How Much Money Can Wedding Celebrants Make?

Jul 18, 2021

If you are considering a career as a wedding celebrant, it is important to understand how much a celebrant earns. Like many self-employed jobs, the earning potential can vary greatly depending on your hourly rate and the number of weddings you are booked for. Here we will look at how much money wedding celebrants can make.

What Does a Wedding Celebrant do?

A wedding celebrant is professionally trained to offer a bespoke, personalised wedding ceremony to suit an individual couple. Often chosen by those who do not want to have a traditional religious or conventional ceremony, a celebrant-led ceremony allows you to personalise your service to exactly fit your wedding day dreams.

However, in the UK celebrants cannot perform legal marriages so the legal paperwork will need to be completed at a registry office prior to the celebrant-led service.

Becoming a Wedding Celebrant

Before thinking about the average earnings of a celebrant, it is important to take the costs of training into consideration. Remember, whatever you spend on your business will give you the credentials and expertise to reap back that money (and more) in the near future.

A five-day residential celebrant training course with the ICPC costs just over £2,500, which includes the five day course, accommodation, meals, and online training materials. Completion of the course also leads to NOCN qualification and one year of ICPC membership.

For those looking for an online course, at ICPC we offer a five-day online course for around £2,000 to include live online training sessions and instant access to all of the pre-recorded online material. Participants also benefit from NOCN qualification, one year’s membership to IPC with indemnity insurance. You will also need to budget for any travel costs associated with training.

Most qualified celebrants choose to invest in a website, marketing materials and the creation of personalised business branding or a logo. This is a worthwhile investment. Almost 80% of business owners with a business website expect to grow around 25% in the next three to five years, compared to 64% of those without a site. The more you put in, the more you get out! But, this does mean paying some upfront costs unless you yourself happen to be an internet wizard.

Average Earnings

In the UK, a celebrant might charge between £100 and £4000 per ceremony. The amount charged is likely to be a reflection on the amount of experience the celebrant has, the service they offer, and how popular they are. A celebrant who is known to offer a wonderful, unique wedding service will likely be in demand and therefore able to charge higher rates.

If you charge £200 per wedding ceremony, and have a wedding booked for every weekend of the year, your annual salary will be around £10,400. The amount earned, and the number of bookings you have, will give you your annual income.

Most celebrants will not be able to immediately charge £4,000 per ceremony. Time is needed to gain experience. Once you have been working for a year or more, you may find that your reputation starts growing, along with demand for your services. At this point, you can consider making changes to your pricing structure.

Celebrants can also diversify to take on more business and therefore earn more money. In addition to weddings, celebrants can conduct funeral ceremonies in place of a religious leader. Some people will also choose to have a celebrant for their child’s naming ceremony. Because celebrants take an official, yet personal, role, it is possible to offer services for celebrations of all kinds.

Factor in Additional Time

Charging thousands to officiate a wedding that lasts an hour or two may seem very high at first glance. However, being a celebrant requires far more than just turning up for the ceremony.

Professional celebrants in the UK will meet the couple beforehand and get to know them over the course of a few hours. A celebrant can help with decisions about the ceremony, including the venue, vows, poems, music or even guest list dilemmas. Celebrants may also offer a ceremony rehearsal the day before the wedding, so that the bride, groom, and guests of honour all feel confident in their roles.

Celebrants should factor in travel time and the cost of fuel or even public transport. Preparing for one wedding can take a celebrant many hours and have hidden costs. It is therefore important that these costs are factored into your pricing structure.

Task: Take a real or fictitious booking you have this year. Using a pen and paper, list all the costs associated with that job. The train tickets, the new outfit, the lunch, the print outs, the hours of preparation… Now add all of this up and deduct the costs from what you would typically charge your client. All of a sudden, you’re left with a lot less money than you anticipated!

Final Thoughts
Becoming a celebrant can be a fulfilling career with the potential to earn a good salary. It is vital to build experience by officiating ceremonies, alongside developing your reputation so that potential clients find and book you for their celebrations.

To find out more about qualifying a celebrant with the International College of Professional Celebrants, email us today at [email protected] or call 033 33 404 434.