All you need is love and … love and fun and celebration.
This wedding season 2016/2017 is officially over for me. It’s been my biggest yet, with over 25 weddings performed, and I have absolutely loved every moment of it. Well, what’s not to love, I get to be right in the thick of a whole lotta love, and people pay me for it, crazy, I know.
My wedding season, here in Dunedin, pretty much runs from September to May, because not a lot of people down here choose winter weddings. This season has seen my marry 4 different Sarah’s, one Angela (in fact every year I’ve married an Angela, which is crazy, and I even have one lined up for next season) and one friend, and second brother from the same family.
I have married couples in their favourite restaurants (at least they knew the food was going to be outstanding) and in their living rooms. I have performed weddings in gardens, in beautiful chapels, in tiny little churches in tiny little places with magnificent views, and on beaches. I have wed couples on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and even Wednesdays. There have been morning weddings and late afternoon weddings, and even a surprise wedding, where the guests didn’t know there was going to be a wedding. There were weddings with 200 guests and weddings with only 10. I have had brides arrive by tractor, and a groom land in a helicopter. I have had brides be late, early and right on time. I have had some of the cutest ring bearers and flower girls you could imagine.
I have worked with some amazing suppliers who have toiled tirelessly to make sure that a couple’s dreams and ideas will come to life and exceed their expectations, and have been gracious enough to share their work with me.
I have offered advice on everything from dress choices to photographers, to time lines to invitations to florists, and of course wedding ceremonies.
Every single wedding is different, because every single couple and love story is different, I have married couples who met at Intermediate School, and other couples who met on Social Media. I have married couples who have been together for a short time, and others who have been together for 18 years. Every single wedding makes my heart sing, because every single bride and groom are being brave enough to put their hearts on the line, and share what it means to love and be loved, and you can’t really get better than that.
Yes there have been moments when things didn’t go according to plan, little people didn’t want to play ball, or some-one forgot to use the fancy thingy the bride bought especially, but you know what, no-one cared, because everyone was too swept up in the love filled moments which were happening all around them.
I can’t think of another job that exists where everyone’s happy. Maybe not a the rehearsal, generally brides are overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done, and can be a little stressed, but that smile on a bride’s face when she walks down the aisle is absolutely priceless.
I can’t wait until September when I get to do this amazing job all over again.
I’ve decided that I’m a professional celebrater! Is that actually a thing, I’m not entirely sure, but I know I’m a professional celebrant, and yes I officiate weddings, where two people share their love story and commit to loving each other forever, and then generally celebrate the bejezzus out of the occasion by bringing together their favourite people and kicking up their heels. So I essentially help people celebrate one of the biggest days of their lives.
Yes there are a lot of different big occasions that people celebrate, weddings, birthdays, Christmas, Easter to name a few on the calendar. But why do we wait to celebrate just these occasions? What about the fact that it’s Friday, and so take the kids down to the local cafe, and “hot chocolates, all round!” why not celebrate ‘hump day’ by having Fish and Chips for dinner, or celebrate the fact that it’s May 3 by getting out the fine china and having an afternoon tea party?
Life can whizz past us so quickly, and I swear the older we get the faster it seems to go, and throw in kids, jobs, after school activities, play dates etc and the weeks can fly by before you know it. It can seem so easy to just put your head down and just ‘get’ through the day/week/year, and then relax on the weekend, and do it all again the next week, and before you know it the kids are leaving home and you’re wondering where those 18 years went. Why not bring some surprise and magic and naughtiness and spontaneity to your day/week/year by remembering to have more fun. Life is so serious, but does it have to be all the time? Hells No!
Why are we only saving the celebrations in our life for big events? Weddings, big birthdays, graduations? Why aren’t we celebrating the people in our lives more often, instead of when they die? Why not get your girlfriends together one Saturday morning a month and have a brunch date? Why not grab the mates once a month and have a few beersies down at the pub? We should be celebrating and acknowledging the people in our lives on a regular basis, because it will make you feel great, and make the other person feel amazing too. Where’s the harm in that?
