15 Ways to Make Your Ceremony Unique

If you’re getting married in Tauranga, or elsewhere, there’s always a new and different way for each couple to make their wedding ceremony unique. Location, colours, people and music play a huge part…yet there are many more ways to create a ceremony that is unique to you. Here are a few ideas:
1. Have a man of honour or a best girl
2. Have your guest sit or stand in a circle around you as you are married
3. Write your own vows and keep them a secret from each other until the day4. Have a ring warming. (What’s a ring warming you ask? There are different versions of this, but generally the rings are placed in a small bag and are passed around to each guest prior to the ring exchange. Each guest blesses the rings or says a prayer.)5. Bridesmaids could carry something other than flowers, if flowers aren’t a special object in your life. Perhaps tea cups, candles, or a book, a ceremonial symbol or even a lolly bouquet!

6. Choose a processional / signing of the register / exit song that is very special to both of you.

7. Honour your cultures and life journeys with a reading, prayer, poem or song from your heritage.

8. Ask the celebrant to identify guests subtly or secretly in the message. It might be a nice way of subtly honouring them.

9. Light a candle for those who have passed on and cannot be there at your wedding. A lovely way of honouring loved one.

10. Have grandparents sign the register rather than bridal party

11. Use confetti or bubbles when walking out – makes it feel celebratory and special!

12. Incorporate other ceremonies of meaning into your ceremony – sand ceremony, candle ceremony, holding hands ceremony or dove release ceremony

13. Have a book from your childhood as a reading (i.e. Cinderella by Roald Dahl – lovely story!)

14. Seal your vows with a secret handshake (I’ve seen it done, it was awesome!)

15. Use a special family pen to sign the register

Let your imagination run wild – there are no rules!

Don’t hesitate to get in touch to talk more about your wedding ceremony and how as a celebrant I can help you make your wedding ceremony unique!


How to Choose a Celebrant

It’s a choice that you don’t often find yourself faced with….who shall we choose as a celebrant?

Here are a few tips:

 - Set your date. Firstly, you (generally) have to have a date and location before you choose a celebrant. This can vary, but the main reason is because you can’t ask if someone is available on your wedding day if you don’t know where and when it is!

- Set your location. Some celebrants may travel, but generally you’ll choose one either close to where you live or close to the venue location.

- Ask friends of family for recommendations – sometimes conversation amongst friends and family may lead you to finding a great celebrant – also they know you best so will only suggest a good fit (hopefully). Word of mouth recommendations are often always the best.

- Set your criteria:

Male or female celebrant - do you prefer one or the other or are you not fussed? Make sure you ask your partner too! Sometimes you just ‘assume’ they’ll want the same as you, but don’t ever assume!

Style - does the celebrant have a certain thing they do at every wedding that you’re not in to? Worth asking! What kind of tone / vibe / atmosphere do they bring? Do you think you’ll feel comfortable around them? Does this person ‘fit’ into your wedding? Do you get on with them and generally like them?

Religion - does the celebrant need to represent or have knowledge in certain religions or customs?

Experience - Most celebrants can show you copies of previous ceremonies that they’ve done and/or photos too. This is great for getting an idea at how they like to conduct their ceremonies. A good celebrant should have no shortage of feedback from happy couples

Look - One thing which is often overlooked is do you like the look of the celebrant? You’re going to be photographed a LOT on your wedding, especially when you’re saying your vows and going in for the big kiss. Think of what the face in the background is going to look like!

Cost - According to weddings.co.nz celebrants charge between $350-850 for their services. There are no ‘set’ fees though, so make sure you check with your celebrant! You don’t want a surprise bill. A good celebrant will be upfront with pricing, and have no hidden extras

All the best with your celebrant choosing experience!

Rebecca & David – featured in Magnolia Rouge….

