1. Are you a Registered Marriage Celebrant?

Yes, I have been a Registered Marriage Celebrant since 2001.

2. What does the law say we have to have at our wedding?

The law states that you must have a registered marriage celebrant (that's me!) or minister to perform the ceremony and sign your marriage licence papers with two witnesses. The minimum words required are very simple vows eg I Mary June Smith take you Mike Brian Williams to be my husband (and vice versa). I am then required to pronounce you as husband and wife. But of course, we will put together something much better than that!

3. How much input can we have to the form of the service?

As much as you want! A ceremony which evolves from lots of talking and planning will reflect the type of relationship you have and intend to build on in the years ahead. You may write your own service from scratch if you want.

You can choose any venue and be married at any time of the day (or night). You could choose to be married on a yacht in the middle of the ocean (I have some good sea sickness tablets!), atop a mountain, in a garden or at the beach.
People often have children they would like to include in the service. You can choose to include some religious content if you wish or leave the ceremony totally secular - it's up to both of you!

4, Can you give us some ideas?

At our first meeting, I will go through my wedding book with suggested services, vows, readings, etc. You may take a copy of my book on loan, and discuss your options together before making your final decisions. In this pack, I have given you a working copy (with space for your ideas) and a suggested service to start noting some of your ideas.

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5. Can we change our plans?

I will meet with you (usually at least twice) before the ceremony and can be contacted by phone or email at any time. I put each individual service onto my computer but like to print out the service the day before, so changes can be made up to that time. Any changes eg to date and time, should be discussed with me asap.

6. Who is responsible for the marriage licence?

As a couple you need to do this from a Registrar of Marriage (often your local courthouse) or by downloading the BDM60 form from * (How to get a marriage licence). There is a lot of other useful information available at this website. From 1 September 2013 the fee payable at the to the Registrar of Marriages is $122.60.

Please bring the licence to me before the wedding (the rehearsal is fine) and I will fill in witness details ready for signing on the day. On the day, you receive a copy and I send a copy back to the Registrar of Marriages. Remember, for an outdoor wedding you need to nominate an alternative indoor venue.

Apply For a Wedding Licence Online:

You can apply online if you normally live in New Zealand, or will arrive in New Zealand more that 3 working days before you get married. You can apply up to three months before the day of your marrage ceremony.


7. What is your charge as a Celebrant?

My base fee is $450 (+GST) for ceremonies in Ashburton and surrounding Mid Canterbury. Ceremonies out of the district start at $550 (+GST). If your ceremony requires me to travel some distance, my charge for travel is 77c/km. When you make an enquiry, I will send you full details of costs depending on the venue for your ceremony.

8. What about a sound system?

For a professional sound system on this important day, I recommend Dave King from Sound Management. From as little as $185+GST, Dave will provide a quality sound system for you. For $60 + GST/hr Dave will attend the rehearsal and the wedding ceremony, taking care of both sound and music.

9. How many weddings do you do on one day?

I rarely take two weddings on the same day. If I do, I make sure there is plenty of time for me to move comfortably from one wedding to the next. I will always check with the first wedding booked that they are happy for me to take another wedding on the same day.

10. Do you come to the Reception?

Not usually - I feel privileged to be part of your wedding plans and the ceremony. Your Reception is for family and friends to celebrate with you.

11. Can you help with planning the whole wedding?

I am happy to recommend people who offer services for your wedding. I do carry some business cards for local florists, reception places, cake decorators, bands, etc. I recommend The Big Day Book – this has lots of material for organising a NZ wedding. Go to for ordering details.

12. What other types of ceremonies do you conduct?

  • Child naming ceremonies - an alternative to christening
  • Funerals
  • Commitment ceremonies (for those who want commitment, but not formal marriage)
  • Recommitment eg for couples who wish to renew their vows
  • Dispersal of Ashes
  • Ceremonies for any special occasions eg opening a new building
I am a member of the Celebrants Association of NZ (CANZ). In 2013 I was elected as Vice President. This association is the professional organisation for all celebrants in NZ.
We work under a Code of Conduct which covers Personalised Service, Responsibility, Professionalism and Celebrancy.

We have a Code of Ethics which can be viewed at ...


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1. Why have funeral service?

You will find the process of choosing a fitting tribute to the loss of your loved one an integral part of the grieving process. Friends and family appreciate the opportunity to say farewell.

2. Can we choose what we want in the service?

Most definitely. I like to think of the service as a celebration of life. An opportunity to remember highlights of a life well-lived; to use familiar songs and readings; to talk about the person in the most appropriate way for the family.

3. Do we have to use a church or chapel?

Most people find it easier but it might be appropriate to hold the service near a much loved lake or river or even at home.

4. Can plans be made for a funeral service in advance?

Yes. You may contact me and your Funeral Director to make your wishes known. These can be recorded and kept with both the Celebrant and the Funeral Director.

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Naming Ceremony

1. Why have a naming ceremony?

Traditionally, many families held christening or baptisms for their children, even if they were not regular church-going people. Often the church held significance in their community or their lives (they perhaps were married in that church). However, today many parents do not feel comfortable using a church for this purpose, so the naming ceremony grew from that - it is designed to welcome the child into the family, your circle of friends and the world in general!

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2. When is a good time to have a naming ceremony?

Some like to have it coincide with the first birthday, but really, any time is OK. It might be when family are visiting from overseas or grandparents are visiting from another part of New Zealand.

3. How much input can we have to the form of the service?

As much as you want! A ceremony which evolves from lots of talking and planning will reflect the type of family you have and intend to build on in the years ahead. You may write your own service from scratch if you want. It may still have some religious content if you wish.

4. What about a venue?

Many people like to use their own home or garden. Perhaps some other place holds significance for you? - the Ashburton Domain, Plains Museum, the beach - the only consideration is weather! Trotts Brantwood Chapel has a baptismal font if you would like to use water as a symbol of new life. Often with a public venue, it pays to inform the local council of your plans - it would be awful to turn up and find a wedding in progress. Planting trees in the domain can be negotiated with the Council also.

5. Can you give us some ideas?

Yes - I have a standard naming ceremony (with choices of readings) which can involve family members reading poems, godparents, grandparents, family and friends pledging to support the child in the years ahead. I can suggest some symbolism which might appeal eg planting a tree, releasing balloons, having a naming cake. We will go through this at our meeting.

6. Can we change our plans?

I can be contacted by phone or email at any time. I put each individual naming ceremony onto my computer but like to print out the ceremony the day before, so changes can be made up to that time. Any changes eg to date and time, should be notified to me asap.

7. What will we have to show the child when he/she grows up?

I will give you a copy of the ceremony to keep, a signed naming certificate and a guest register, naming everyone present on the day. Many people like to video the ceremony as well.



58 Carters Rd

64 03 3087225


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