Why do we only celebrate the dates we’re told to celebrate, birthdays, weddings etc? Why don’t we celebrate the day we moved into our first home together, or when we bought that new car? Yes, you may be looking at me a bit sideways now, thinking this lady is a nutbar, but is there anything wrong with creating our own traditions and rituals and customs, as well as celebrating the more well known ones that society tells us to celebrate, why not create some of your own?
If you really want to fully embrace the idea of celebrating, then there are a multitude of things that you can celebrate, take a look at days of the year who have a huge list of reasons to celebrate each day of the year. It’s also a good idea to come up with some of your own, things that are important to you and your family. Ask the kids what things they want to celebrate, and how. You may be surprised by what they think are reasons to celebrate. They don’t have to be elaborate or cost millions of dollars, one family I know choose every Wednesday night dinner to have a different accent to accompany dinner, so if it’s Italian night, everyone has to speak in an Italian accent, huge fun, and doesn’t cost a thing. Or choose a different day each week to add a wee note into one family member’s lunch box, once again free!
Let’s face it life can sometimes be monotonous and boring, but wouldn’t you rather look back on your life and think about all the fun you had?
All you need is love and … a ‘all you need is love’ t-shirt.
Help me spread the message that I live by. I have teamed up with the very clever Peg and Pencil Design Studio to come up with a very exciting project.
These gorgeous T-shirts are now for sale for a limited period. Black, because everything is better in black, with white lettering “all you need is love” on the front, and “🖤 to the max” on the right sleeve.
$35 NZD each which includes $1 donation to the NZ Heart Foundation (because hearts are fairly important) and postage anywhere in NZ.
Check out below for sizing.
MAPLE TEE – 4001
Mid weight, 180 GSM, 28-singles
100% combed cotton (marles 15% polyester)
Neck ribbing, side seamed, shoulder to shoulder tape, double needle hems, preshrunk to minimise shrinkage
Pre-sales are for 2 weeks and then delivery up to 2 weeks after that.
This past weekend I was sick, and not the pretty girl kind of sick, but the horrendous ‘wish I was dead’ kind of sick, you know the one, like the hangover but without the fun times before hand. So my darling husband had to take care of me, and by take care of me I mean clean out ‘the bucket’ and it got me to thinking ‘if this ain’t love then I don’t know what is”.
Now I’m a Disney/rom-com kinda girl, and love a good happily ever after story with the best of them, but I think love is so much more than the extravagant flowers and choccies and love hearts that are portrayed in those movies, so I came up with a list of things that I think love is.
A cup of tea in bed
Saying ‘thank you, I appreciate the job you do”
Knowing your coffee order
Eating the tomatoes off your plate at the cafe, because they know you don’t like them, before you have to ask
Facing the world together
Knowing they have your back
Agreeing to disagree
Pushing you forward, when they can see your potential, even when you can’t
Standing back sometimes to let you shine
Kissing you first thing in the morning, even when you have morning breath
Cold feet on warm legs in bed
Putting the heat pump on before you get up in the morning
Preparing a meal for you
Knowing when you need to be big spoon, and when you need to be little spoon
Making sure you have clean clothes for work the next day
Getting up each morning in the freezing cold to go to a job to support their family
Rolling eyes with you over the heads of your mini army you have both created, when you really want to laugh but can’t
Having secret code words
Saying ‘Yip, I agree there is a problem, let’s sort it out’
Taking the screaming baby from your outstretched arms the minute they walk in the door from work, and you not needing to say a word
Showing up, always
Choosing love, over and over again
Giving up the right to be right, sometimes
Knowing that a family is not always blood, but loving everyone as though they are anyway
Wanting you to be happy
Questioning you and holding you to account when the need arises
Those 4am conversations
“What can I do to help?”
