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Frequently Asked Questions

Once you've popped the question there are more questions!!

  • How do we apply for a marriage licence?
    In Australia, we don’t get a marriage “licence” like you see on all those American sit-coms. Instead, you must lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) with your celebrant no less than one month and no earlier than 18 months prior to your ceremony date. I can send you the link to fill in yourself, or we can make it really easy and sit down and do it together
  • What are the legally required words that must be said in a wedding ceremony?
    There are two components to your ceremony that must be included in order for you to be legally married. The wording cannot be altered or left out, and it must be audible to your witnesses. As your authorised celebrant, I must say: “My name is Michaela Von der Borch and I am a Registered Celebrant, 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.” Each partner must say to one another: “I call upon the persons here present to witness that I, {insert full name}, take you, {insert partners full name}, to be my lawful wedded wife/husband/spouse”.
  • Can we leave either of those parts out?
    Short answer - No.
  • Can you help us with our vows?
    Of course! I have plenty of resources to give you inspiration for your own personal vows to one another, and am happy to guide you along the way. Many couples choose to keep their vows secret until the big day and send them to me to be printed onto cards that they can keep as a memento. Or perhaps you might like to try “Ninja Vows”, where you write each other’s vows and don’t know what you will have to promise until you are reading them! Alternatively, if you really don’t want to share your personal feelings and thoughts with everyone you know, you can recite just the legal line (see above) and share your personal vows with one another at a later time, perhaps after the reception when the two of you are alone. Whatever floats your boat!
  • Do we have to have a rehearsal?
    That is completely up to you. I have no definitive rule stating you should or shouldn’t have a rehearsal. However, I do find that they can be very beneficial if you have little children involved in your ceremony. As adults, most of us have been to or, at the very least, seen a wedding and have a rough idea of what to expect. Children don’t often have that experience and it can be quite overwhelming for them on the day. A rehearsal gives everyone involved the chance to meet those they will be spending a lot of time with on the big day. Your bridal party might also be wondering how they will know where to walk and stand. A rehearsal can help to calm those nerves, but if you don’t have one, I am very practiced at directing everyone on the day, using simple little hand gestures and signals to make sure they know what to do. (Think of me as your wedding stewardess – your exits are here and here!)
  • Does our rehearsal have to be at our venue?
    Not at all! Some venues might not be able to accommodate your request for a rehearsal time, or it may not be convenient if there is a distance to travel. Your rehearsal can be in your backyard, a local park, or at my home office. As Shakira says - Whenever, Wherever!
  • How soon should we book our rehearsal?
    As soon as you decide you want to have one! This allows me to lock in the time and date to ensure I am available. And it gives fair warning to your bridal party and family too!
  • When do we need to pay our fee?
    Upon confirmation of booking me as your celebrant, you will receive an invoice stating the terms and conditions of your booking and the methods of payment available. The non-refundable booking fee of $100 must be paid within 2 weeks of that confirmation, with the remaining balance due no less than one month prior to the ceremony date.
  • Why do celebrant fees vary so much?
    Despite common belief, celebrants don’t simply turn up for half an hour on the wedding day then go home and count their money. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into the preparation of a ceremony, in order to ensure your wedding is exactly how you imagine and that you end up legally married. But just like our couples, celebrants are all unique and offer different levels of service with many different inclusions and ceremony options. Before booking your celebrant, you should be sure to discuss what is included in your ceremony package. You can find my fees here
  • What If We Need To Change Our Date, Time or Venue?
    I would ask you to inform me immediately if there is any change to your ceremony date, time or venue. If I am still available all fees paid are transferrable, however there may be revisions to the original fee (for example, if there is extra distance to travel). If I am unable to accommodate your change due to another booking, I am happy to refer you to a colleague, but you would forfeit your booking fee.
  • Do you book more than one ceremony in one day?
    While I prefer to conduct only one wedding per day, it is a fact that there are only 52 weeks in the year and most couples prefer weekend weddings. So, there may be occasions when I accept a second booking for a popular date. However, you can rest assured that I allow more than enough time for travel, preparation, set-up, pack-up and even for the bride to be fashionably late! Every couple I work with receives my fullest commitment (no pun intended) and I won’t compromise that in any circumstances. So if I have any doubt about timing, I won’t accept a booking.
  • What happens if you are sick?
    I have a close network of celebrant colleagues that I can call on if for any reason I am unable to be present on your wedding day. They are experienced professionals like myself and we have a mutual trust in one another’s abilities. But believe me when I say that I look forward to your big day almost as much as you do – it is my chance to see all our hard work come to fruition. So, it would take a lot to keep me away (I have been known to perform ceremonies with almost no voice, kidney stones and even just 2 days out of hospital from major surgery). I haven’t missed a ceremony yet and don’t intend to spoil my record!
  • How do I change my name after the ceremony?
    After your ceremony, I submit all the required paperwork to SA Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the marriage to be registered. You are then able to apply for your Official Marriage Certificate, which is to be presented along with your birth certificate and/or other identification at any department that you wish to change your name. Further information is provided upon booking me as your celebrant, and I am happy to provide ongoing assistance after the wedding if you need it.
  • Can we have a friend or relative help perform the ceremony?
    Absolutely! While I like to think that all my couples end up considering me a friend, there is nothing more special than involving your nearest and dearest in your ceremony. You can choose to have family and friends do almost everything or just a little bit – whatever they are happy to do. Of course, there are some elements which an authorised celebrant is required to do, but I am more than happy to have a co-pilot!
  • Are you able to recommend other vendors?
    Definitely. Having been in the wedding industry for many years, I have worked with some great people. Head over to my “Friends” page for more details.
  • That's a lot of questions! Now where do we start?!
    The first step is for us to meet and see if we “click”. I am a firm believer that you both need to be 100% comfortable with the people around you on your big day, and that is hard to decide from a website or even a phone call. So, let’s arrange a meeting where I can get a feel for the type of ceremony you are looking for, and you can learn all about me and the style of wedding I can provide, plus all your ceremony options. Then you are free to go home and chat about how you feel – in fact, I encourage that! If you then decide I’m the celebrant for you, we move ahead with the planning and the fun begins!!!
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