Marriage Celebrants are people who are legally allowed to perform marriages in Australia. However, Sam from Married By Sam takes it even further and becomes an integral part of your special day!
What is Married by Sam?
Married By Sam is my business name, and I am in the business of marrying people! It was born out of my desire to become a Marriage Celebrant. I love the idea of being able to be involved in couple’s big day. I am a huge fan of marriage and commitment, as well as love and romance. I decided that once I was qualified, I would be true to who I am and let people know that I am all about making their day exactly what they want: your wedding, your way – plus a fun and easy experience.
I then decided I needed to develop a plan, so I engaged the talents of Giant Media and developed my own logo, which led to my website. I then popped the logo on my VW, that Geoff King Motors kindly sprayed pink and between the car and my website, couples can decide if I am the right Celebrant for them!
Why did you decide to become a Celebrant?
I hired the services of a Wedding Celebrant myself over 20 years ago, and she was so lovely and really worked in with us to create the vows and ceremony we really wanted. I knew I wanted her job back then! I have been happily married for over 20 years now to Scotty, and we have three gorgeous teenagers. I also believe that Celebrants can provide couples with the service that they want to tailor to them.
What is your background, and does that play a part in being able to be a Celebrant?
I started my professional working life as a Registered Nurse training at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. I met my husband there as a patient. I travelled Australia, ending up in a career in hospitality and then fell into a career in television. I was lucky enough to work on a children’s television show and became the producer of the show. I worked in the TV industry for over ten years.
This job involved travelling to remote Australia performing shows live and also organising all the show’s content. I had to be on stage and be able to commentate, dance and sing (badly) to our children’s album that we produced, and that made sure I lost any form of shyness! I had to liaise with all sorts of celebrities to entice them to be a guest on our show too.
I was instrumental in organising big community events and learned how to coordinate people and shows. These skills that I have acquired can only enhance what I do.
I have learnt to be well organised and to be able to coordinate events and to be calm and happy whilst delivering the highest of standards in all my dealings.
I have worked with many types of personalities in my life. I thoroughly enjoy people and love nothing more than a celebration. I love to entertain and thrive on big get togethers.
What is a Marriage Celebrant? What qualification do you need?
Marriage Celebrants are people who are legally allowed to perform marriages in Australia. Being a Marriage Celebrant is a special and important role in the community. It also attracts serious legal responsibilities. Failure to meet those responsibilities can have serious consequences. There are a number of steps involved in becoming a Commonwealth-registered Marriage Celebrant.
The latest requirement to become a Celebrant is to complete a Certificate IV qualification through a registered training organisation, be assessed as being a fit and proper person by the Registrar of Marriage Celebrants and continue to upgrade their qualifications.
What is the process of getting married?
The process is to find a Celebrant who suits you. It is important that a couple ‘shop around’ to find a Celebrant who suits them. A great Celebrant will listen to what the couple want and be able to work in with them to make them feel relaxed and to create the ceremony that reflects their individual personalities. Once a couple have settled on their chosen Celebrant, then it is a matter of filling in various legal paperwork and developing the ceremony together. There is a rehearsal so that everyone feels at ease and then the big day! A great Celebrant will guide you through these steps easily.
What do you wear to perform the marriage service?
I always ask the couple what they would like me to wear – I am really conscious of the fact that this is their day and I am there to facilitate and engage, but I am not the main attraction. I am often asked to wear my signature pink, but I can easily fit in with quieter colours for a vintage wedding or anything that is asked of me. I am flexible, but I draw the line at a nude wedding!
What service do you provide couples?
I provide supply and lodge all legal documents, telephone and email consultations as required, and a powerful high quality wireless PA system, ensuring everybody can clearly hear the entire ceremony.
I am in the business of taking the stress out of this part of the wedding, so I download your requested music from iTunes and prepare for your ceremony.
I prepare all application forms for the official marriage certificate from Births, Deaths and Marriages and name changes and of course, provide the legally required brochure ‘Happily Ever Before and After’, as well as the ‘keys to living together’ DVD.
I have my own sample booklet providing a clear and simple ceremony structure with different vows, readings, closings and ring exchanges to choose from.
I also make sure my couples receive a professional laser printed Marriage Certificate and a beautifully printed copy of your wedding ceremony. I also give a special gift, and I triple check the Marriage Certificate before it is sent to the couple.
This article was published in issue 29 of Coffs Coast Focus