Letting you be yourself
Hard work, but so worth it
Holding your hair, rubbing your back and telling you ‘it will all be ok’
Loving you when you aren’t being very lovable
Being open-minded and able to change your mind/opinion
Being your ‘soft place’ in the hard world
Seeing you at your worst and still choosing you
Being your constant cheerleader
Knowing when you need space and quiet
Knowing the difference between laughing with you and laughing at you
Eating salad and pretending to enjoy it, when you really want a steak
Picking you up when you don’t think you can
Admitting when you don’t know
Wanting to share a future with you
Knowing that everyone has a past, accepting it and moving on
Sitting together in silence and being quite content
Loving all of you, the quiet, the loud, the crazy
Standing together, looking at the beautiful sleeping little person you’ve made, and smiling
Of course there is a miles and mile of others to add to the list, and we should not forget there are also all the big things, like love hearts, and fireworks and that feeling you get in your tummy when they’re around, but I believe that love is found in all the little things too.
Ok, so you’ve locked in your dream celebrant. They’re organised, down to earth, a wealth of ideas, and get your vibe. Yay for you, now how are you going to get the best out of your celebrant. Getting the best out of your celebrant, doesn’t mean they’ll be doing your dishes for the next 6 months. But it does mean that doing and remembering a few key ideas will ensure you get the best possible ceremony, and the best execution on the day.
Be open-minded – I’m not talking keys in the bowl type of open minded (but if that’s your thing, more power to you) I’m talking, ask your celebrant for ideas, what are the different ways we could do this? Does it have to be done this way? Could we do it like this? Your celebrant has done more weddings than you have, probably (hopefully) so they will know what will work, and what may be awkward. Listen.
Be engaged – Not just with the ring type of engaged, but the listening, and asking questions, and putting your phone down for 10 minutes type of engagement. I know weddings can be a subject that completely makes the groom zone out, but if you want it to be your day too then listen. A good celebrant will make sure they talk to both of you, not just the bride, and you should both have a good feeling about the celebrant. I know meeting new people, especially a celebrant, can be daunting to some people, but most of us are warm, personable and down to earth.
Short and sweet isn’t always best – I know some people just want to get the ceremony bit over so they can move onto the more fun bit of drinking, dancing, and cake eating. But, and again I may be biased because I’m a celebrant, the focus should be on the ceremony. You are going to be standing in front of your nearest and dearest, and maybe Dave from work, telling your soul mate how important they are to you, and sharing your love story, surely that deserves longer than a 5 min ‘wham bam thank you ma’am?’
Don’t leave booking a celebrant till the last minute – In my opinion it’s never too early to book your celebrant. The good ones, like venues and photographers will get booked out pretty early on. You may get lucky with a last minute phone call, but that is the exception rather than the rule.
Feel free to interview, or chat with more than one celebrant – It’s not like dating, we won’t mind. What we do mind, is if you don’t tell us that you have booked someone else, and we keep the date open for you. A simple “we have decided to go with another celebrant” is great. No hurt feelings, honest! We want you to have the best wedding possible, whether it’s with us or not so if someone else floats your boat and gets your vibe, go for it!
Don’t change anything about the ceremony, and not tell the celebrant – Especially if you want the celebrant to be there on time! I usually double check at the rehearsal what time the groom will be at the venue, to make sure we’re all on the same page regarding start times. But I have heard of angry calls to the celebrant when everyone’s at the ceremony inquiring about their whereabouts, when the couple have changed the time and not told the celebrant.
Give us the dirt, all the dirt – Most celebrants will send you a questionnaire to fill out (I call them my homework questions) to get to know you better, they will either come and visit with you again to discuss the answers to your questions or just write your ceremony from those answers. Give us as much info as you can on your questionnaire, the more info you give the better ceremony you are going to get. It’s really hard to personalise a ceremony (which is what most good celebrants will want to do) when you give nothing personal to work with. I for one, want to know what you love, what you don’t love, what you enjoy doing together, all great fodder for a ceremony.
