John Carey Marriage Celebrant left
John Carey Marriage Celebrant right

How my service works

My aim is to work with each couple to create a memorable ceremony that reflects them! To achieve this it is important we develop a trust-based relationship and that I understand your reasons for choosing each other, your backgrounds, the values and goals you hold for your future. This helps add the "special" to your ceremony. I make notes and gather the information  needed to ensure that every ceremony is designed to express what it is that you want to say – to each other, to your families and to your friends. This is why I make a commitment to meet as often as is needed to deliver a ceremony that delivers the aspirations of those involved.

This is what Paul & Tracey said  - Our meetings with John were like we had known him for all our lives. He gave us the best preliminary marriage advice, counselling and understanding of what our marriage was to be. I think that his expertise and understanding make him the best celebrant anyone could of asked for!

It is not often you hear how wonderful your celebrant is. At our wedding, we had numerous, friends and family comment on John and his ease and uncanny ability to make everyone feel welcome and seem to know that he had been in our family for years!

Contact me by phone, facebook message or email ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) to see if I am available for the date and time you have selected. If you are comparing my services or price with another celebrant, the most useful advice I can give is to arrange at least one obligation free, face to face meeting with me. If you like what I offer we can arrange further meetings to begin the planning process.


Each couple is unique and I'm happy to answer questions in person, by phone or email but I generally avoid specific quotes when an enquirer is scouting for the cheapest price. My fee and service level is designed to deliver you a memorable occasion. (Check out my personal values statement)

If a meeting is impractical because you live some distance away we can chat on the phone, Facetime, Facebook or via email where you can ask as many questions to assist bring your special day together.


More information on what I won't/can't do is available here


If we are all happy to proceed, arrangements are then made for an initial (*non-refundable) deposit to be paid (usually $75). After the deposit is paid, this locks your ceremony in my diary and I don't take bookings around that time to ensure I have ample to time to allow for any unexpected events. Price guide for a ceremony within 50 kms of the  Kingaroy area is usually around $450 (including travel). Note: an additional fee may be charged for weddings across the following public holiday periods - Easter and Christmas and to locations that are beyond 50 kms.

Refund Policy:

The deposit locks the date in my diary for you and I don't take other bookings for that day/time. Things can happen that weren't anticipated at the time you booked and you have to cancel your ceremony. Please note if you have booked my services for a ceremony during the peak periods (between March and May and September and early December), I will only refund the deposit on the following conditions:

  • 6 months notice of cancellation - If no preliminary meetings have occurred I will refund if ceremony not proceeding at all (not if you change your mind about celebrants)
  • Within 3 -  6 months of the ceremony - no refund. Deposit can be held over to a new date if required. If a replacement booking is secured for that date, deposit will only then be refunded.
  • Less than 3 months - no refund. If a replacement booking is secured for that date, deposit will then be refunded. If deferring ceremony to another date, deposit can be applied to the new date.

For most ceremonies I am happy to come to an arrangement where the fee can be paid in instalments. However it must all be paid one week before the ceremony. If the fee is not paid in full by this time, I will notify you in writing that I will not be solemnizing your ceremony.

For a wedding you will need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM)


  • It must be completed and lodged with the celebrant a minimum of one clear month before the ceremony (i.e. if you give the completed and witnessed notice to your celebrant on January 1, you can get married on February 2 or any date up to 18 months from January 1.
  • You can change the date and time after completing and lodging the NOIM with your marriage celebrant, as long as it doesn’t exceed the minimum and maximum notice periods.You may want to do this in consultation with your celebrant to ensure their availability for the new time and/or date.
  • Can be completed at the first meeting and signed by you and witnessed by me. You can keep it until you have made your decision to have me as your celebrant. If completing it in my absence, the witnesses must be one of the authorised categories listed on the reverse of the NOIM. The day I receive the NOIM triggers the start of the minimum time period.
  • You can download a NOIM here or from the Commonwealth Government Attorney General’s website complete it, and have it witnessed by one of the approved categories of acceptable witnesses listed on the notice
  • If either the bride or groom is not available, for example because he/she is overseas, the notice can be completed and lodged by the other one. The notice must be fully complete before the wedding ceremony can take place.
  • The notice can be scanned and emailed to start the minimum notice period, but the original must be provided to me before the wedding.

