What is a Marriage Celebrant?
A celebrant is a person appointed by the Registrar-General to officiate marriages. Without a marriage celebrant, you cannot become legally married.
In New Zealand, it is not compulsory to train and gain the necessary skills. Make sure you feel comfortable with your choice and the celebrant has that “fit” with your special occasion. A celebrant’s fee is separate to the $150 for the two copies of your marriage licence you need to apply for (correct as at June 2018). You then purchase a full certified copy at $33 after the ceremony.
You can now apply for your marriage licences online!
Not only have I been trained by one of the best veteran celebrants in New Zealand (she has performed over 700 weddings alone and not counting her funeral services), but I come with:
- a strong background in the entertainment industry
- multi cultural; mindful and respectful of your ethnic, religious or cultural needs
- relevant life experiences, allowing me to cope with funerals and wedding preparation “on the fly”
- transferrable business skills spanning 26 years (9 years self-employed)
- good intentions in caring for your needs
- have that “can do” pro active attitude
- work well under pressure
- flexible in travelling to your special occasion (have done weddings all over Auckland and Waiheke Island)
- young at heart and great sense of humour (when required)
- very professional and bubbly personality.
What do I include in my services?
- Initial face to face meeting and rehearsal time (at least two appointments).
- Resource materials including samples of any readings, vows etc.
- Preparation and planning of your personalised wedding ceremony including any re-writes.
- Available by phone, skype and email to answer questions, provide support and guidance.
- My travel to and from the venue.
- Attempt to intro in maori, tongan or samoan if required.
- Wedding rehearsal and meetings prior to the big day.
- On the day, I like to arrive approximately 15-30 minutes prior to do final checks and ensure everything is in order.
- Lodgement of your paperwork with the Registrar of Marriages, Births, Deaths and Marriages straight after your ceremony.
- Your Marriage Licence and a copy of your ceremony.
- OPTIONAL EXTRAS: Wedding Arch (themed to match), table and chair for signing, wireless portable PA system
WEDDINGS ON A BUDGET
I will do ceremonies anywhere in Auckland OR if on a tight budget, have a “pop up” wedding at my home, starting from $650 (your marriage licence fee separate, $150 at BDM). Includes: venue for up to 2 hours, decorations, music and my celebrant services.
Registry-type ceremony, $300. Bring your two witnesses, your marriage licences and we’re away! With Registry Office Marriages priced at $240 and without undervaluing my experience, I have a reasonable fee for my services and would love to quote you accurately on what your require. Registry office marriages do not include any initial consultations, just turn up and no planning freedom whatsoever. I can do yours in the privacy of my home wedding venue.
Handy Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are we allowed to write our own vows?
A. The NZ Marriage Act 1955 says that the following words or words to that effect must be spoken – “I PERSON ‘A’ TAKE YOU PERSON ‘B’ to be my lawful wedded husband/wife”. Writing your own Vows can be made personal to you both. As long these words are incorporated somewhere, then you’re fine!
Q. Is a rehearsal necessary?
A. It is not compulsory or crucial but would help calm the nerves, understanding what you are expecting on the day. When it comes to your big day, I will get there approximately 30 minutes early and will assist you and your bridle party into their positions.
Q. Do I have to put down two venues on the marriage application?
A. Yes. When applying you are given two options of venue (in case of bad weather if you’re intending to have your ceremony outside). Ensure you disclose the ‘back-up’ venue as your Plan B due to terrible weather. If you are intending the reception venue to be your ‘back up’ wet weather ceremony venue.
If you’ve changed the venue after your Marriage Licence has been issued, you must advise the Registry Office from which your licence was obtained so you can have it reissued with the new venue before the wedding. I can do this for you and add as a covering letter when I post in the copy of your signed Marriage Licence.
Q. Who collects the Marriage Licence from the BDM office?
A. Either one of the couple collects the Licences, checks that they are correct and then delivers everything to their Celebrant before the Marriage.
At the conclusion of the ceremony you will be handed a signed copy of one of the ‘Copy of Particulars of Marriage’ (BDM 45A) (your copy of the ‘Marriage Licence’). The other copy is returned to the issuing Registrar by your Marriage Celebrant. With this signed document your marriage is legally registered in New Zealand and it enables either the ‘Bride or the Groom’, to take the other’s name.
If you reside outside of New Zealand and want to change your name after being married in New Zealand, you need to obtain a ‘New Zealand Marriage Certificate’. The name of the form is; ‘Request for New Zealand Marriage Certificate and/or Marriage Printout’ (BDM 93M). If you’re wanting to live overseas and wish to change your name, you may want to ask for the above form, when applying for your Marriage Licence.
I am also a graphic designer by trade and specialise in wedding invitations, tablecards and other material you need printed or designed for your day including teardrop flags, signage etc. Please see my Other Services page for details.
Be assured, I am also registered with CANZ (Celebrant Association of New Zealand) with the focus of being ethical in keeping the celebrant industry professional, ongoing upskilling and focussing on my reputation in the community.