Try to be organised – I know there are a million and one things that need to be organised for a wedding, but if you can get back to us sooner rather than later when we request information that would be grand. It’s no fun for a celebrant to be waiting the day before the wedding for the groom to get his vows to them. It creates stress not just for the couple but for the celebrant. If you can’t make a designated time for a catch up, let them know as soon as you can.
Send us an invite – We love weddings, all the weddings. So if you want us to get an idea of your style, colours and personality then give us an invite. Also helps so we know where we’re going and at what time (see point Don’t change anything about the ceremony and not tell the celebrant)
Good manners – Like your mumma always said, good manners go a long way! If you like the vibe and style of a celebrant, then they will probably either have a Facebook page, Instagram account, or website, do a bit of stalking, and you can probably find out their price. We don’t love texts/emails/Facebook messages that just say “how much?” We do love texts/emails/Facebook messages that say “Hi Angela, We are getting married 9/12/2017 and are after a celebrant, are you available and what is your price?”
Thank you’s – If you are the type of bride/couple who are going to do a thank you post/wedding post on Facebook, please please please thank or acknowledge your celebrant, if they did an awesome job, if they didn’t then maybe contact them and tell them why, don’t splash it on Facebook. For us reviews are like gold, so go ahead and give your celebrant a review, tell them what a great job they did. They will love you for it, and it only takes 5 minutes, and you are helping other couples out by leaving honest feedback.
Try not to turn bridezilla on us – I know planning a wedding is stressful, and expensive, and not everyone wants to do what you want them to do as fast as you want them to, but your celebrant is a professional. We will act like the professional we are, and should be treated as such.
Remember, we may only be a part of your wedding day for a short time, but we are emotionally invested in your day. We have taken the time to get to know you, spent time with you and your family, helped bring your plans/dreams to life, written and performed an amazing ceremony for you about you, met your friends and family, calmed you down, made sure everything is perfect for you and your guests. A little acknowledgement goes a long long way, kilometres in fact, like from here to the moon!
“Let the adventure of planning your wedding begin!”
If you’re planning on getting married anywhere that isn’t a operational church (a church that only allows priests etc from that church to marry people) then you are going to need a registered wedding celebrant.
Like everything else wedding related there are a million different choices, which is a good thing, generally speaking. But where do you start?
Other vendors – If you’ve already booked a venue, or photographer, or florist, or make up artist then ask them. They would have seen/done enough weddings to have a general idea on who they like. They have often seen way more than one celebrant, and a venue and/or photographer would have been present while a celebrant has lead a wedding previously.
Facebook – The internet is a great place and can bring the whole world to your computer. There are numerous private wedding groups on Facebook, and they are a great place to ask for recommendations, and you will get honest feedback. Facebook is also a great place to stalk some of the celebrants you have heard about, most celebrants these days will have a professional Facebook page, and looking at this will give you an idea of the style of a celebrant, and if they have photos of previous weddings, you’ll get to see them in action. A good Facebook page will probably also have reviews, so take a look at these too, find out about what couples have said about them.
Friends/Relatives etc – Ask around your friends, rellies, work mates and get recommendations from who they may have used, or celebrants they may have seen at weddings they have attended.
Wedding shows – Check out your local wedding show, they always have a few of each vendor, and that way you get to have a chat, ask any questions, and maybe organise a time to meet up and talk in more depth.
Uncle Google – Just type in “Celebrants in Dunedin” and you’ll get pages of info, from there you can check out their website (if they have one) and any social media they may have.
Celebrants Association– The Celebrants Assocation is a voluntary association for Celebrants in New Zealand. Belonging to the Celebrants Association means that a celebrant is governed by a code of conduct, and has access to on-going education. The website is pretty easy to use, just type in your area, and it will come back with all the celebrants in your area that are members of the Celebrants Association.