Please note

  • a non-refundable deposit (booking fee) is payable when you make the booking in order to secure the date and time. This also covers initial administrative costs.
  • the balance, payable 7 days before the date of the ceremony


My fee covers all ceremony costs, including:

  • All legal documentation required before and after (for weddings)
  • Developing and writing the ceremony and officiating at it
  • Attending a rehearsal (providing the venue is within 50km of Kingaroy - additional travel fees will apply if outside this radius)
  • Travel within a 50km radius of Kingaroy to and from your ceremony venue
  • Use of a high-quality PA system if necessary with battery capacity
  • Other requirements negotiated with the couple


What the fee does not cover:

My fees do not cover the following additional costs. These will be quoted separately:

  • Travel greater than a radius of 50 km from Kingaroy
  • parking or entrance fees required to access the venue
  • assistance with obtaining proof of identity documents, such as birth certificates
  • other official documents that might be required in less than usual circumstance
  • obtaining a registered copy of your marriage certificate (applied for separately after the ceremony)

For this step to be effective, it is ideal that planning starts at least 2 months before the ceremony date, longer if you lead busy lives or arranging your wedding over distance. A marriage ceremony is far more than what trimmings you will apply to venues, menu choices, your attire and the cars! Allow time for the ceremony to capture and reveal the individual and joint contributions you want to express to each other and to your invited guests. This aligns with my preference that the ceremony should reflect and express the depth and breadth of your decision to publicly declare your individual decisions about how your future will look.


I'll gather information from you about what you want for your ceremony, your ideas, wishes, needs and vision. If necessary I can access a wide range of celebrant resources to assist you shape your ceremony.

I will take the information, put it together in draft form, and where possible ahead of our next meeting, email it to you to review and refine. This helps manage our face to face meeting times more effectively.





Together we will refine the ceremony and finalise decisions about the sequence of the ceremony, who is going to participate in the ceremony and how they are going to participate. I will edit the ceremony making sure it flows smoothly and that there are no gaps or awkward moments! We will sign off on the final draft at least 1 week before the ceremony date. You will also purchase/obtain any items required for use in the ceremony.




One week before the ceremony you will make the balance payment and finalise the account, including any extra fees.






Attending a rehearsal is part of my service to you, preferably at the ceremony venue. If for reasons of travel a mock rehearsal can be arranged to assist every member of your wedding party understand how they can best support your special day. Because we have made the decisions beforehand, the rehearsal should flow smoothly with few, if any, last-minute decisions needing to be made. Readers are also encouraged to rehearse and the final position of the signing table will be established. Usually the Declarations on the back of the copy of the Marriage Certificate that is submitted to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages is signed at the rehearsal. If you choose not to have a rehearsal, a separate time will be arranged to complete the declaration.





Day of the ceremony

I usually arrive at the ceremony site up to 30 minutes before the ceremony. This way I can support last-minute activities that are meant to be in place to deliver a memorable ceremony! I will consult with the photographer, musicians, and any others who may be unfamiliar with the venue, need reassurance or a calming word to keep everything moving forward for your arrival. Being relaxed about the sequence of the ceremony assists you deal with the emotion of the day, particularly the moment when you stand before each other and your guests to publicly declare your intentions. This is the time to smile, let tears flow if  they appear and enjoy this moment together!


After the Ceremony

I will pre-arrange with you who I should hand the presentation marriage certificate and a keepsake copy of the ceremony to. Unless we know each other personally prior to you choosing my marriage celebrant services, I usually slip off quietly after you begin your photographs and celebrations. If you want me in a photographs after the ceremony please feel free to ask during our planning, or before I depart.

To assist promote my services, I will ask your permission and arrange with your photographer a copy of 2 photographs – one highlighting my involvement in the ceremony and the other capturing the ceremony atmosphere. I am happy to pay a commercial rate to your photographer for these if required, and I always include professional photographers websites and details alongside their photos on my website.  To arrange, I usually discuss details with your photographer on the day.

For other ceremonies the appropriate certificate and keepsake copy of the ceremony will be provided to you on the day.


For weddings I mail the marriage papers to the Registry Office on the next business day. I have no control over the length of time the Registry Office takes to register a marriage, so please contact them with any post-wedding enquiries. Included in your envelope with the marriage certificate (commemorative copy) will be an application form to send, along with the prescribed fee to Qld Births Deaths and Marriages to arrange the registered copy.




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