STEPPING BACK: Celebrant Adela Howe of Grafton is leaving marriages to the younger generation and looking forward to time with her grandchildren. Photo: Adam Hourigan
STEPPING BACK: Celebrant Adela Howe of Grafton is leaving marriages to the younger generation and looking forward to time with her grandchildren. Photo: Adam Hourigan Adam Hourigan

Fees hike takes shine off love for work

MARRIAGE celebrant Adela Howe has helped more than 800 couples tie the knot over 18 years, but she has decided now is the time to ease into retirement.

A mix of family pressures, changes to regulations and increasing costs has taken the gloss off the role for Mrs Howe and she is now looking to concentrate on naming ceremonies and vow renewals.

"I loved what I was doing," she said.

"If anyone had told me I would be tired of it, I would have told them they were joking.

"But the time has come for me to leave it to the younger ones.

"Their wedding is a day where people deserve to get the best from you, so if you feel are not doing that, it's time for you to move on."

Mrs Howe said Federal Government changes to the regulations for marriage celebrants on July 1 had been the tipping point for her.

"The Attorney-General's in charge, the costs will go up and I don't like the changes," she said.

Mrs Howe said being a marriage celebrant was a good move for people reaching retirement age.

"It's going to be harder to get into now, but it really suits active, older people," she said.

"You also have to be good on the internet now when you start out.

"It's not something I've ever been interested in. When I started in 1995 it was all word of mouth.

"It really worked out well for me. In my heyday I was doing more than 100 a year."

Mrs Howe said word of mouth had crossed generations and she had married daughters of women she married early in her career.

"I still get a lot of requests, but I've decided to move on and just do naming ceremonies and vow renewals.

"I don't want to miss out on doing things with my grandkids."

NEW CHARGES

After July 1 the new fees are:

  • An application fee of $600 to become a new celebrant
  • An annual registration charge of $240 for all new and continuing celebrants
  • A non-refundable processing fee of $30 for seeking an exemption from OPD, the application fee or annual registration charges


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