So, once you’ve have a look and seen one or more that you like the look of, then contact them to see if they are available for your wedding date. Good celebrants can be booked a year or more in advance, so it’s best to get in early. If they are available on your date, then it’s a great idea to organise a meeting (either at a cafe/pub/your home or theirs, or if you are out of the area or country then Skype) I always offer a non-obligational first meeting, it gives you a chance to have a look at some of my work, chat about my style and what you have planned and your ideas for your day.
It’s a good idea to meet with more than one celebrant, you’ll learn a bit more about what you’re looking for, don’t worry we won’t be offended if you do, we want you to get the right fit for your ceremony too. Feel free to ask a lot of questions, it will make you feel more comfortable with your choice. Make sure that once you have made a decision on which celebrant you would like to book, that you contact the other one to let them know you are going with someone else.
I know weddings can be mega expensive, and I know it can be all about making that dollar stretch as far as it can go. But there are certain elements to a wedding day that you really don’t want to skimp on and I believe a celebrant is one of those things. I know there are also a lot of different price points for celebrants, but don’t just go with the cheapest. Make sure you do your research and find out what you are getting for your money. There is a common mis-conception that a celebrant just turns up on the day, says a few words and then leaves, and then pocket a bucket full of cash to do so. A good celebrant will want to build a relationship with you, to ensure that you have a ceremony that is heartfelt, but is also a reflection of your personality and your love story. A good celebrant will meet with you at least on two different occasions, write you a ceremony from scratch, that is personalised to you and your love (there is no cut and paste), they will be there to answer all your questions/texts/emails/phone calls, provide you with inspiration to write your own vows (if that is what you choose) they will offer suggestions for different elements you may like to include in your ceremony (readings, ring warming etc) they will facilitate a wedding rehearsal, to ensure everyone knows what is going on, when and how, they will be there early to liaise with your other vendors (photographer/video/venue) to ensure everyone is on the same page, and that the ceremony runs smoothly. They may run your music for the ceremony (creating a personalised playlist for you) and have their own PA system, and microphone.
Your celebrant should make you feel excited about the wedding, they should inspire you with suggestions, they should empower you to make the ceremony and day about what you want, they should be organised, and calm and relaxed on the day. They should be the person who sets the scene for the entire day.
I believe a celebrant should have a passion for the job they do, it should show in their eyes, that they love being a celebrant, otherwise it will reflect in a lacklustre wedding ceremony, lacking in personalisation, warmth and professionalism.
All you need is love and … some advice for travelling together.
They (I’m not sure who ‘they’ are but you know who I mean) think there are certain things that you should do as a couple before you get married to test whether this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. The list includes using a slow internet connection, untangling Christmas tree lights, putting together flat pack furniture and travel.
I’m a huge fan of travel, whether it’s just a weekend away some where close or a huge overseas blow out, I’m in, all in, every time! Travelling has a way of broadening your mind I know it’s cliche but it’s so true. It allows you to see how others live, different cultures, landscapes and people. It also has the ability to show you so many more sides to your mate. So along with a heck of a lot of reading on the topic and my travel experiences with my darling husband, I’m come up with some thoughts and advice on travelling with your partner.
You will learn so much more about your partner – Travelling takes you out of your comfort zone, both as an individual and as a couple. It opens your eyes up to the world around you. It forces you to engage with other cultures, foods and etiquette. All of which may be scary, and new and different, and exciting and tiring and fun. It has the ability to show you how your partner deals with frustration and being tired and hungry.
One of the biggest challenges will be spending all of your time together – My husband and I are not the type of people who need to spend every minute together, in fact we start getting on each others nerves after a long weekend together. It has taken us a long, long time of both marriage and travelling together to figure this out about ourselves and to know that it’s OK. We make sure we have some down-time (alone time) when we travel, some-times it’s just having a few hours of time apart to wander around, or even if it’s just putting the headphones on and reading a magazine in another room. It stops us from annoying each other, and it absolutely works for us.
