What is a Celebrant?

So…what the heck is a Celebrant anyways?

Funny you should ask. I refer to myself as a Professional Celebrant and I get asked this question all the time so I thought I would shed some light on it. Here, in the Lower Mainland of BC, many people use the term Marriage Officiant or Marriage Official, and some have used the term Marriage Commissioner even though this title actually belongs to a different group of professionals. As a Celebrant, I have the ability to perform many types of ceremonies, not just weddings.

 “Jayne, can you perform my legal wedding”?                     Wedding Celebrant

A Google search for the definition of Celebrant will lead you to the knowledge that Celebrants need some sort of certification. I have completed a Doctoral program through the University of Metaphysics. I am a Metaphysical Minister and Doctor (PhD). My buddies in Australia take a 12 month long course and yet other Celebrants gain certification from other renowned institutions. The biggest question for you is: “Jayne, can you perform my legal wedding”? I am registered with Vital Statistics of BC and can legally marry you. Other Celebrants can not. If you find that your chosen person is not registered with Vital Stats in Victoria, not all is lost. You can still ask your chosen person to perform the wedding. Just invite me to attend the service for the legal signing of the register and submission of legal documents.

Where did it come from?     Koala Bear

The term Celebrant originated in Australia. Realizing a need for a non-religious ceremony, in 1973 the Australian government began appointing Marriage Celebrants under an amendment to their official marriage act. And so… it has been 40 years, this month since the use of this term, and the appointments of Civil Celebrants, was made official.

“Over thirty years ago the Australian government set up a programme by which private people were appointed as Marriage Celebrants. The idea was that couples who didn’t want to get married at a Registry office and who were either precluded, or didn’t choose to be married by a religious minister, could be married by a legally appointed Marriage Celebrant”.  (Paul Meagher – owner: All Ceremonies in the Wollongong area, Australia).

There is no reason why a Canadian Celebrant would not be able to perform a religious ceremony. Your celebration; your way!

 “….lost rite of passage”

Why have a Celebration?

House Warming PartyAs human beings, we are constantly looking for ways to bring joy into our lives. It’s part of our nature. Having the occasion to come together as loved ones, friends and family is a lost rite of passage. Marking an occasion, setting time aside to honour our paths and sharing those times with others, is a rich and joyous part of our lives and something that we never do enough of.

What can I Celebrate?

Celebrants help to create a customized, personalized ceremony, rather than having to use a standard set of words the government has approved. Celebrations can be custom designed for Wedding, Birthdays, House Blessings, Baby Naming, and Completion of programs, Graduations or Adoption (of a child or even a pet), and any other occasion that comes to mind. Sometimes we need to celebrate those things that stem from more unhappy circumstances like a Celebration of Life for a loved one or a beloved pet, or, even a divorce.

“Death is made life, grief made joy”. (Spectacle: Rockwell, Mau 2006, pg 172).”


My point is, celebration creates joy in our lives even if the circumstances are less than joyous to start with.

If you have questions or you’re ready to book your ceremony, please contact me.


Created by: Rev. Dr. Jayne Gibson

Copyright – All Rights Reserved through the Author

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