Congratulations on deciding to get married! What a wonderful thing it is to have found the person who you want to share the rest of your life with. Choosing the right celebrant is also an important decision. It is my speciality to orchestrate unique and heartfelt ceremonies that reflect the rare bond that you and your partner have for each other. I believe that our lives should be celebrated at every opportunity and there is no greater celebration than the marriage of two people in love.
"I've been waiting a long time to find someone exactly like you”
Hello, I am Leila Knowles, a marriage celebrant based on the Northern beaches of Sydney but happy to perform weddings all over Sydney and beyond.
No couple is the same and therefore no wedding should be the same either. If you are looking to plan a ceremony that captures the essence of you as a couple then I’d love to work with you.
Having run my own catering business for 20 years I am no stranger to organising many special occasions, events and celebrations. I can talk to anyone, handle most situations and have an eye for detail. Empathy and calmness are some of my characteristics. I am friendly and welcoming and love stories, so I am interested in hearing about your life as a couple. Becoming a marriage celebrant has been a natural progression for me. I love working with people and feel honoured that I am now qualified to marry couples and be involved in making one of the most special days in their life the best!
I have been married for 22 years to my lovely John and we have two gorgeous kids, Ella and Eddie. Family is very important to me as are my friends. I am a foodie and can think of nothing nicer to sitting down at a table and enjoying good food with friends and family.
SAME SEX MARRIAGE
I will happily perform wedding ceremonies for same sex couples. I was thrilled when on 9th December 2017, the Marriage Act of Australia was changed and now recognises marriage as the union of two people to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life.
WHAT I DO FOR YOU
Produce a unique and personalised ceremony. You can have as much or as little creative imput as you like. I will find out all I need to know about you to make you ceremony completely personal.
We will meet at least twice before the ceremony and have as many phone calls required to plan your wedding day.
We will have an onsite rehearsal
Together we will complete all the paperwork and talk through any questions you may have regarding this. I will complete all the legal paperwork that is sent to the Birth, Death and Marriages and help you apply for your registered marriage certificate.
I will provide a professional sound systems with microphones and arrive 1 hour before the ceremony
I will dress appropriately
FEES & TERMS OF PAYMENT
My fee is $795.00.
This includes everything mentioned in ‘What I do for you – my promise”
An initial non-refundable retainer of $375.00 is required at the time of booking.
This retainer blocks out your chosen wedding date and also covers the lodgement of all legal paperwork, the meeting times conducted, handing over of intellectual property and my time spent with you.
The balance is required a month before the wedding.
There are additional fees for travel time if your ceremony is located out of Sydney.
FORMS REQUIRED FOR MARRIAGE WITHIN AUSTRALIA
Listed in order of preparation
I can provide examples of all relevant forms
1 NOIM – NOTICE OF INTENDED MARRIAGE
This is required to be submitted to your celebrant no earlier than 18 months or no later than one calendar month prior to the date of your ceremony. It contains information that must be supported by documentation and witnessed by your celebrant. It is sent to Births, Deaths and Marriages by your celebrant within 14 days of your ceremony. The documentation required is outlined on the NOIM itself, however:
♥ If you were born in Australia, then your ORIGINAL birth certificates or Australian issued passports are required. If you don’t have access to ID stating your name and place of birth, your options need to be discussed with your celebrant.
♥ If you were born outside of Australia then your overseas passport is required. If this is not available you may provide your birth certificate. If any of these are in a language other than English, a translation must be provided by a NAATI approved translator.
♥ If you were previously married the ORIGINAL copy of your divorce certificate is required. In the circumstances of death, the ORIGINAL death certificate of your partner is required. These need to be sighted by your celebrant at any time prior to the ceremony, and the certificate number is needed to fill out the NOIM.
♥ As well as the above documents, another form of I.D such as a drivers licence or proof of age card must be sighted by your celebrant.
♥ All relevant documents MUST be sighted by your celebrant prior to your wedding ceremony.
2 “HAPPILY EVER…BEFORE AND AFTER”
This is a marriage education pamphlet provided to you by your celebrant when you submit your NOIM.
This form is filled out as close to the day of your ceremony as possible but not on the actual day. It is a declaration of who you are and your legal eligibility to wed. It is sent to Births Deaths and Marriages by your celebrant within 14 days of your ceremony.
4 MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES
There are two Marriage Certificates that are signed as part of your marriage ceremony. One is sent to Births, Deaths and Marriages along with the declaration to register your marriage as legally binding. The second is kept by your marriage celebrant for their records (this one is also known as the Marriage Register). They both must be signed by the Bride and Groom, their witnesses and the marriage celebrant on the day of the Ceremony.
5 DECORATIVE MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE
This is the final Marriage Certificate that is given to you, the couple, on the day of your ceremony. This is for you to keep as a commemoration of the day. It is signed by all those mentioned above but is not considered a legal document. An official (registered) Marriage Certificate must be applied for through Births, Deaths and Marriages after the marriage has been registered. This must be applied for by you and not your celebrant.
Any further information can be found on
From 9 December 2017 the Marriage Act in Australia now recognizes marriage as the union of two people to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life. Fantastic!
Same-sex couples who already married overseas have had their relationships recognised in Australia from midnight on 9 December 2017. Keep in mind this does mean that you cannot have another legal wedding in Australia as you are actually already married in the eyes of the law.
For same-sex couples looking to get married, your first step is completing a Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) with an authorized Celebrant. After the required one calendar month notice period has passed, you are then able to get married.
There is more information on the changes to the Marriage Act to include same-sex couples on the Attorney General’s Department website.
To all same sex couples I would love to talk to you about your wedding day.
Words can’t express how deeply grateful we are that you married us! You were absolutely amazing from the start: so kind; helpful; knowledgeable; and supportive.
You carried out your duties at our wedding ceremony perfectly, from every aspect: the support you gave us; the music and sound; and your wonderful delivery of our ceremony/vows.
Thank you so much, we tremendously appreciate your efforts with our wedding. You made our wedding ceremony run smoothly. It was a truly magical day.
Shelley & Mike - April 2018
Thank you very much for sharing this part of the journey with us. This has been the start of our marriage celebrations with the rest to come in Argentina when we celebrate with our family and friends there. You have made us feel very comfortable and special. Thanks a lot for all your words and support.
Carina & Sebastian - November 2017
We are eternally grateful for your amazing wedding ceremony and effort to make it a complete fairytale. I have to pinch myself to believe it really happened.
Lee & Lorelei - May 2019
Thank you so much for everything you did for us on our wedding day, it was wonderful.
Anna & James - August 2019
Many thanks to you for making our day so special.
Philipa & Chris - November 2018
We just had a small ceremony, and we weren't really sure how we wanted it done. Leila guided us really well and personalized the ceremony so we felt that she really spoke to us individually, and her choice of words were really touching. In fact, half the room teared up. Everyone involved in our wedding has commented to us that the celebrant did a really good job. Thanks again Leila, I'll be sure to recommend you to anyone who is need of a celebrant.
Dave & Dumei - Aughust 2019