I had the lovely privilege of taking the ceremony for Rebecca and David on Friday 4th January 2013. Their wedding has recently been featured in online wedding magazine Magnolia Rouge. Check them out on page 100 for plenty of inspiration. Not only was their setting and detailing amazing, but they had such a heartfelt and genuine ceremony. Beautiful! It was also lovely to work alongside Greta from Vela Images and Shaye from On My Hand. Both top women I would recommend to anyone getting married!

2012 Top Rated Wedding Vendor!

Congratulations to….me!

This is taken from www.weddingwise.co.nz where I received on of the Top Rated Wedding Vendor awards for 2012.

“This is our most prestigious award which is given to the vendors who stood out in their categories for receiving the highest praise from their customers. These are vendors who have the most number of positive ratings and reviews on WeddingWise. All 2012 VIPmembers receive this award as well as any other vendors who had an exceptional number of great reviews in 2012.”

It feels good to have made so many couples so happy on their wedding day!

To check out some of the reviews click here

Lovely Photographers

Last weekend I had two weddings and I met two lovely photographers – Andrea Mahy and Claire Mossong. I would highly recommend the services of both of these locals. I would also recommend a good friend of mine Jill Andrews (I have also done weddings with her and the pictures were stunning). Tauranga is lucky to have such quality photographers, who are also simply lovely people too :-)

If you’re a couple looking to get married in the Bay of Plenty region then you really should enquire with these photographers first. Check out their websites to see some of their work and also see a few of Andrea’s shots of the wedding ceremony below:

Wild Windy Spring Weddings!

With the unpredictability of this Spring weather, if you’re getting married outside it really pays to have a backup indoor location! Karl and Jevaise, whom I married on last Saturday 8th September had planned their dream wedding at Papamoa Domain. Whilst the day was not rainy, the wind was exceptionally unruly! It was truly crazy weather. Fortunately they had the foresight to have a backup indoor option in their reception venue Bluebiyou. They still had the beautiful beach views and the beachy atmosphere but could relax knowing them and their guests were not going to be blown away by the strong gusts of wind. As a celebrant in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui I witness many who want to make the most of the stunning outdoors that this region boasts, however the weather is the one thing you can’t control on your big day, so make plans for whatever Mother Nature presents you with. Congratulations Karl & Jevaise! You both looked fantastic, your promises to each other were beautiful and I wish you a long and happy life together.

Sound System!

Where possible I would nearly always recommend having a sound system as a part of your wedding ceremony. Not only for the music, but also to ensure that your guests feel a part of what is going on, and they can hear some of the special words being spoken. If you’re getting married outside, things that you cannot control such as the wind can whisk your words away so nobody can hear them! While it is sometimes possible to use the DJ’s sound system for the ceremony, that’s not always an option that works for everyone.

I’m very pleased to be able to let you know that I can now supply a small sound system to all ceremonies – whether indoor or outdoor. It’s a compact wee system that still gives a good sound – with a cordless microphone and ipod / MP3 compatible for any music you want to play. I’m really happy to be able to extend this as a part of my celebrant services in Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and beyond – it is at no extra cost for your cost to you!

Lip Dub Proposal…Wow!

I just watched this video on youtube: Isaac\’s Live Lip-Dub Proposal. You’ve got to watch it! It bought tears to my eyes (a little embarrassing I know) because it just was so lovely that a guy would go to such trouble to express his love to his one and only girl. It was also just so touching to see friends and family supporting and championing the beauty of their relationship. Congratulations Isaac & Amy – wishing you a lovely wedding and happy future together!

Celebrant Action

I’m really grateful to have such lovely people to be a celebrant for! Many have emailed in their celebrant action shots. Here’s some from Sammy & Dan’s wedding by the water at Athenree in February…

The end of the summer weddings…

Well the summer wedding season has come to an end and I would like to say a huge thank you to all the wonderful brides and grooms that allowed me to participate in their ceremony. It was an honour and a privilege to officiate! It was lovely to be a wedding celebrant for old school friends, those new to the area, couples from out of town, younger and older couples and everything in between. I look forward to seeing more photos and hearing how your next chapter of life unfolds.