People We Love: Laura Giddey – Wedding Celebrant

All you need is love and … some wisdom from a wedding professional.

Now, I know a lot about weddings, but not everything, so “People We Love”is a series of interviews with wedding professionals, who will share their stories and wedding wisdom.

Meet: Laura Giddey – Wedding Celebrant

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Business Name: Wedding Celebrant – Laura Giddey

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: A few years ago, some close friends of mine got engaged and asked me if I would take their wedding.  It was completely an honour to be asked and so I went about getting my licence to marry them.  Every wedding I’ve done has been special but that first wedding was EXTRA special as they are still good friends of mine, have been big supporters of my business, and it was so beautiful to watch them say their vows. And to choke up as I announced them as husband and wife! Since then I’ve done nearly 100 weddings and I’ve loved every single one.  I get to write a personalised ceremony for each couple and meet them in a really cool time in their life.  I feel very lucky to do this job, and to work with other celebrants and vendors in the industry that are cool, creative, and open minded.

What do you love about your job? What don’t I love!  Obviously I love love, and I love weddings otherwise I probably wouldn’t do this job.  But a couple of specific loves; 1) hanging out with the groom before the ceremony starts and the bride arrives and watching him tear up a bit when she comes in, 2) being able to marry Australian gay couples and celebrate their union when it’s not recognised at home. I also love the dresses and the vows and all the tears.

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What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests?  I house and pet sit so that keeps me moving house every few weeks and making numerous furry friends.  I do some nannying, cleaning, and help in a food truck as other sources of revenue.  I love weird films, documentaries, true crime stories, reading, and podcasts.  And chocolate.

What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? That you can do pretty much anything to celebrate your wedding.  The legal requirements are so few, and any good celebrant will make sure they happen smoothly, so the rest of the day is totally up to you! There are no rules.

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Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? I ask all of my couples if they want to get their wedding rings tattooed on during the ceremony, and if they want an eagle to fly their rings down the aisle.  I see  these things in blogs and would love to tick them off the bucket list.  I love mismatched colours and genders in the bridal party, and both parents walking both people getting married down the aisle.  I don’t want to call anything out that I’m sick of in weddings, so I’ll tactfully say that I would love people to only do things in weddings that are meaningful to them!

Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? One 8 year old ring bearer wept through his uncle’s vows.  A bride said she appreciated how her soon to be husband loved her despite her farts, in her wedding vows.  Another couple wanted to do something memorable and symbolic of the awesome union of them coming together in marriage.  So we did a science experiment called the “elephant’s toothpaste” which foamed in a colourful mess.  You Tube it for more details.

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Elephant’s toothpaste science experiment

 At another wedding we surprised the two witnesses by putting two lollipops under two chairs in the ceremony space before all the guests arrived.  The two lucky people didn’t know they’d be signing the paperwork until we got to that part in the wedding, and I got everyone to look under their chair.

What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? At each decision point, ask yourself if what you’re doing is how you want to celebrate your day, or if you’re being dictated to by your friends, peers, parents, or Pinterest!  Invest in a videographer or just a friend who can set up a video.  The day will pass so quickly and it’s lovely to have a record of the ceremony which will feel like a blur.

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That one time the bride arrived on a donkey!

One insider tip/trick to pass on?  When your wedding starts, ask your celebrant or minister to invite you and your love to take a moment and a deep breath and look each other in the eye, pausing for a few seconds.  Again, the day passes so quickly and it’s nice to rest in the moment and acknowledge what’s happening, before we rush ahead to the next things.  Pausing is ok! You’ve got time!

If you think Laura is awesome and would love to get in contact with her, here’s where you can reach her:

Email:          laura.giddey@gmail.com

Instagram: @celebrantlauragiddey

Facebook: Wedding Celebrant – Laura Giddey

Website: lauragiddey.co.nz

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