What is a naming ceremony?

All you need is love and … a naming ceremony.

 

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
  • Guideparents promises
  • Reasons for choice of name
  • The naming itself
  • Concluding words

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!

The most over-looked part of wedding planning.

All you need is love and … a great wedding ceremony.

“It doesn’t really matter” “Don’t make it too long, I don’t want the guests to get bored” “It’s not the most important part of the day” “Just make it short, so we can start drinking”

All statements I’ve heard or seen when talking about planning the actual wedding ceremony. Which kind of breaks my heart a little bit every time.  Now I’ve said this before, and, I may be slightly biased based on the fact that I’m a celebrant and am lucky enough to help couples on their wedding planning journey. But time and time again I hear about people who have the entire wedding planned out, either in real life or on Pinterest, but have not had a single thought about the actual ceremony.  And to a degree I get that. Often when I meet couples we establish that they are in the camp of “we’ve never done this before and we don’t know what we’re doing” and that’s cool, because that is where a awesome celebrant will hold your hand (figuratively, not actually, well maybe if you’re really nervous) and explain the options and the process and the importance of your wedding ceremony.

Your wedding ceremony should set the tone for your entire wedding day. It is in fact the party starter.  Way back in the day, wedding ceremonies had to follow a certain script, and they were all pretty much the same.  You said exactly what the officiant wrote for you. I can imagine that not a lot of brides and grooms can even remember what they said to each other. But times have changed, big time. Couples have so much more say in what they want to include as part of their ceremony, and I for one am excited about this.  There are so many different ways you can structure your ceremony, and so many different elements you can include. It definitely gives a couple more control and choice to help their celebrant create their perfect ceremony. If you are serious and believe that a wedding should be a restrained and solemn occasion and want a ceremony that reflects that, then great, you can absolutely have that, and you need to choose a celebrant who can deliver that. If the two of you have any interesting, quirky or fun elements to your relationship then I believe it is your responsibility and right to roll in that direction.  A ceremony should reflect your different personalities and your relationship together. I believe if you do not have a ceremony that reflects you two together then you are doing a dis-service to your guests, and to yourselves.  You do not want your guests to walk away from your ceremony thinking “what on earth was that. I don’t even know who the celebrant was talking about!” So in saying that no two wedding ceremonies should be the same, (except for the legal parts that have to be done) and if your celebrant is just going to ‘cut and paste’ your ceremony then find another celebrant.  You, your guests and your love deserve a personalised and original wedding ceremony.

Yes I understand the wedding ceremony, can be uncomfortable, and for most people it is the most nerve-wracking part of the day. Of course it’s not everyday that you share a piece of your heart with your loved one and your friends and family. And I know that public speaking is not every-ones cup of tea.  But in saying that how many times in your life will you be able to make such a grand gesture and acknowledge all the reasons you love  your partner and share your promises for the future, to them, and your friends and family?  I believe it’s an extremely memorable and emotional act of love, and should be treated as such.

Yes wedding planning can be fun. It can be so exciting to choose the dress and the colours, and the table decorations and share the experience with your girlfriends or your mum.  I also know for some people (mainly brides) it can become all consuming.  It can literally take over your life.  It is also really easy for a couple to lose sight of what the day is really about.  It is about celebrating your love story.

When you are getting married you are committing to your loved one  for the rest of your lives.  You are making declarations to each other in front of your family and friends that you will love each other, despite the fact that she wears leopard print a little too much, and he always leaves his shoes in the middle of the doorway. You are becoming a team, where you know the other person will always have your back.  And if that is not worth focusing on and totally celebrating then I don’t know what is!

 

People We Love: Angela Port – 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: Angela Port – celebrant

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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.

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Leah and Keirin

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.

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My own wedding day, 17 July 1999

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.

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Amber and Jeff

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!

What’s in my celebrant “bag of tricks”?

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.

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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!

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Shannon and Sean

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.

Engaged to Married – June/July Update

All you need is love and ….an update on Sharmain and Jeremy

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What’s that wedding planning site on the tablet, why that’s angelaport.com

I must confess we’ve been a bit naughty and accidentally skipped  June’s update, so here’s a double helping of wedding planning (who doesn’t love a double helping?, except brussell sprouts, no-one loves a double helping of those bad boys!)