Compromise – Like relationships full stop, travel requires compromise. It requires knowing what each other wants to do and not do and then making a decision and itinerary based on making sure you both get a bit of what you want. Example, just over 10 years ago (before our son was born) we planned a 5 week overseas trip (both of us had regrets over not having done our OE when we were younger, so decided to go for it together, before we started a family) we each had a list of places we wanted to visit on our trip, so we had to compromise and make decisions so each of us got what we wanted.
Communication – Keeping the lines of communication open when travelling is essential. You need to voice your opinion, you need to be able to say when you’re not happy, talk it through and then let it go, otherwise it’s going to be a long, long trip.
Manage expectations – Take some time before your trip to talk about your expectations for the trip. How do you see yourselves spending your time, are you going to be up at the crack of dawn, and going all day, or are you going to be lounging by the pool all day?
Budget – The dreaded B word. What are you willing to splurge on, and what are you happy to save on. Do you want 5 star hotel rooms, but eat cheap street food, or do you want to spend the dollars doing all the tourist things, or just wander around town and soak up the (free) atmosphere.
Each others schedules – Are you an early riser and he prefers to sleep in? Then you’re going to have some trouble and arguments, unless you have a conversation about it and manage your schedules. This is where that magic word “compromise” comes into play, and managing your expectations.
Eat before you get “hangry” – I think this advice has the potential to save many a relationship in any situation, not just travel.
Travelling together will definitely strengthen your relationship, it will help you to accept each other as you are warts and all (and you will probably see all the warts, and dodgy tummies and stinky feet, when you travel together). You will get an insight into your partners ‘preparation style’ my husband and I have completely different ‘preparation styles’ when it comes to travel, I pack about 2 weeks ahead of time and think of every possible scenario I will need to pack for, and probably pack too much, he on the other hand packs about 2 hours before we leave, by just randomly throwing things into the suitcase, and then forgetting essentials, which we inevitably end up having to buy while overseas, which may not sound that bad, until you are scouring the streets of Hong Kong for deodrant (tip – it’s very, very hard to find)
The more you travel together the more of a team/unit you will become, you will become more efficient together, and learn which of you is better at holding the passports and who can read maps better. I always hold the passports and tickets and he deals with the suitcases.
Travelling together allows you to create fantastic life-long memories together. And you’ll have so many of those “Remember when we saw that thing in that place” conversations (that is actually how we start a lot of your conversations, but they may be more about old age than anything else)
There’s nothing quite like experiencing a new place with a loved one.
As a celebrant I am able to perform many different types of ceremonies, and as well as wedding ceremonies I am also available to conduct naming ceremonies. Back the truck up, but what is a naming ceremony? How does it all happen? Sounds like fun! How do I go ahead with it?
What is a naming ceremony? A naming ceremony is a non-religious celebration of the arrival of a new child, a way to introduce him/her to family and friends. It is usually organised by parents who want to mark their child’s arrival with a celebration, but in a non-religious way.
Is a naming ceremony legal? A naming ceremony is a private occasion, so there is no legal status to the ceremony. It is not the same as legally registering a child’s birth through Births/Deaths and Marriages.
Who can have a naming ceremony? Naming ceremonies are appropriate for any age, a new baby, and adopted child or uniting step children, or even a adult name change.
Where can we have a naming ceremony? Naming ceremonies can be performed anywhere, as long as you have the permission of the owner. Popular spots are homes, parks, halls.
What kinds of things are included in a naming ceremony? The sky is the limit for this one, because it is not a legal ceremony, there are no real “have-to’s” attached to the process so there are lots of ideas, including poems, readings, quotes, time capsule, tree planting, candle lighting, wish making, video for guests, wishing well cards etc. Your celebrant will be able to point you in the right direction and offer you heaps of ideas to make your ceremony perfect
I don’t know of any quotes or readings I want. Do I have to have them? No, your child’s naming ceremony will be completely unique to your family, so if you’ve not sure about poems or readings then you don’t have to have them. Your celebrant will be able to share with you some appropriate examples of readings, if you do want to include one but aren’t sure where to start.
