own special way. The only requirement is that the aforementioned legal vows are part of it.





Marriage quality AFCC
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Moonlight Ceremonies - Tenielle Reid

moonlightcelebrant@gmail.com

Melbourne VIC