Hi, I'm Steven Fleming and I am a registered Civil Marriage Celebrant in Australia. Originally from Brisbane, I moved to Melbourne around 13 years ago. After a long stint, and many not so subtle enquiries from my mother, the time has come to move back to the sunshine state in June of this year (2020)
I have a beautiful kelpie named Phoenix, and am an incredibly open minded, outgoing and creative person. Other than this, I don't know what else to tell you, as I don't want this to end up looking like a dating profile. So how about I just tell you how I began this journey, and a few things I have learned along the way.
At Christmas time a few years ago, my brother and his now wife announced to the family their engagement. It was an incredibly exciting time as we had seen their relationship grow over the previous few years, and we could all see the love they have for each other. When they told me about it, the first thing I said, after congratulations, was to tell them of my secret dream to one day be someone who could help loving couples like themselves wed. After telling them this, they gave me an indescribable gift of putting their faith in me, and asking if I would get myself certified and conduct their ceremony. They asked this in secret, as they wanted it to be a surprise for the people they cared about on the day. I spent the following months doing the required study and certification, learning not just the legal minimums, but revelling in the beauty of what a marriage can mean to two people (never having been married myself), and planning for them a ceremony that reflected their individual personalities, and their identity as a couple. After a long wait, some secrecy and a few nerves along the way, I married my brother to his wife in October, in a beautiful, simple and personal ceremony.
GETTING MARRIED IN AUSTRALIA
What I discovered along the way to becoming a celebrant actually surprised me a little. Many people have preconceived notions and ideas of what makes a marriage ceremony, due in part to religious views, TV and movies, and historical traditions. All of this went straight out the window for me as I was getting myself certified. In Australia, there are only four legal requirements to make a marriage officially recognised. These are:
1. Filling out the Notice of Intention to Marry (at least one month prior to the ceremony date) and the Declaration Of No Legal Impediment (as close to, but before the ceremony)
2. The celebrant introducing themselves and explaining the Monitum (legal definition of marriage in Australia [needs to be stated before the vows])
3. The Vows (Legal minimum: 'I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, [Party 1], take thee, [Party 2], to be my lawful wedded husband/wife/partner.' and vice versa.
4. The signing of the marriage register and certificates before two witnesses.
That’s it! We could knock it all out in five minutes if that’s what you wanted to do. Outside of these four things, everything is up for grabs. There will be no question or request that I won't thoughtfully consider. If you wanted to dance your way up the aisle, lets pick a song. If you wanted to rap the ceremony, we can bust a rhyme. If you wanted to involve everyone in your family, we can find a way. If you wanted to make your four legged friends an integral part of the day, that's completely doable too!
The point I’m getting at is this:
Your ceremony is about you. 100%. Anything you would or wouldn’t like to happen or to take place is your choice (outside of the 4 things above). I am here to help you with this in any way that I can. I take great joy in being there along the way to guide and assist you in making this day the most memorable and important day of your lives so far.
If you've been searching for a celebrant, you may have noticed that not many put their pricing structure openly on their website. This is so that you need to contact them, and begin discussing your ceremony, putting in quite some work and effort before you find out roughly how much it will cost you. It is a trick of marketing, to have you already invested in the celebrant and working relationship so that you feel more obliged to book them regardless of what they then quote you.
I am not a fan of this approach, as I am not in this business to focus on money, I am here to focus on making this process as easy for you as possible! With this in mind, below I have put together a simple pricing structure of a few options. Please note that in addition to conducting the ceremony itself, these prices include an initial contact meeting to meet face to face and make a start on the required paperwork, assistance in the planning your ceremony and support throughout the whole process.
**Please note that these prices are a rough quote, and may vary slightly depending on the ceremony you would like, the location, and any extra or unusual requests.
Approx. Cost : $900
I like to keep things simple and have a flat fee for weddings. Anything from a traditional or modern, to something a little more unique.
For those of you who are after something different, whether it be a themed wedding, cosplay, nude, or anything considered out of the norm, I would be happy to discuss your ideas and see if it was something I could help with.
JUST THE LEGALITIES
Approx. Cost : $500
(Monday- Thursday only)
This option is for those of you who want to get legally married, without all the pomp and fuss.
You may have looked at the Registry Office and seen what they have to offer. For that little bit more than the government price, you'll get a more personalised service, and I'll come to you!
The ceremony will be held at a venue of your choice, usually at home or somewhere you will not need to pay to use. It covers only the legal minimums that need to be observed, being conducted with only myself, the two of you, and the two witnesses (provided by you) legally required. The ceremony itself will only take roughly 5 minutes.
WHAT COUPLES SAY
LUCY AND PAUL