Peter Gourlay Civil Celebrant


I am a professional celebrant and passionate about my work. I specialise in weddings, commitment ceremonies and renewal of vows.

I am authorised by the Commonwealth Attorney-General to conduct wedding ceremonies throughout Australia. While I am Melbourne-based, I am accustomed to travel and happy to do so to meet the needs of couples.

I am a confident public speaker, but more importantly I recognise the need to listen. Afterall, when planning and delivering a ceremony, the focus should be on the couple not me. It’s their day and their ceremony. My role is to work respectfully with them to make it meaningful and memorable.

I am calm, friendly and relaxed; I am practical and have an eye for detail; and my goal is to reassure, guide and remove the stress.

I enjoy the connections and friendships I have established through my work, and I am rewarded by the appreciation and joy expressed by others.

I bring years of experience to my work as a celebrant. I have a background in education and training, human rights and social justice, and have worked in the public, private and community sectors. I am comfortable working in small, intimate gatherings or in front of large halls or stadiums.

I attended The Celebrants Training College and have a Certificate IV in Celebrancy. I am a member of the Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants.

My guarantee to all couples:

  • I will provide my services in a personal, professional and reassuring manner and work with you to ensure your needs and wishes are met.
  • Your ceremony will be my absolute priority. On the day of your ceremony, I will not conduct any other ceremony.
  • I promise to provide a unique and personalised ceremony.
  • I am easy to contact and offer unlimited meetings, phone calls and emails.
  • I will provide an onsite rehearsal prior to the ceremony whenever possible.
  • On the day of the ceremony, I will arrive at least one hour early to ensure everything is as planned.

I believe it is vital that couples feel confident and comfortable with their celebrant. Your choice of celebrant is a big decision. The rapport you establish with your celebrant will make your planning easier, and add so much to your ceremony.

I welcome your questions and I am happy to provide you with information about the wedding process and how I work with couples, the legalities, my fee and available dates.

Feel free to contact me for an initial obligation-free meeting. I am more than happy to meet at your home or mine, or somewhere in between.



Everyone has different expectations, hopes and needs. My aim is to assist couples to ensure their wedding ceremony is just as they want – whether big or small, formal or relaxed, traditional or a bit surprising.  READ MORE...

I offer each a couple a unique, tailored ceremony that reflects their lives and the story of their relationship. No two couples are the same, so each ceremony should be fresh and special.

Personalising the ceremony is a wonderful idea and something that I always aim to do in partnership with each couple. There are so many ways that this can be done, for example, by personalised vows, music, readings, rituals, choice of setting and the participation of family and friends. I have developed a resource kit for the couples I work with to provide practical examples and to make these decisions easier.

Couples can have as much input into the writing and development of the ceremony as they would like. There are obviously a few minimum legal requirements for any wedding, but other than that we are free to develop the ceremony to meet a couple’s preferences and needs. I am very happy to work with all couples on this, and support them in the way they think best.

I offer a realistic set fee. This fee is all-inclusive with no hidden charges, and includes:

  • The preparation of all the legal documentation, including the lodgement of the Notice of Intended Marriage
  • All meetings and unlimited emails and phone calls
  • A resource kit
  • Travel to venues within 50kms of the Melbourne GPO (A small charge per kilometre will be applied to more distant locations)
  • The planning and writing of your personalised ceremony
  • A presentation copy of your written ceremony and marriage certificate as a memento
  • A rehearsal
  • Registration of your marriage
  • A professional PA system where required
  • A table and chairs for the signing of the register
  • And lots of reassurance and support offered with a smile!

Office or registry-style wedding ceremonies

Simple registry-style wedding ceremonies are very popular. Often they involve just the couple and two witnesses. Sometimes the couple wish to elope, or sometimes they choose a small legal wedding because they are planning a larger wedding overseas that will not be a legal Australian wedding.

These short, no-fuss ceremonies can be conducted in my home or yours, or a location of your choice. I offer significant discounts for these smaller ceremonies.



Not everyone is looking for a formal legal wedding. I also specialise in conducting:


Commitment Ceremonies (including Same Sex Commitment Ceremonies)

Commitment Ceremonies are similar to a wedding but are not a legal marriage. They are commonly chosen by couples who are not able or permitted to marry at this time, for example, Commitment Ceremonies are ideal for same sex couples for whom marriage is not possible under Australian law.

Like a legal wedding, Commitment Ceremonies are public declarations of commitment and celebrations of love. They can be designed with you to include many familiar elements of a wedding such as Vows, the Asking, readings, an Exchange of rings and the Declaration of the couple at the end. Or the content can be quite different and created to reflect your special needs and wishes.

Renewal of Vows Ceremonies

A Renewal of Vows ceremony celebrates and affirms a couple’s vows of love and commitment to each other that were made in the past. A Renewal of Vows can be performed at any time. These ceremonies are often conducted when the legal wedding has been performed overseas or away from family and friends. Many couples take the opportunity to affirm and renew their commitment to each other in front of family and friends as part of an anniversary or other significant life event.

Other ceremonies and rituals

Rituals and ceremonies play many important roles for individuals and in the life of our community, for example, they help us:

  • mark transitions (eg graduations)
  • adjust to change (eg retirement)
  • redefine relationships (eg divorce)
  • recognise achievements (eg awards)
  • acknowledge milestones (eg significant birthdays)
  • remember (eg memorials)

As an Authorised Celebrant and experienced MC and facilitator, I am happy to talk with you about creating and designing an appropriate and inspiring ceremony to meet your needs.



If you have any questions, want to check dates or would just like to talk more about the way I work, I am very happy to respond to your enquiry or meet you at your home or mine, or somewhere in between.

To arrange an initial obligation-free meeting please use this form or contact me at:

office: 03 9525 6337
mobile: 0438 220 351