Australia’s largest associationof professional Celebrants

The Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants Inc. (AFCC) is the largest national association of professional Celebrants in Australia with almost 2,000 members. We provide representation, networking and learning across all aspects of celebrancy.

AFCC members will professionally create and conduct a range of ceremonies including marriages, funerals, commitment ceremonies, renewal of vows, baby namings as well as a range of many other important occasions and life events. Learn more about ceremonies below.

The AFCC offers a range of opportunities and encourages all members to maintain the essential qualities of professional celebrancy which are:

  • helpful service
  • privacy and confidentiality
  • cultural awareness
  • choice of ceremony
  • appropriateness
  • dignity and professionalism

The AFCC provides Ongoing Professional Development opportunities right around the country to its members, including OPD at the AFCC National Annual Conference subject to Attorney-General’s Department approval.

The AFCC strives to provide networking opportunities to members via the State and Territories Liaision Officers. AFCC members receive significant price privileges.

Members of the AFCC have opportunities to work with like-minded professionals, with access to an online discussion forum covering a vibrant range of relevant topics.  Click here to learn more about our benefits of membership.

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Meetthe AFCC Committee

Anthony Burke

President, Professional Relationships Manager & Website Manager

Irene Harrington

Vice President, Celebrations Editor & Funerals Manager

Stacey Maguire

Secretary and Communications Manager

Susan Cade

Treasurer & Website Assistant

Alison Burrell

State Liaison Manager

Julie Chesson

Marketing Manager

Gillian Potter

Education Manager

Rhonda McIver

Membership Manager

Kathy Pynsent

OPD and Education Manager

Brian Richardson

Governance Manager

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AFCC celebrants are available to perform a range of ceremonies including marriage, funerals, naming, commitment and other special occasions. Learn more about different types of ceremonies here.

Choosing to have a civil marriage ceremony opens the door to a myriad of choices for a bride and groom. A professional marriage Celebrant will explain which aspects of the ceremony need to meet the legal obligations under the Marriage Act 1961, including certain words which must be stated by both the couple and celebrant. The remainder of the ceremony is limited only by the happy couple’s imagination, including the date, time, place, words, music and the style of desired ceremony. The ceremony can include poems, readings, special rituals and/or cultural symbols. The bride and groom may also choose to include family and friends to participate. Most ceremonies last for 20-30 minutes but this can vary.

There are many options when deciding on the venue for the ceremony and many couples select a wedding venue that has special significance for them. Some venues may require a letter of permission or a permit and parks may need to be booked with the local authorities. If your wedding is to be held outdoors, your Celebrant will discuss with you the importance of having an alternative venue lined up in case of bad weather.

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An AFCC funeral celebrant offers a family an alternative to a traditional religious funeral ceremony conducted by a clergy. As difficult as it can be to discuss death, grief and funerals, a Celebrant will help to create a ceremony that best reflects a life; to remember the person who has died and enable family and friends to say goodbye in a meaningful way.

Funeral Celebrants will work closely with the family to help compose a personalised ceremony, with words and music, and can guide the family on involvement and participation in the ceremony. Working together helps to make the ceremony a healing part of the grieving process for all involved, and Celebrants take many hours in preparation for a funeral.

Many AFCC members have completed professionally run courses in funeral Celebrancy. While some funeral Celebrants are also registered marriage Celebrants, some have chosen to dedicate themselves to conducting only funerals.

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A naming ceremony is a secular or non-religious ceremony that is an increasingly popular way to welcome a new child into the family. While not to be considered a Christening or a Baptism, it is gaining in popularity due to its focus on the child and the family unit.

Naming ceremonies can be held at any time and the age of the child or person being named is not relevant. Some parents prefer to have them soon after the child’s birth, while others wait until the child’s first birthday. Alternatively, older children in the family can be recognised and celebrated at the same time and, in fact, an adult can also be ‘named’.

Naming ceremonies can include godparents, mentors, guardians or other special people. Guests and family members can be involved in the ceremony and your celebrant will have many ideas including suitable readings and symbolism to create a special welcome to your precious addition.

Sometimes Celebrants are asked to perform a combined marriage and naming ceremony. In this instance, the naming component generally follows the marriage ceremony, and your celebrant will be able to guide you about how this can be done.

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Couples renew their marriage vows for different reasons. For some, it’s simply a great opportunity to declare their continuing love to each other and their family and friends. Some choose to commemorate a wedding anniversary milestone. In some cases, couples have been married overseas or interstate and want to have a second celebration with their family and friends. Whatever the reason, your Celebrant can help you craft the ceremony that best reflects you as a couple.

Some couples choose to re-enact their wedding day as closely as possible, others see it as an opportunity to organise something completely different, that signifies where they are as a couple today. Your Celebrant will guide you through the technicalities as certain words or phrases in a marriage ceremony need to be omitted from the renewal of vows for legal reasons. A renewal of vows ceremony can be very formal or very relaxed, but most importantly, it is an affirmation of continuing love and commitment to each other.

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While marriages between couples other than a man and a woman are not legally recognised in Australia, a commitment ceremony is an alternative way for each partner to commit himself/herself to the other. Commitment ceremonies generally have a similar format to marriage ceremonies, with partners expressing their love and loyalty to each other through mutual promises and affirmations.

An AFCC Celebrant can help structure a personalised ceremony to ensure that couples who wish to formalise their union, but cannot do so legally, are still afforded a fittingly beautiful occasion to declare their love and commitment between a couple.

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There are a number of other ceremonies that are becoming more and more popular in Australia. These include:

  • Entry into Adolescence
  • Coming of Age Ceremonies
  • Significant Birthdays
  • Significant Anniversaries
  • Citizenship Ceremony
  • Graduations
  • Business Celebrations
  • Boat Naming Ceremony

Booking an AFCC Celebrant for your special celebration, will ensure that any ceremony or celebration has a highly professional touch. Your Celebrant will be friendly, engaging and will bring a warm and relaxed manner to the delivery of your special occasion. They will listen to your ideas as a basis for creating the style of ceremony required, with helpful suggestions for music, readings, rituals and poetry to enhance and personalise the ceremony and complement your chosen setting.

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