People We Love: Charlotte Winkel – Queenstown 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.

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Meet Charlotte Winkel – Your Big Day – Queenstown Wedding Celebrant

Business Name: Your Big Day – Queesntown Wedding Celebrant

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: I’m Charlotte Winkel and I’m a wedding celebrant and wedding blogger based in Queenstown.  Originally from the UK, I moved to Queenstown in 2010 and have since become a NZ resident, bought my first home here and married a kiwi! I became a celebrant whilst Brad and I were planning our own wedding.  We wanted a celebrant who we could relate to, and someone who could help make our ceremony special and personalised.  We found that most celebrants were much older than us and not exactly what we were looking for.  So I decided to register myself, and help other couples get married in Queenstown.  As a celebrant I’m passionate about creating a wedding ceremony that is unique, special and personal for every couple.  Everyone has their own story to tell, and I love to do this in a fun and creative way with lots of personality, local knowledge and professionalism.

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What do you love about your job: I love meeting couples from all over the world and learning about them and their relationship.  This is what helps me to write a ceremony that’s a true reflection of each unique couple.  I like to get creative with a ceremony and challenge some of the wedding traditions.  I also love helping couples write their own wedding vows so they can say what they really want to say to their partner on their wedding day.

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests: I practice yoga daily, ski all winter and ride my mountain bike all the rest of the year.  I love to stay healthy and active but I also enjoy binge watching Netflix with my husband Brad on a rainy day.  We’re big animal lovers and have a friendly border collie, Marley, and a cheeky tabby cat, Floyd.  I also love great food, great wine, and getting together for dinner parties.

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What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew: The legal requirements for you to be married are so minimal – say “I do” and sign on the dotted line.  That’s it.  Everything else is fair game!  There’s so much opportunity to put your own personal stamp on your wedding day.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear: I try to steer away from “trends” and stick to themes and ideas that best represent each couple on their wedding day.  That being said, one wedding reception trend I do love is using bare wooden tables in long rows rather than round tables covered in white table cloths.  This improved seating arrangement is more social, relaxed and organic.  Plus, a few bright beautiful flowers against the dark wood grain of the table is a super effective look.  I’m totally bias though … we did this for our own wedding!

Queenstown marriage celebrant festival elopement

Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple: Heaps! I got an email last December from a couple in Australia who wanted to get married on New Year’s Eve in Queenstown.  I emailed back to let the couple know that I would be at the Rhythm & Alps music festival close to Wanaka for New Years; so, unless they wanted to get married at the festival, I wouldn’t be able to marry them.  Immediately this couple replied, “Oh, can we get married at the festival?” Within three weeks I worked with this couple to arrange their festival tickets, marriage licence, wedding ceremony, vows, photographer, witnesses, the whole works!  For this spontaneous and free spirited couple, a festival elopement was just perfect, and just in time for the new year.

What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding:

  • Consider a wedding planner – always money well spent and there’s options for every budget! Let them do all the hard work, so that you can fully enjoy your big day with friends and family, stress free.
  • Consider an engagement shoot – Being photographed all day on your wedding day is a pretty surreal experience for most couples, we’re just not used to it! An engagement shoot helps build trust and develop a relationship with your photographer.  You’ll become more comfortable and confident in front of the camera which will translate into more amazing photos for your wedding day.  Try it, you’ll thank me after!

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One insider tip/trick to pass on: Lots of couples ask for a short and simple ceremony and then afterwards say that it all went too fast! To make your ceremony more memorable consider personalising your wedding ceremony by writing your own vows, choosing meaningful music, or using props to demonstrate your love and marriage.  These are just a few ideas, there’s heaps more!

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The lady herself: Charlotte Winkel!

If you’re a fan of Charlotte and her vibe and want to get in touch, then here are her links.

Facebook: Your Big Day

Instagram: @yourbigdayqt

Pinterest: Your big day qtown

Twitter: yourbigday_qt

Linkedin: Charlotte- Winkel

Google+: Charlotte Winkel

Website: yourbigday.co.nz

 

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