I want to include my child’s grandparents. Is there a way to do this? Absolutely. I recognise the importance of a child’s extended family, and there are many different ways we can recognise, acknowledge and include any of the extended family into a naming ceremony.
When can we have a naming ceremony? There is no time limit for when you can hold a naming ceremony for your child. A lot of families combine the first birthday and naming ceremony. It’s a great way to have a double celebration at a time when you may have gathered friends and family together already. Some couples like to wait until the first few months are out of the way, when things are a little more settled in the family. Older children also love to have a day of celebration all about them, so any age is fine.
Does it matter if I’m a single parent/we’re not married or a same sex couple? Absolutely not! I’d be delighted to be involved in helping any parent or couple celebrate and mark their new arrival.
A naming ceremony sounds right up my alley. But I hate public speaking, as a parent do I have to say anything? Most naming ceremonies do actually include the parents making some kind of commitment or promise to the child. However if you would prefer not to speak there are definitely ways around it. For example you could do a “we promise” answer after the celebrant has read your promises.
How much work will I have to do to organise the naming ceremony? I completely understand that first year brain fog of child-rearing. So much like a wedding ceremony I will come and visit you at your place, no need to drag your family out to see me. We will discuss what your thoughts are, I will offer suggestions and examples, ask you a whole lot of questions, and then head off and write you a naming ceremony. I will send this to you to take a look at, we will fine-tune it, and then that will be what is performed on the day. I will have all the props and tools for the day with me, so you don’t have to remember to bring anything with you. My aim is for it to all go smoothly, well as smoothly as a ceremony involving a small child can (I know they can be unpredictable) and for you as parents to totally enjoy the experience and day.
Is there any way to add a momento of the day? I have totally customisable certificates that parents and guide-parents can sign on the day as a keepsake of the special day, for the child to treasure in days ahead.
How is a naming ceremony structured? Below is a loose structure for a naming ceremony, of course everything is customisable to the family.
Introduction and welcome to guests
Reading or poem
Information about the child – their arrival, personality, traits so far
Words about the importance and responsibility of parenting
Parental promises to the child
Reading or poem
Importance of wider family in the child’s life (grandparents/cousins/aunts etc)
Appointment of guideparents/mentors/support/godparents
Reasons for choice of name
The naming itself
If the idea of a naming ceremony sounds like the perfect way for you to celebrate the arrival of a new member of you family, then get in touch and we can discuss the best way to mark your new arrival. And of course you can include cake and wine!
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: Angela Port – celebrant
Business Name: Angela Port Weddings
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: I became a celebrant a little over 3 years ago. I was asked by my good friends to MC their wedding, and after one too many wines I agreed. I worked really hard when preparing for the role on writing a funny and personal script to deliver at the wedding. When I looked back on the experience (yes, it was quite a way out of my comfort zone) but I realised how much I actually enjoyed it, and wondered how I could do more of it. And so I applied to become a celebrant.
I am a wife, and mother, and have another part time job, so I juggle all that with providing my couples an awesome wedding ceremony.
What do you love about your job? I love the fact that every couple has a unique love story to tell and it is my job to tell that story. I love that a wedding ceremony only has a small part that legally has to be done, and the rest is completely up to you, so you can absolutely stamp your own personality on it. I love that everyone is always happy on a wedding day (also slightly nervous, usually) and there are not many jobs that I know of where that is the case. I love the moment after the ceremony, where I congratulate the couple and you can see the look of relief on their faces, because the hardest part of the day is over, and they say to me “wow! that was easy” To me that means I’ve done a good job.
What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? I am a wedding junkie, so usually spare time is spent researching wedding related topics on line. My website keeps my pretty busy. I love walking, especially on the beach, and hanging with my family.
