Yesterday was both epic, and a bit unusual. In the wonderful world of celebranting (not a word but you know what I mean) it’s pretty common to have a wedding booked most weekends of the main season. But then sometimes, the cards will fall in such a way that it makes a double, a triple, or a double-double weekend possible.

And so it was this weekend. Friday saw me heading back to Okurukuru Winery, which is always one of my favourite venues. The thing about Okurukuru is no matter what the size or style of the wedding, it’s always amazing. While we have several beautiful venues along that same stretch of coast, I don’t think any can top the view (and photo backdrop) that you get with a wedding at Okurukuru. The wedding of Mr & Mrs Hawkes on Friday was truly sensational, with including many little personal touches that made it so moving and involved their parents and friends in the ceremony. And it seemed to me that the entire FDMC class of 2007 was present to support this amazing young couple (who are bonafide high school sweethearts!) as they said their I Do’s’ – so for them it was just awesome. Congratulations you two!

Then came Saturday – and an extremely busy day with a slightly dodgy weather forecast. If you haven’t been up to Pukeiti since the recent upgrade was completed, then make sure you do. In the early afternoon I officiated Mr & Mrs Reijmer’s beautiful ceremony within the intimate surrounds of the Keiller Garden, which really is a perfect focal point for a ceremony. There were some lovely touches in this wedding – including the bride wearing her mother’s wedding dress, a non-traditional bridal entry and some nods to the groom’s very proud Dutch heritage. And these two also had the wedding cake I would have if I did my own wedding all over again – a cake made of cheese! Yum. Every detail was perfect with their guests rippling with laughter the entire time as we talked about their journey to their big day!

Number three for the weekend was the super lovely Mr & Mrs Jury at a private coastal residence near Brixton and boy, do these two have a connection. So. In. Love. The cute thing about these two is that they met each other when they were both halfway across the world working, yet met and fell in love with someone from Taranaki! And while the weather didn’t play ball come ceremony time, at the end of the day it came down to the love, not the weather. What I loved most about this ceremony was as we moved through and shared their love story with their guests, they verbally affirmed many of the things I was saying about them as I said it. This in turn prompted some gentle banter coming back from their guests and it truly felt as though EVERYONE was engaged in their big moment. Pretty blimmin’ special it was, despite the rain! And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a groom more eager to plant a kiss on his bride once they were pronounced!

Lastly, it was a quick dash down to Stratford for the early evening wedding of Mr & Mrs Pretty. For any couples who are considering a late afternoon/early evening ceremony for their wedding, my advice is to seriously give it consideration! It is a beautiful time of day for a summer wedding, when the sun isn’t so high in the sky and temperature has dropped a bit. And only around that time of day do you get that golden light and it made the setting at Regan House even more magical. What a beautiful wedding! The story of Mr & Mrs Pretty also goes back to their teenage years and I can clearly see these two are meant to be together! What made this wedding next-level-special is that Regan House was previously owned by the grooms grandparents, so it was where both his father grew up and where he also has lots of great memories of visiting as a child. It was very, very special and there is no place more appropriate for them to have been married yesterday. The poignance of that fact was not lost on anyone who was lucky enough to be there to witness their beautiful ceremony.

So – that’s a wrap of what was a pretty big weekend that was many months in the planning. One that was very much out of the ordinary in terms of the number, but amazing in so many different ways. Any good Celebrant will tell you first the best thing about this privileged position we have is the people that we get to meet, and yesterday, I married, and met, some incredible people.

The only downside being that was due to my commitments for the day I couldn’t stop and talk a bit longer to some of the lovely people I spoke to, but such was the nature of the day.

That leads me to the part about the funeral……as mentioned in the blog title. For the wedding of Mr & Mr Reijmer, an older, long time family friend had been asked to stand and offer some of her thoughts and best wishes to the happy couple, in place of a more traditional contribution of a reading. She took the floor like a professional and spoke both candidly and completely off the cuff, and her humour was a wonderful addition to their ceremony. After it was over, she and I had the chance to chat and she told me it was far and away the best wedding ceremony she had ever heard. As I thanked her for kind feedback she then in the blink of an eye asked me if I would also agree to conduct her funeral! (thankfully, not imminent)! That is not the first time I have been asked that question as a celebrant but it is definitely the first time I’ve been asked at a wedding! Such a little gem she was, I didn’t see that coming and it made me laugh out loud! 😂

And Jan – lovely lady – when the time comes, definitely give me a call. It would be my pleasure. 😘

Thanks for reading.

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