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Your Celebrant is Dally Messenger III
+61 411 717 303
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On the College of Celebrancy
Melbourne CBD, Richmond, Kew, East Melbourne, Port Melbourne, South Melbourne
Qualifications and Experience
I have three undergraduate degrees in education and the humanities
and post graduate Diploma in Librarianship. I have a Graduate Diploma in Celebrancy from the International College of Celebrancy.
I have been a Civil Marriage Celebrant since 1974 and a Civil Funeral Celebrant since 1975. I have also created with my clients a whole range of other ceremonies such as Adolescence, Opening of a Business, Gay Commitment.
Graduate Diploma of Celebrancy (International College of Celebrancy)
Librarianship: Post Graduate Diploma (Melbourne Uni)
Licentiate: College of Teachers (London)
MA Prelim (La Trobe and Monash Universities: Melbourne)
Bachelor of Theology (Sydney)
Foundation Secretary: Association of Civil Marriage Celebrants of Australia (1974)
Foundation President: Funeral Celebrants Association of Australia. (1977)
Foundation President and Life Member: Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants. (1995)
Member: International College of Celebrancy Alumni and Friends (1995)
I Provide the Following Ceremonies:
Renewal of Vows
Adolescent Rites of Passage
Other Rituals and Celebrations
My current role is as Principal of the International College of Celebrancy. My contributions to Civil Celebrancy revolve around my authorship and chief editorship of the ceremony resource book “Ceremonies and Celebrations” (Hachette Livre - Sydney 1998), now in its fourth edition, third printing.
from The Little Prince by Antoine de Sainte Exupery.
“What is a rite?” asked the Little Prince.
“Those also are actions too often neglected,” said the fox.
They are what make one day different from other days,
one hour from other hours.”
My Attitude To Ceremony
I have tried since I became a celebrant to hold to, and develop, the original ideals of Lionel Murphy’s commission to the civil celebrant. Each marriage ceremony should be unique to each couple. (In over 5000 weddings I can honestly say I have never delivered two ceremonies which are the same.)
The substance of the ceremony, and especially the vows, should be totally authentic for the couple. The celebrant should be educated in his role. The celebrant should provide the very best guidance, advice, and, most of all, sufficient resources so that they can create (or co-create) a ceremony the memory of which will give them a strengthening memory and lifelong satisfaction.
The celebrant should advise his clients of the offence given to guests when ceremonies are too short (and dry). (When we were first appointed the public was appalled at the 2 minute ceremonies then delivered by the Registry offices – things are different now !) .
Kaizen, Ceremony and Personalisation
Like all graduates of the International College of Celebrancy I attempt to live by the principle of Kaizen – namely, that every ceremony I deliver is a little bit better than the last one. I have observed, and I believe, that what makes Australian Civil Celebrant ceremonies the very best in the world is our techniques of personalization – e.g. the story of the couple’s personal journey, personalized vows, personally chosen and introduced poetry, music, and symbols.
I keep in mind that my prime constituency are persons without religious affiliation – secular people. This does not mean that my clientele is not spiritual. On the contrary – in my clients I constantly observe a wonderful secular spirituality – the best ideals, moral principles, dedication to goodness, and devotion to relationships – which is inferior to none.
A lot more could be said - but you get the drift.
Fees and Value:
Celebrancy is one area of life you really get what you pay for. I am not talking about myself here – nothing personal – but the best investment for your wedding or any other ceremony - should be in the celebrant and the ceremony. The one area in which you should not try to “save”.
(plus travel for long distances). Includes Mipro PA system and operator who also assists in other ways. (usually a fellow celebrant). The fee includes resources – assistance – and an on-site rehearsal ( a must for most weddings).
Please get one thing straight. There is no such thing as a short cut to a good funeral. I cling to the idealistic notion that a worthy life cannot be dismissed by a one-size-fits-all funeral done quite often in a few minutes. I also believe that the funeral ceremony is the most important part of the funeral. I also want to make it clear that I believe that $180 (the fixed fee of the funeral directors (they control the fees because people go to them first) in most states of Australia is sheer exploitation.
Funeral Fees: Victoria
In Victoria the Funeral Directors' fixed ceiling fee hovers at about $440. There are some wonderful Funeral Celebrants who do a very good job for this small fee i.e. the Funeral Directors’ decided fee. See Diane Storey, Lynnette Olsen DipFC (Vic), Trish Bainbridge DipFC (Vic), Lesley Bawden (Vic), Peter Downie (ACT), Genevieve Messenger BA DipMC (Vic), Remi Messenger DipFC (Vic), Yvonne Werner DipFC (Vic), Victoria Spence (NSW)
I usually spend between 30 - 40 hours, I can’t remember the last time I spent less than 20 hours preparing a Funeral ceremony. Eulogy, appropriate readings, symbols and photos, and music - all take care, preparation time and checking back to make sure it is right. In my opinion the only fair way to pay a Funeral Celebrant is by an hourly rate.
My fee is $190 hour. ($1900 to $3800 or more per Funeral - ball park figure).
For State Funerals or equivalent $400 per hour.
Naming Ceremonies - Usually $440 - unless more demands than usual on time are made.