On an entirely different note for this blog, a price hike has led me to review my pricing structure for weddings. Victoria’s Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) recently increased the cost of birth, death and marriage certificates by almost 50%. In my opinion, this increase is not just extreme in value, but also very poorly justified. It comes at a terrible time for engaged Victorians dealing with extreme cost of living increases following two years of uncertainty, cancellations and postponements.
My pricing structure change
Since moving to Victoria, I have mostly incorporated the cost of certificates into my fees. However, this is something I cannot control or have any influence over. I have therefore decided that the best course of action is to separate the cost of marriage certificates.
For a small proportion of couples, the official certificate from BDM is not necessary. If neither party is changing their name, there is no particular need to hold legal proof of your marriage. Fluffy Form Fifteen, which you get anyway, is sufficient in this case (there is a description of the difference in this post).
For those couples who do need the official certificate, the most efficient way to obtain it will still be to have your celebrant order it at the time of registration. For my clients, I will simply add the current BDM cost to invoices, and change that charge every time the Registrar increases it.
I have updated my Pricing page to reflect this change.
Until February 2022, getting your marriage certificate in Victoria cost $36.3 plus postage.
Today, getting your marriage certificate in Victoria costs $51.4 plus postage.
Presumably, the next increase will take that cost to $75.61 (though they may generously round that to the nearest decime as they’ve done in the past). And that could happen any time! It only takes the time required for the Registrar to seek feedback and then have some Vogon write a list of reasons why the feedback is invalid.
The Registrar asked Celebrants directly to comment on the proposed change in the name of ‘consultation’. Despite what appears to be almost-universal objection, the Registrar has spent a wad of taxpayer money trying to justify the change by negating all the feedback received.
Provide your feedback
If you would like to read more about the change, follow this link.
If you want to make your voice heard about this change, email email@example.com or contact the minister responsible, Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes. Good luck.