Officiant Of A Wedding

About Us


Founded in 2001, the Celebrant Foundation & Institute (CF&I) is an educational nonprofit headquartered in Montclair, NJ dedicated to educating and certifying personalized ceremony professionals called Life-Cycle Celebrants®. CF&I's college-level, Life-Cycle Celebrant® certification program is taught live, on-line via an interactive format by seasoned Celebrant faculty members. The coursework is offered in several languages and Celebrants hail from countries throughout the world.

Life-Cycle Celebrants® are masterfully trained in the art of ritual and ceremony. They are skilled ceremony officiants who perform and co-create customized ceremonies for weddings, funerals and other life events that reflect the needs, beliefs and values of the people they are honoring. As professionals, Life-Cycle Celebrants® abide by a code of ethics, a nondiscrimination policy, and many become Celebrant Alumni Association Members committed to continually improving their knowledge and skill.

The Celebrant Foundation & Institute believes affirming life's milestones through customized, thoughtful ceremony strengthens the bonds of families, partnerships and communities and deepens the human connection across generations. And, that paying homage and remembering our ancestors are at the very essence of what it means to be human.

Leading research indicates the need for celebrants is on the rise. Recent Pew Studies reveal that a growing number of people aren't connected to a specific religion and many are not religious at all, but still may consider themselves spiritual or secular. Life-Cycle Celebrants® offer an alternative, giving people of all backgrounds, traditions, cultures and faiths the opportunity to create ceremonies that best reflect their beliefs and ideals.

Life-Cycle Celebrants® bridge generations by creating ceremonies that are a genuine expression of the honoree celebrated. Each ceremony is a unique reflection of personal rites of passage, transitions or celebrations. They are empowering testimonies of life that become treasured legacies to be passed down from one generation to the next.

Celebrancy originated in Australia and New Zealand more than 50 years ago and was instituted by the late attorney general Lionel Murphy into the Australian law. Today, celebrants are part of the very fabric of society in that region with the majority of weddings, funerals and family ceremonies being performed by Civil Celebrants. In 2001, philanthropists Gaile and Pat Sarma founded the Celebrant Foundation & Institute in New Jersey as the North American Chapter of the International Federation of Celebrants, which originated in Australia. Our organizations share in an unwavering commitment to promoting the highest standards in the preparation and delivery of personalized ceremony.

The Celebrant movement here in United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia continues to expand and take deeper root internationally as well. Just this year, New Jersey became the first state in the US to include civil wedding celebrants in its Marriage Act. We are working hard towards trailblazing this great civil celebrant law across the US , Canada and Europe, so that all families have greater choice in how they want to honor the milestones in their lives.

Our engaging, online classes are taught by experienced Celebrant Faculty who provide students with a balanced curriculum of ceremonial theory and thorough real-life business practice. Our faculty go above-and-beyond to ensure our students leave the program with a deep understanding of the theory behind ceremony and ritual, while also giving them the hands-on knowledge to be successful professional Celebrants in their communities.

The CF&I support doesn't end when we hand our graduates their diplomas. Our Alumni Association provides additional educational and professional development via an extensive online ceremony library and business resource library including topically relevant webinars and presentation tools. CF&I graduates are also invited to join one of our 37 regional chapter for mentoring, networking, client referrals, and ceremonial idea sharing. These local resources are invaluable in nurturing the continued growth of our Celebrants in field.

The Celebrant Foundation & Institute is proud to have Life-Cycle Celebrants® who are now practicing throughout the world. Our reach is growing for sure, but there is so much more work to do! We are committed to advancing this great Celebrant movement and giving people of all walks of life greater choice in how they want to mark the milestones in their lives.