The cake has been organised. One of the more important aspects of the wedding I think (refer above the comment on double helpings)  They now know exactly what they want and have worked with the wonderful Kate at The Dessert Room. Kate was really helpful, even coming in on her day off to meet with us and has promised to make them  the perfect cake for their day. And the price was way better than what they were expecting too so that’s a massive bonus!
Cake organised – check!
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No naked men at the wedding, now they have their suits!!
There will no longer be naked men at the wedding!! The groom’s and groomsmen’s suits have been purchased! As you can see from the photos they were purchased from Hallensteins. One big expense out of the way and one less thing to worry about.
Suits organised and paid for – check!
They are still currently working with their preferred caterer to sort out the right menu for them, it’s a matter of keeping the meat eaters and the vegos and the budget happy, but things are looking good so far.
Food organised – kind of a half check, maybe a check in pencil!
They have made it their mission that by the end of August they need their guest list finalised and then the wedding invitations can be made and be ready to be sent out, so we’ll see in the next blog update if we can stick to that goal!
Guest list finalised and wedding invitations made – mission possible! (only 27 more days left in August!!)
From here they are also going to start working on their wedding vows and thinking about what elements they want to add into their ceremony.  Of course their very attractive celebrant, will be able to provide a lot of information to help them craft heartfelt/personal vows, and give them lots of options for interesting and personal elements they could  add to their ceremony.
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Tyrion’s not a lot of help with wedding planning, but very cute!
There’s a lot of planning and organising and DIYing ahead of them and only 6 short months to get it all done, hopefully with less help from the four legged kind.

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!

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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

 

Unity Ceremonies? Do I need one?

All you need is love and … a unity ceremony?

 

A unity ceremony is an act you can incorporate into your wedding ceremony which symbolises the joining of two separate lives, the idea is that as individuals you are both special and just as important separate, but when joined together you create something unique and beautiful. A unity ceremony  can also be used to symbolise the joining together of two families, if one or both of you already have children, either together or separately.

You do not have to do a unity ceremony, and you should (in my personal opinion) only include one if it is something that absolutely speaks to you.

There are a few different options, that I’ll outline below, and by no means is this the complete list, and there may be a suggestion on this list that sparks an idea with you and your loved one for something completely original.  Go for it I say!

Wine/Beer Ceremony – You each choose a wine (red and white work well), but obviously two that work well together, and you each pour a small amount from your individual glass into a centre glass and then both take turns taking a sip (or a gulp) from the center glass. This also works extremely well with beer if you’re not a wine fan.

Love Letter and Wine Box – You choose a bottle of favourite wine (or beer) and both add love letters to each other (that you have previously written) into a box, to be opened on your one year anniversary.  It’s a nice reminder of what you were both feeling on your wedding day.

Elephant Toothpaste – It’s a funny sounding science experiment, involving you both adding chemicals together to create a pretty spectacular explosion of types.  Awesome to add for a bit of drama to your ceremony.

Unity Candle – Use a large candle and then both the bride and groom light the candle using their own individual candles. This is probably the most common unity ceremony performed at weddings. Important to remember to use hurricane lamps if you are having your wedding ceremony outside, to protect your flame from going out.

Reverse Candle Lighting – The reverse candle lighting ceremony starts with the bride and groom lighting their individual candles from a single/joint one and then proceeding to then light candles held by their bridal party, who then help to light each guests candle.  You would end up with a beautiful sea of candle light, each lit from the same candle.

Sand Ceremony – Both the bride and groom (and children if they are being included) pour different coloured sands into a central vessel, creating a pretty pattern. Each different coloured sand represents a different person. If both the bride and groom are from different areas, you could use sand from your hometown beaches.

Hand Fasting – Hand fasting is a Celtic tradition which involves binding the hands of a couple with ribbon or cord either before, during or after reciting your vows, it is used as a way to symbolise your commitment and devotion to one another.

Tree planting – All about the environment and everything green? Then you may want to include a tree planting as a way of symbolising your union.  You can choose any type of plant/tree you like, and then the tree can be displayed in your home afterwards.

Unity sandwich – You like peanut butter, and he likes jam, perfect, use these two spreads (or any other favourite sandwich fillings) to create the perfect sandwich.

Jumping the broom -Jumping the broom is a time honoured tradition where the bride and groom actually jump over a broom.  The act symbolises a new beginning and the sweeping away of the past.

Hand washing ceremony – You and your groom wash your hands in a large bowl of water. The washing of your hands symbolises the fresh start that you are embarking upon in your marriage, while having your hands dried by your spouse symbolises the act of being vulnerable to each other, and letting yourself be cared for by another.

Mixing Oil and Herbs – If you’re both foodies, then you could mix herbs and oil together as part of your unity ceremony.

Creating art together – Purchase a large canvas, and then each of you choose a colour that represents you, and then you create a painting together using the two different colours. The upside is you now have a meaningful piece of art work to display in your home after.

Lock unity – Each of you choose a lock with a key, you both place your wedding band on the lock and use the key to lock it before the ceremony.  This symbolises your separate and individual lives, during the ceremony, you use the keys to open the locks, exchange your wedding bands and then entwine the two locks and lock them together, symbolising your commitment forever.

Unity hour glass – Very similar to a sand ceremony, you use a decorative hour glass to pour your separate sand into. Plus side is that you now have a useful item to use in your home.

Brand – For those of you farmers, or those getting married on a farm, you could have a brand made of your initials, either as two different brands that you could join together on the day or one brand with both your initials together, that you can brand a piece of decorative wood together. It would be a pretty impressive part of your ceremony.

