Jennifer Lawrie-Smith, Civil Marriage Celebrant

Located in Central Victoria and on the Bellarine Peninsula

I will help you prepare – and deliver – a wedding ceremony you’ll be proud of and remember for the rest of your life!
Although I’m based in rural Barfold I’m very happy to travel to your Melbourne venue, to Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges Spa Country areas and the picturesque Bellarine Ranges where my husband and I have a beach house.

Meet Jen

Jennifer Lawrie-Smith, Civil Marriage Celebrant (CMC), is a highly qualified and experienced celebrant with an eye for detail and a warm and friendly, relaxed manner. Jen ensures that your needs are understood and she provides all the help you need, regardless of whether your ceremony is small or large, or encompasses the complexities of working with people overseas or of different cultural backgrounds.

Although she specialises in weddings, Jen also delights in naming the children of her couples and is often called on by families when they also need a funeral celebrant. A former critical care nurse, Jen is calm and organised and supports her clients with empathy and confidence.

Life isn’t always serious though and wedding rehearsals are usually lots of fun!

Jen is in demand as one of the best and busiest celebrants. She has amazing presentation skills and a professional manner which comes from many years’ experience and she’ll ensure that you will remember your wedding day for all the right reasons!

Get In Touch

What do people think of me?

Planning a wedding from interstate was not easy! Jen certainly helped us create our perfect day. Everything was easy with Jen and I particularly enjoyed our many email conversations in the lead up to our wedding. Jen was prompt, well-presented and perfectly poised throughout the ceremony. I would not change a thing!
Emma & Nick
The ceremony was perfect Jen! We had so many comments “Best ceremony yet!”, “She made it so personal and funny.” You were so elegantly dressed and matched the bridesmaids perfectly. The rehearsal was great – so much information given – things we would never have thought of! Will be recommending you to everyone!!
Sam & Ben
Jennifer was absolutely fantastic! We could not have asked for more in a celebrant. She was very organised and gave us all the information we needed and more. The rehearsal really helped us and thanks to Jennifer we felt much more prepared for the day. It was great to have one thing we didn’t need to worry about. Thanks so much!
Luke & Donna
Thank-you very much for such a wonderful day! It was certainly everything that we hoped for; everything was perfect. We will look back in the future and always remember it was a fantastic day. You made us feel comfortable at times when our nerves were trying to get the better of us. The ceremony was so beautiful; thank-you for everything.
Carol & Paul
Jen created a fantastic ceremony for us, weaving in personal stories that really made the ceremony ours.
Sasha T
Jen was the perfect celebrant for our marriage. We wanted a hand fasting and a very relaxed service. Jen really listened to us, the wording and underlying emotion reflected perfectly our personalities and she looked so glamorous and professional. We intend to use her services when we hold our daughters naming ceremony.
Tara J
Jen was everything you could ever want from a celebrant. We wanted a simple ceremony but not all the mushy stuff, and Jen was able to accommodate this but still make it an engaging experience for us, our family and our guests. Nothing was too much trouble and we couldn't be more happier with our ceremony and Jen's efforts both on the day and leading up to it. Thanks again Jen xx
Danielle S
We loved the beautifully personalized ceremony Jen put together for us. And her communication and preparation were outstanding. It meant that when we got to the ceremony we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves. Thank you Jen!
Lachlan B
Jen designed the perfect ceremony for us to help make our wedding day that much more intimate and special. Her professionalism, experience and lovely nature ensured the wedding preparation was stress free. We've had many comments how beautiful our ceremony was and we have been happy to refer Jen to everyone.
Fiona G

Frequently Asked Questions

What approved training do you have?

My qualifications and training are well above the required minimum: I have been awarded the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Civil Ceremonies) from Monash University – this is the highest standard of training available. This ensures I completely understand the Marriage Act (1961), have excellent creative writing and presentation skills and am able to integrate elements of other cultures if required. I also complete the annual mandatory ongoing professional development in order to stay up to date with the latest trends and Government regulations. Through presenting at conferences and contributing to various celebrant chat forums I also contribute to the celebrant community and assist less-experienced celebrants hone their craft. (I admit I also learn from those forums!)

Do all celebrants have the same training?

No, some celebrants have done little or no training. The minimum now required is a Certificate IV in Celebrancy (CHC42608). Professional celebrants are still concerned about cheap and poor training leading to reduced standards but you can be certain my training is of the highest calibre and my service is therefore the highest quality.

How many weddings do you do in a weekend?

As a general rule I conduct one or possibly two weddings per day depending on the location. This ensures that you get a high level of attention as I am not rushing around thinking about the next one! I consider myself a busy celebrant and do between 40- 60 weddings per year. This ensures my experience leaves nothing to chance.

How does our ceremony tell our personal story?

I pride myself on crafting a ceremony which is perfect for you. All my ceremonies are written from scratch! I use your personal information to the extent that you want and introduce any readings or other elements appropriately so your guests know why you have included them in your ceremony.

Do you hold a rehearsal with us?

Yes. Sometimes however, weddings are very small and the couple may choose not to hold a rehearsal. When children are involved I take extra care to ensure that they completely understand their roles and have ample time to practise.

How many times do you meet with us?

Usually two or three meetings are required. After the initial meeting most contact is via email until the rehearsal, however you can phone or email me as often as you need to – we work together so you feel completely comfortable with all aspects of planning your ceremony!

Is there a charge for travel?

Sometimes there is a travelling allowance based on the ATO guidelines; this will be discussed with you. Beyond 20kms most celebrants charge an additional fee.

Do you provide a P.A. System?

I have a portable Bose Sound Dock and larger MIPRO system which includes an iPod connection. You don’t have to worry about finding a separate system for your pre-recorded music. Both my systems are battery powered which makes them perfect for use in parks or on the beach. I wear a discrete personal microphone and have an additional hand-held microphone for your readers or singer.

Are there any hidden or additional costs?

No. All costs are explained at the initial meeting so that are no nasty surprises!

What’s New?

The average age of all celebrants is 62 yrs and there are currently 2,076 in Victoria! According to a national survey conducted by our peak body, the Coalition of Celebrants Association [CoCA] in mid-2016, 44% of celebrants are aged 60-69 and 28% are 50-59: there are still more celebrants in their 70’s than their 30’s. 53% of all celebrants were registered between 2003-3010 and 25% between 2010-2014. These results appear to reflect the importance of maturity and experience. Unsurprisingly, 50% of celebrants work in capital cities and 25% in regional cities (such as Bendigo and Geelong) with a further 20% in regional towns. Families therefore have lots of choices!

In 2013 celebrants were required by law to pay an annual registration fee to the Attorney General’s Marriage Law and Celebrants Section [MLCS] which now provides guidance to authorised celebrants. Celebrants who conduct few weddings have found this challenging so many have relinquished their registration. I conduct lots of weddings each year so you can be certain my experience allows me to manage the challenges which confront celebrants! As the former President of CCGA (Monash) Inc. and a member of ACMCV I have a wide network of celebrants with whom to exchange ideas and resources.

Marriage-Equality-Logo-200x200-Transparent

Celebrants displaying the rainbow rings welcome the GLBTIQ community.

ACMCV

The Association of Civil Marriage Celebrants of Victoria, Incorporated