I was delighted to be announced as Wedding Celebrant of the Year for 2018 at the recent Taranaki Wedding Industry Awards. I was also a bit surprised – as for want of a better term the competition was stiff this year, and I was nominated in this category alongside the best celebrants that our region offers.

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t awesome to be recognised in this way and what’s even better is the only people who could nominate a vendor for an award this year were couples with whom we have worked in the previous 12 months. It was an enormous year for me professionally – the best season yet – so my heartfelt thanks goes to the couples that asked me to be their voice and advocate, for them and for their weddings – trusting me to help them celebrate and seal their relationship in the way they chose, helping them incorporate all of their heritage and life experiences. I absolutely loved being involved in every one of them. Every. Single. One.

Along with so many of my fellow Taranaki wedding vendors, we were all looking forward to the awards night, as it gave us the chance to celebrate our professional successes and to let our hair down, before the next wedding season is upon us in just a few weeks’ time. Before that evening, I knew some only from social media and I’d never met them in person – so it was lovely to both meet and to see that there was so much genuine support among us all. It was such a fabulous night with a group of professionals and friends, who are incredibly talented and lovely people.

I’ve spent the last 2 weeks reflecting on what this accolade means for me, and to me. For me, its validation that I am indeed doing an excellent job for my clients. I know I am trusted to create the amazing ceremonies that couples deserve for their big day. I know that my clients appreciate that I put my heart and soul into this role – and I don’t think there would be one celebrant who wouldn’t agree that it’s really the best job in the world.  I know that for six months (give or take) of every year I get to wow hundreds, if not thousands of wedding guests and show them all, when done right, how amazing and personal a ceremony can really be.

I’m also honoured to ‘fly the flag’ (as such) for celebrants in Taranaki, helping to continually raise the bar of professional standards in the industry. It’s also brilliant to see that ceremonies led by independent celebrants are now the way forward for the majority of those getting married.

So my advice – as always is – make sure that you choose the right celebrant for your day. Do your research, read reviews, ask for personal recommendations – because in comparison to the importance placed on things such as flowers, make-up or photography – the value of the wedding celebrant is still so often overlooked. Because if experience has taught me anything, it is that when all is said and done, what couples remember about their wedding ceremony is how it made them, and their guests, feel in that moment.

Weddings truly are one of the few remaining opportunities we get to truly take pause and connect with those around us, during what is one of life’s most significant and life-changing events. And that all absolutely starts with your choice of celebrant – we really do set the tone for your entire day – so please, make sure you choose wisely!

Thanks for reading.

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