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Bridal Club Magazine

Celebrate with a Celebrant

A celebrant is a person who is registered by the Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) within the Department of Internal Affairs, to perform Marriage Ceremonies or Civil Union Ceremonies. There are over 7000 throughout NZ. If a person isn't registered, they are not a Marriage or Civil Union celebrant. A celebrant can be checked by going through the Births, Deaths and Marriages website. It's a good idea to choose a celebrant who is a member of the Celebrants Association of New Zealand (CANZ) as well. One of the many benefits of using a celebrant is that they are able to attend your ceremony at any venue, no matter where, when often a minister or preacher will only marry you in their church or chapel. From garden settings to the beach, hotel ballrooms to tops of mountains … your celebrant is likely to be able to fit with your plans, and even possibly have some added suggestions of their own.

When you start making your wedding "to do" list, it's a good idea to put Celebrant right near the top. Choose someone you feel "clicks" with you and your partner, and who you feel a connection with. Getting the right person as part of your wedding day is essential.
Most Celebrants have their own website and are listed on or, so the Internet is a vital part of your search. Email the celebrant if you choose to, but the sooner you get into a conversation or meet with them in person, the sooner you will know if they are the one for you. The next step is to ensure that the celebrant is available on your wedding date and for your ceremony time. Make sure they can arrive well before your ceremony time so that the groom
is as relaxed as can be, waiting for his bride to arrive. Every celebrant is very different - and that means there is a celebrant to suit every couple out there. Some celebrants can see you at a time which is appropriate to both of you; whilst others have specific times each week when you can book to see them. A number
of celebrants have completed training which helps them understand the layers of the ceremony - the beginning, the middle and the end (the conclusion) and how it's vital that the couple get what they want out of a ceremony. They will work with the couple to co-create the ceremony so that at, the end of their day when they are finally Mr and Mrs, they know that it was everything they wanted - their perfect
There are other celebrants who have learnt their work themselves and have their own style, which also works, and finally some celebrants who do template ceremonies - meaning they insert your names into a standard format. For some couples this is fine. However, remember this is your moment, your day, and should be your own personal ceremony. Take the time to find your celebrant and ask them how they work. You will know very quickly if you have found the right person.
Creating your ceremony incorporates the legal aspects and surrounds it with the "nice to have" bits to make the day special. Friends or family can be involved with readings and different rites (there are numerous ideas that your celebrant can share with you), whilst children can be involved as well, especially with blended family marriages. Don't forget those wonderful grandparents who have seen and shared many a wedding. They could do readings, or hold the rings, or even be the witnesses.
Incorporating elements from different cultures is also a way to let everyone know that the families have joined together as well whilst still honoring their differences. Telling "the story" of the couple near the beginning of the ceremony is also becoming popular. Never assume that all the guests know how you met. There is always something lovely or original to share and draw the guests into your ceremony.
The celebrant can also discuss the timing of applying for the marriage license. Most celebrants will look after the licenses if they are delivered to them prior to the wedding day. On the day, the bride can concentrate on looking beautiful and the groom will know that the license is already in hand with their celebrant. That brings me to price. Don't choose your celebrant on price alone. It's worth paying more for a celebrant who you can work with. If the celebrant doesn't have the personality to help create your ceremony and then deliver those words with you - it's not a good start to your day - no matter how beautiful your dress or venue is. Together you are creating a day, an event and a precious memory for you; your partner and all your family and friends.
There is so much more a celebrant does - this is just the icing on the wedding cake really. No matter what, remember this is your day. Make it yours by working with a celebrant who can give you ideas but will also listen to you and your partner and together create the ceremony that will become a wonderful part of your memories together.

This article was kindly supplied by My Wedding New Zealand's Premier Wedding Magazine

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