Fishermans Knot – The Fishermans knot is also know as the ‘lovers knot’ It is made from two cords which represent you as individuals, as you fasten the two cords together this act represents the joining of your two lives in marriage. Once the knot is completed then this represents your future strong, and only becoming stronger under pressure.

As you can see there are a multitude of different options if you are thinking about including a unity ceremony as part of your wedding ceremony, and maybe this list may spark some ideas for something original to you as a couple.  The options are endless.

 

 

 

 

 

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

People we love: Nicola Wall – Celebrant

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

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

Nicola Wall  – Marriage celebrant

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Business Name: Nicola Wall – Celebrant

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business? I am married to Tyron and have 3 children aged 7,5 and 1 1/2 . I’m trained, registered secondary school teacher (social sciences) who is currently at home running after no3 child and starting to look forward to picking up some part time teaching. I applied to become a celebrant initially because I had previously mentioned what an awesome job it would be – my little sister told me I had to do it as she could not find an available celebrant for any of her choices of wedding dates, and I have continued renewing my registration because I love it.

What do you love about your job? Absolutely no two weddings are the same.  I get to share in people’s most happiest of days and have a good stickybeak at the fabulous dresses, decorations and family dynamics!

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What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? I have 3 children – what spare time?

What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? Grooms need to try on their wedding trousers prior to the day.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? I wish people didn’t care so much what their families/tradition says – it’s good to a point, but the best weddings are the ones where the couples choose elements/elaborations that are uniquely ‘them’.

Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? Do you mean like the time the butterflies wouldn’t leave their cage at the conclusion of the ceremony? Or the bride that was 45 minutes late because of stock on the road and no cell phone coverage? Interrupting a wedding because the thunderstorm hit 2 minutes too early? The couple that nearly couldn’t get married because they’d not collected their licence in time?

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What 2 pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Don’t be scared to ask questions and think outside the square.

One insider tip/trick to pass on? There is no ‘right way’ for a wedding ceremony nor one size fits all.

Think Nicola sounds like ‘the best celebrant ever’? Then contact her here:

email: nicolawallcelebrant@gmail.com

Phone: 0272317174 or 4544277

Website: www.nicolawall.weebly.com

 

 

 

“Tradie Tuesday” – Melt Wedding Photography

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

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

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Melt Wedding Photography

Business Name: Melt Wedding Photography

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: We are based in sunny Dunedin, and we travel extensively in Central Otago to photograph weddings in Wanaka, Queenstown, Cromwell and beyond.  Our style involves lots of candid shots and visual storytelling, paying close attention to detail, capturing your family and friends, your wedding preparations, the ceremony, reception, and of course your portrait shots too.

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My assistant and I will work with you both to ensure we get the shots you want, and plenty of them. We meet and talk many times before the wedding, so that we all know what’s happening, so you can rest easy on the big day.

We love to hear all about your special day, and what you have planned, so we can help provide you with some beautiful photographic memories from your wedding day, in the form of images, prints, bespoke wedding albums and thank you cards.  We can’t wait to hear from you.

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What do you love about your job? I love the energy a wedding day provides. It’s great to share and feed off the excitement, nerves, happiness, and then turn this into amazing memories for our lovely couples.

What do you do in your spare time, hobbies/interests? Movies!!! I love losing yourself in a good movie, but the trouble is I’m always looking at camera angles, lighting etc !!

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What one thing do you wish every wedding couple knew? How quickly the day goes, so to make sure they enjoy every second.

Any wedding trends you love, or would love to see disappear? I love the relaxed country/woodland type weddings, fabulous light and beautiful for photography!

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Any great/interesting stories about working with a couple? I photographed a very lovely couple’s wedding on my birthday one year. At the reception about 5 minutes into the speeches, the bride and groom thanked me and then proceeded to get the whole room of about 100 people to sing happy birthday to me … it was the longest 30 seconds ever … but very lovely of them.

What two pieces of advice would you give a couple planning their wedding? Have a pre-wedding/engagement shoot.. it’s a great way to get comfortable with your photographer, and each other in front of the camera.                                                                                                        And also, don’t forget to relax and enjoy your day! It’s so easy to spend time worrying about little things, but your family and friends won’t know if something hasn’t gone perfectly to plan, or much less care … they love you no matter what.

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One insider tip/trick to pass on? I always advise the bride to bring some comfy flat shoes, hankies, and some spare lipgloss etc.. for touch ups.  That way she will be far more relaxed on the portrait shoot, because chances are she’ll have sore or tired feet by the afternoon.

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Mel and Melt Photography would love to hear from you to discuss your wedding day dreams and how they can help you achieve them.

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Mel’s all over social media, so you can contact her here:

Website: http://www.weddings.meltnz.co.nz/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MeltWeddings/

Twitter:https://twitter.com/Melt_Weddings

Pinterest: https://nz.pinterest.com/melt_weddings/

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/melt_wedding_photography/

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And here’s the lady herself! Apparently it’s notoriously hard to get a photo of a photographer, but here she is.