Civil marriage celebrants in Australia are registered through the Federal Attorney General’s Department. One of the conditions of this registration is the completion of five hours or OPD (ongoing professional development) training every year. I recently completed a great OPD session through the CCGA professional association, in a room full of celebrants who between the lot of us, would have officiated at thousands of weddings, (and other ceremonies).
To hear the very diverse, often funny and sometimes dramatic experiences of other working celebrants is always inspiring and it is a great way to continually improve our practice. There was the story of the bride who got attacked by a praying mantis in the middle of her ceremony, the ex-husband who turned up to his ex-wife’s wedding brandishing a sawn-off shotgun, and the brides and/or grooms who destroyed their own wedding by rolling-up to their ceremonies drunk as sailors, meaning their celebrant is unable to proceed with the marriage!
Indeed this final story is a good reminder to all prospective brides and grooms (and their witnesses!!!) – A wedding certificate is a legal document, so if you are mentally impaired for any reason you will be unable to sign that document. In other words, if you turn up smashed to your marriage ceremony, you are putting your wedding in jeopardy!
There is a good chance that your marriage ceremony might turn into a non-legal commitment ceremony and you will have to organise and pay for another legal ceremony at a later date – Ouch!