Many couples say they have no idea where to start or even what they want…
So, how do you get the ceremony that is perfect for you?
The following is how I work with each couple.
- Face to face meeting
We begin by meeting in person, or if you are not local to Tauranga, we can easily do this by skype or phone. You tell me about yourselves, your relationship, and your vision for your wedding day, including what you don’t want! As well as me getting to know you a bit as a couple, I explain the general outline of a ceremony, offer suggestions of how we can incorporate people and your ideas into your ceremony, and go over the legal requirements (which are very simple, see my blog on this). On booking you also get two helpful illustrated booklets for easy reference and inspiration.
- Ceremony Design
As I do not have a generic template I use the ideas from our discussion and your answers to some questions I ask you to do together (and I may do some research) to create an original ceremony that captures your essence as a couple. I weave your story, beliefs and values right throughout your ceremony. You will be emailed a draft to read, check, approve or edit so that you get exactly the ceremony you both want and feel totally comfortable with. I am available in person, by phone, skype or email throughout this process.
Your Marriage Vows
To be legally married in New Zealand all you have to say is, “I, AB take you, CD to be my wife/husband” (or words to that effect). However, your personal vows are your lifelong promises to one another and I encourage you to write these yourselves. If this seems daunting . . . relax, I give you comprehensive resources and offer guidance and feedback, as much or as little as you want, to help you with this. Alternatively for couples who wish to use more “traditional” vows I have several contemporary options for you to choose from.
- Final meeting
This is when it all starts to get very real. We usually have this meeting close to your wedding day. As well as an opportunity to personally reconnect, we go over all the relevant details of the day, including checking timings, fine tuning your ceremony if needed, finalising which family or friends are doing what, deciding if you want me to print out any words for you onto cards (eg. your vows) and we talk about social media. If you have your marriage licence and papers I will keep these safely for you – one less thing for you to worry about on the day. Having this relaxed, private meeting means your rehearsal will flow much more smoothly.
This is a fun (yes really!) important part of your ceremony planning. You get a feeling of how it will be on the day – and can get over some of your nervousness and any worries. While none of the ceremony words are spoken, I run through the choreography of the entire ceremony – how you will enter, where everyone will stand throughout the different parts of the ceremony, what happens during the signing, and how you all walk “out” in celebration mode. Hopefully your bridal party, or at least some of them, are able to make this. Your MC, any readers and/or people with special tasks, and your parents are all very welcome. Not only good to calm nerves, but it’s a fun time with everyone bonding before the actual day. If you are unable to hold your rehearsal at your venue, I can easily organise an alternative.
- Wedding Day
This is it! – all that planning and today it all comes together making for one of the best days in your life together. I arrive at least half an hour early to check in with all relevant people (venue manager, close family, MC, readers, musicians, photographer) and check the ceremony set up. Once ‘the boys’ are standing “up the front” I make sure I keep the groom comfortable and relaxed. I can promise you that my experience and friendly manner will enable you both to be calm, relaxed and ‘present in the moment’ . . . so yes, you really will enjoy your ceremony.
I deliver your ceremony in a very warm and sensitive manner (with maybe a little gentle humour thrown in), engaging easily with both you and your guests. I am always excited when you both kiss for the first time as a married couple, and am also aware that everyone else, including your photographer, is pretty keen to see this magic moment too. I am ALWAYS well out of the way for this moment.
You’ve done it. Congratulations!!!
I don’t rush off, but I do leave not long after you have begun celebrating. I always try and seek you two incredibly happy people out to say goodbye and get a great photo with you.
I take care of all the legal requirements so you can party up in whatever style you want. I leave your copy of the Particulars of Marriage with whoever you have designated for this important job and I post the Registrar’s copy back to the issuing office so your marriage will be officially registered within a week to ten days. Rest assured though, that the moment you say those legally required words you are in fact married.
In the following weeks I will post you a bound parchment keepsake copy of your ceremony.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to know more.
I offer a free no-obligation meeting, where we can discuss how I will work with you to achieve a marriage ceremony
that is perfect for you.
To read feedback from my recent couples, please see my Testimonials page.
A high quality battery-powered (go anywhere) sound system, with hands-free mic for celebrant, wireless mic for you and any other speakers, and capability to play your ceremony music is available.