How to become a Celebrant

To perform weddings and civil unions, a celebrant must apply to and be registered with the Department of Internal Affairs, Births Deaths and Marriages. For further information on the role of a Civil Union or Marriage Celebrant in New Zealand see:

Marriage and Civil Union Celebrants: A Guide to the Role of Celebrants in New Zealand

For all other ceremony, a celebrant does not require formal registration.

However, a celebrant does require knowledge of how to create ceremony and how to work with people. Understanding the part other people play in the ceremony, one’s legal obligations and limitations is vital. Celebrants need to have a good general knowledge of the workings of the industry. They are required to know its conventions and practices, as well as an understanding of the part played by the other professionals they will work with.

Personal qualities that a celebrant requires are public speaking ability, sound interviewing techniques, a calm reassuring manner, compassion, honesty, commitment, be of good character and have empathy and consideration for other’s needs. These are all important aspects of the role of the celebrant. These qualities allow the celebrant to construct a ceremony reflecting the wishes of the people they are working with.

The Celebrants Association of New Zealand (CANZ) is an excellent starting point for those wishing to enter into celebrancy work. CANZ provides networking, support, education and mentoring through the conferences, workshops, forums, branch meetings, newsletters and a members only website area. We operate within a framework of Code of Ethics and Professional Standards.

CANZ encourages all new celebrants to undertake training. In 2018/19 CANZ will be introducing a Professional Pathways plan for all its members. There are two training schools available in NZ  The Celebrant School and The Celebrants Training College. You may find other training in Australia and online but make sure they take into account what is required in NZ.

If you would like to join CANZ, please fill out our online application form.

For further information on the registration process for marriage and civil union celebrants, contact the Department of Internal Affairs.


Already Registered?

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