End of the Stronger Relationships Trial



Celebrants have a legal requirement to advise a marrying couple of details of information and services available to them to enhance, and sustain them throughout, their relationship.” (Marriage Regulations 1963 – Regulation 37L 6b).

A Government initiative to help strengthen relationships, and reduce the divorce rate, was the Stronger Relationships trial.  In summary, the Trial:

  • commenced on 1 July 2014 for a trial period of 12 months;
  • offered a $200.00 subsidy for relationship education and counselling to eligible couples; and
  • was open to all couples who were over the age of 18 years and in a committed relationship.

A media release issued on 1 February 2015 by the Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison, advises that due to the trial being undersubscribed, the trial will end on Monday 9 February 2015.

What does this mean for marrying couples?

If you haven’t already signed up for this Trial, and want to participate, you must register before Monday 9 February 2015.  You can do this at: www.dss.gov.au/strongerrelationships.

If you have signed up for the Trial, you have until June 2015 to use the services offered.

You can read the media release here at: http://scottmorrison.dss.gov.au/media-releases/extra-17-million-for-frontline-social-services-as-stronger-relationships-trial-ends

Choosing Your Celebrant

So you’ve booked the date, bought the dress, organised the reception venue, invitations are ready to be sent, flowers are ordered, the cake selection made … but what about the celebrant?

While the celebrations for your big day are important and can take a lot of organising, the key part of getting married is the legal ceremony – and for that you need an authorised celebrant.

But what should you be looking for in a celebrant?  The following are some points that have come up in my conversations with marrying couples:

?  It is important to book your celebrant early – just like popular venues, celebrants can booked well over 12 months in advance.

?  Your rapport with the celebrant is essential – someone who listens to you, understands what you are looking for in your ceremony, and who will work with you to provide a personal ceremony that is just right for you.

?  Check out websites of celebrants – do they have the ‘vibe’ you are looking for?

?  Meet with more than one celebrant – this helps to know which celebrant may suit your needs best.  If you cannot meet in person, have a telephone or Skype conversation with them.

?  Are you looking for a fun and lively celebrant, a formal celebrant, someone who specialises in spiritual themes or specific rituals, or is it their ‘look’ that is important to you?

?  Are you having a themed wedding – do you need your celebrant to dress up for this?

?  Consider what is included in their price – and what cost is involved for any add-ons such as travel to your ceremony location.

?  What types of information will they provide you with to help prepare for your ceremony?

?  Will your celebrant guide you, take control or leave it all up to you?

In selecting a celebrant, you want to know that they will listen to what you are looking for in a ceremony, advise you on options to meet your requirements, and then provide you with a ceremony that is meaningful to you.  This is a very special day for you and you need to be sure that your celebrant understands, and can adapt to, your needs.

Not sure where to start?  To find an authorised celebrant within Australia, visit: http://www.ag.gov.au/FamiliesAndMarriage/Marriage/Findamarriagecelebrant/Pages/default.aspx


  • Our written ceremony was perfect – it was clear that Rosemary understood what we wanted and delivered. On the day, the ceremony was above and beyond what we expected. We would definitely recommend Rosemary’s services to other couples planning their wedding.

    K and B

  • Rosemary was a friendly, helpful, thoughtful and professional celebrant who helped us create a ceremony that was perfectly suited to us. She was helpful throughout the whole process of planning and went over and above at the rehearsal and ceremony to make sure everything went smoothly.


  • Rosemary is a very calm, personable and professional celebrant. She helped us continuously in the lead-up to our outdoor wedding, ensuring our ceremony was wonderfully smooth. Of the many highlights of our wedding day, the ceremony was definitely one of them!

    Jaime and Nigel

  • For us, the ceremony was the most important aspect of our day and Rosemary helped us to find the right words to express our love and commitment to each other. Many people commented on how moving they found the ceremony and how well it reflected us as both individuals and as a couple. We would highly recommend Rosemary to anyone seeking a celebrant sensitive to and able to respond to the clients requirements.

    Karen and Grant

  • We’ve had great feedback about how lovely our ceremony was. Thank you for making this memorable not only for us but for our families and friends as well.

    Ruby and Mike

  • We really appreciated the work that you put into making the service just right for us – a great way to start our life together as husband and wife.

    Mark and Anna

  • Thanks for making our day so special for us. The ceremony was absolutely what we wanted and meant so much to us.

    Sandra and Terry

  • Rosemary was always very friendly and most helpful in providing suggestions. We were very happy and everyone commented on how wonderful the ceremony was.

    Laura and Tim