It won’t be a surprising for anyone to learn that I’m a lover of people, of great yarns and conversations – of stories. And I often think that I’m also one of those lucky few who can say they get to work in something they genuinely love to do. I know many people in the wedding industry likely say the same thing, but I actually love love, and I love weddings. Love and marriage are a fabulous combination and it’s never, ever lost on me what a privilege it is to be involved – every single time.
Everyone always asks me why I wanted to become a marriage celebrant. Well, you could say that performing marriages is somewhat of a family gig. My mother Jenni has been performing marriages in the lower South Island for 25 years, so I have been involved in the industry for what seems like most of my life. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s weddings were only just starting to be regularly performed in gardens and other private venues, with couples increasingly disregarding the somewhat outdated expectation of a church wedding. My Mum was 35 years old when she was first appointed, which was almost a bit radical and she was certainly considered novel and ‘quite young’, in comparison to other celebrants in her area at the time. So I definitely feel like she was a bit of a trailblazer in that respect, certainly in the lower South and the celebrant profession has evolved enormously in the years since!
Being awesome as she is, Mum very quickly became super popular for weddings and as such, when I was young I spent many MANY Saturday afternoons sitting in the car at venues, listening to my Walkman (woop!), while Mum was inside doing a ceremony! In later years she would have me and my elder sister help proof-read her ceremonies – my sister Megan who is ALSO a celebrant. It’s just something ‘we do’ as a family collective, despite us living in different parts of the country. What it allows is an amazing amount of shared experience, knowledge and resource, which began all those years ago watching our mother, who is still one of the very best in the business! I always knew that eventually, I would become a celebrant myself.
I was first appointed as a celebrant in 2013 and I’ve been flat-out with weddings (and other life celebrations) ever since! It really is the absolute best job in the world and I give it everything! Since then, I have expanded my repertoire to include a professional Master of Ceremonies service and also now offer a custom mini-wedding package service via the Ever After Wedding Collective. So, being a celebrant is now not only my full-time career – it’s evolved to kind of become my life!
A bit about me personally! I’m a wife, a business owner and a mum to three little rug-rats who keep me on my toes and then some! I have called Taranaki home for the past 12 years, having met and married a Naki lad. I truly love this place and feel very, very lucky to live in Taradise – it’s all right here!
I have a professional background in human resource management, banking, finance and event planning. Throughout my career I have also undertaken professional media training. As such, I am a confident public speaker and working as a celebrant brings together my skills in writing, communication and showcases my abilities to interpret and engage an audience.
What I bring to the Taranaki wedding industry is a fresh perspective on a wedding ceremony and an enthusiastic and ultra-approachable, friendly personality. Any wedding day is a big deal to me and I’m passionate about getting to know people and their story. My own experiences have allowed me an open minded and empathetic approach to life and love.
As a modern, independent celebrant I’m free of rules and tradition, and am therefore able to create ceremonies that are 100% what the couple wants, irrespective of their beliefs, race, religion or lifestyle. Whilst I’m not religious, I easily relate to those that have a spiritual connection. I love the richness of symbolism and I am not one to shy away from a performance! Without sounding glib, it is my role to inspire and support all who engage my services, and through their wedding ceremony a couple is telling the world how they feel about the other person, while making promises and setting intentions for a life together. That should be portrayed to friends and family and the most relevant and authentic way – and THAT is where I come in…..
Thanks for reading.