What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? The day is about YOU, I know you do know it, but you can absolutely lose focus so easily once every one else puts their 5 cents in. Weddings and funerals, can sometimes bring out the worst in people. Just remember that the wedding is about you and your loved one committing to each other, not what Great Aunty Fanny wants (no offence intended to Great Aunty Fanny)
Any wedding trends you love or would love to see disappear? I love it when a couple think outside of the box, and make the day reflect their own individual personalities. Not a fan of the white pouffy dress? Wear colour or a beautiful tailored jumpsuit! Want your Mum to sing you down the aisle? Go for it! There are so many different ways to do things, and no particular way is correct. So just go with what feels right to you and your partner.
Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? One of the first weddings I performed, when I asked them about exchanging rings (in our planning session) they told me that she had a ring, but he couldn’t wear one because of his job, so he got a new socket set instead of a ring! They had one of the socket thingys engraved with their wedding date. The wedding was at Moeraki and there was only 5 of us there, and the bride and groom both wore jeans, and afterwards they headed to Fleurs for lunch. It was super relaxed. I love it when a couple get married their way.
What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Be realistic about what you can afford, your wedding will not be less than because you can’t afford fancy wedding favours. Remember what the wedding is about, (hint: it’s about you committing to your loved one) people spend so much time and energy focusing on the finer details, and wanting to impress their guests, that they don’t actually think about what they are going to say to their partner during the ceremony (which I know I may be biased, considering my job) but I think that is the most important.
One insider tip/trick to pass on? If you think you are going to cry and don’t want to, press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. I’m not sure why it works, but it does. And who cares if you cry, it’s a wedding!
All you need is love and … a bag full of essentials.
So those of you who have met with me, in my capacity as a wedding celebrant, and have had me officiant your wedding day know that I lug around a huge black shoulder bag. It’s my bag of tricks. It has everything that I or possibly the bride or groom could need for the before and/or during the ceremony. This is a carefully curated list/bag of items that has been collected and added to over previous weddings.
Here’s a list of what’s hiding in the big black bag.
1 Rescue Remedy – If you haven’t heard/used this before, it’s awesome. It’s a homeopathic spray that you spray on your tongue to help calm you down. Works perfectly for anxious grooms.
2 Wipes – Perfect for hands and for men’s suit/shirt shoulders, which always get make-up on them from all the hugs and kisses they get before the ceremony starts. Helps smarten them up for photos.
3 Lipstick – For me not, the groom.
4 Water bottle – I get a dry mouth when I know I have to do a lot of speaking, so water is essential. Have also had nervous grooms take a swig as well. Side note: it is definitely water and not vodka in there. Yes, it is a sponge-bob square pants bottle!
5 Heart shaped rocks – For holding down the paperwork before and during the signing if there’s a breeze.
6 Vehicle Log Book – for recording the km’s for yucky tax.
7 Business cards – you never know when an opportunity exists.
8 Hand cream – dry hands make rings harder to slip on.
9 Tissues – I always have at least 2 tissues in my pockets, for either the bride or groom during the ceremony.
10 Compact mirror – to make sure I look presentable before everything kicks off.
11 Matches – just in case someone forgets the matches for lighting a candle of remembrance.
12 Spare battery – for the microphone.
13 Comb – kinda goes with the compact mirror and lipstick.
14 Microphone – so everyone can hear all the lovely words, the couple say to each other. I always have a spare in the car, just in case.
15 Pen – for signing the paperwork, in case the couple don’t have a special one they want to use.
16 Cellphone – the cellphone is loaded with the couple’s playlist for their ceremony, and is definitely switched onto meeting mode during the afternoon.
17 Red folder – the meeting folder, this contains the couples file, with all their contact details.
18 White folder – the folder I use during the ceremony. It holds the ceremony and the couples vows and any readings they are having.
19 Lollipop – used to give to flower girls and/or ring bearers when they have made their walk down the aisle and are about to take their seats.
There is a lot in there (believe me, I have to lug it around) but it is everything I could possibly need for a wedding ceremony, to make sure the groom looks and feels his absolute best (I spend more time hanging with the groom and his boys on the actual wedding day than the bride) and to make sure I perform the best ceremony I can.