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jaya bargwanna civil celebrant newcastle hunter valley port stephens nsw

celebrant faqs


Photo: Wild Flower Photography


Have a tickle in your brain? I’m here to scratc​h it. Whether you’re a seasoned wed-guest, a first-timer or somewhere in between, if you’re looking for answers feast your eyes on this goodness. If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for – flick me an email and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

What’s your celebrant style?

If you’ve perused my website you’ll have noticed I’m a little quirky, love solid banter and am a fiend for storytelling. My celebrant style is a spitting image of who I am. I love to create epic love stories, make your nearest and dearest feel involved and most importantly put YOU front and centre. On the day, I will be that calming presence and your hype girl rolled into one well-dressed package. I’ll capture your guests’ attention without stealing the limelight. My style is engaging, fun and just downright lovely.

How long are your wedding ceremonies?

For the party starter, you’re looking at roughly 20-25 minutes. But, in that time I can promise you; no bullsh*t about my own marriage or beliefs, no fluff and no time fillers. Instead, from the moment I start with the pre-ceremony gee-up, you and your pals will experience a rollercoaster of emotion. With guaranteed belly-laughs, a trip down memory lane and a whole lot of ‘awww’ moments, your ceremony is guaranteed to be one of the highlights of your day.

How much does a celebrant cost?

I’m sorry to say, but this one’s a bit of a ‘how long’s a piece of string’ type question. In Newcastle, there’s a huge range of civil celebrants, attracting different types of couples and offering varied types of services. The bottom rung sits around $500-$600, with the higher end sitting well over $2000. Without a celebrant, your wedding is just (an awesome + very expensive) party – so when you’re picking the person to lock down your love, look past the price tag. Your celebrant will literally set the vibe for the entire celebration.

Why do celebrants charge so much?

Let’s start with the Registry option; with the closest registry being in Sydney, mid-week weddings start at around $450. There’s our starting perspective. So, where’s the value in booking a civil celebrant – or, more specifically – why am I worth what I charge? When you book me as your celebrant, you’re getting a whole lot more than a standard ceremony. From our first interaction you’ll see the passion that goes in to curating your ceremony and making sure your hitching goes off without a hitch. From providing unlimited information, vow support, state of the art PA system, collaboration with other vendors and a whole heap more – getting married by yours truly is a whole lot more than 20 minutes on the day.

What does the fee include?

Check out my Weddings and Elopements pages for full inclusions

What are the celebrant qualifications?

Yes, I am a legally authorised Civil Marriage Celebrant, registered with the Attorney General’s Department of the Commonwealth Government. I’m also a proud tribe member of The Celebrant Society - an incredible line-up of like-minded celebrants that share ideas, inspiration and advice. (So really, when you book me, you get the advice of 100s of the top celebrants around Australia – epic, right?!)

How do I choose my celebrant?

There’s a tonne of advice out there on choosing your perfect celebrant. My best advice – go with your gut. Also, I like to have a gin and tonic during meetings – and tonic is good for your gut – so…

But, in all seriousness your celebrant will want to explore your relationship, delve into your quirks and get to know YOU. Make sure you feel comfortable in their presence, that they get you excited about the big day and at the same time put your nerves at ease. I can not stress this enough – make sure your celebrant is your kind of person. Chat to them, catch up with them, pick their brain. If it feels right, go for it. If you’re not vibing them, find someone who suits you.

What paperwork is involved in getting married?

I’m not going to try and re-invent the wheel on this one. Check out the official advice here.

Will my celebrant do the paperwork for me?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s a big fat yes from me. Besides the documents that need signing (which we do together, if possible) I take care of all the paperwork in the background. That way, you guys get to relax and enjoy the fun stuff instead.

What happens if my celebrant is sick on the day?

Four words. FRIENDS.IN.THE.BIZ. As they say, ‘your vibe attracts your tribe’ and I’ve got one helluva celebrant tribe behind me. Do not fret, if I’m sick on the day of your wedding you will still be married according to plan. I’m a planner – I get giddy for organisation and love a good filing system. That means, if the worst was to happen and I needed someone to fill my place on the day EVERYTHING would be there, ready for them. Being part of an incredible community of like-minded celebrants means that there is always someone there to take the reigns and deliver a kick-ass ceremony. You will NEVER be left in the lurch.

What will my celebrant wear?

If you asked me to wear a dinosaur suit, I’d say RAWRsome. Otherwise, I’ll dress to fit in – not to stand out. In your ceremony questionnaires I ask for your dress code, the colour of dresses/florals/suits and then choose my outfit accordingly. Take a squizz at the photos throughout my website (see examples here and here) – this is my kinda style.

Will my celebrant provide a PA system?

I can only answer for myself here and that answer is a BIG FAT YES. And it’s so heavily emphasised because my fancy-pants BOSE S1 PRO and Sennheiser wireless mic offers a BIG PHAT SOUND (if and when required). When you see your videographer jumping for joy at my PA system, you’ll realise your ears are in for a real treat.

Will my celebrant help with vows?

Yes, yes and yes one thousand times over. Vows are one of my passions. Included with all ceremony packages is my ‘VOW TO WOW your lover’ guide and a brainstorming session built into one of our meetings. Check the blog for a little teaser.

Are you inclusive? What’s your stance on same-sex marriage?

It’s 2020 – it makes me sick that people still have to ask this question. LOVE IS LOVE BABY.

Do you include an ‘Acknowledgement of Country’?

While I aim to keep my personal beliefs out of your ceremony – it’s your day, not mine – I definitely recommend considering the inclusion of an Acknowledgement of Country in your ceremony. Take a peek at this article over on Wedshed.

Once I’m married, how do I change my name?

There’s a big, fat blog post coming up on this real soon – stay tuned!