Scott and Mikara are probably the only couple I’ll ever marry, who I will be able to claim some small part of responsibility for their relationship. I met Scott in 2001, Mikara in 2002 and while I counted them both as very good friends then (and now) it was ages before they actually met each other. That they met at my husband’s birthday party is the icing on the awesome cake that is these two getting together, getting engaged, having a beautiful daughter (like unbelievably beautiful) and getting married.
I’m so incredibly honoured that I got to be their celebrant, when this Labour Weekend just been, they got hitched at Waiora Scout Camp just out of Dunedin. I’ve said it before here From the Wedding Album: Shelley and Andrew but this is my favourite Dunedin venue. Beautiful, relaxed, affordable, accomodation included for anyone who doesn’t mind bunk rooms.
The weather was beyootiful, the bride was beaming ear to ear as she walked down the aisle with her two very proud brothers.
The groom when he walked down the aisle a few minutes before hand totally had his strut on – why should the boys be left out?
They rocked it walking down the aisle to the Magnum PI theme tune. Theirs was the first ceremony I’ve done featuring a handfasting ceremony, which I LOVE.
Not least because history is my bag and I love the origins of this very sensible ceremony (I’ll let those who are interested google it, rather than bore those who aren’t). And they were good sports about me writing several kisses (between them) into the ceremony.
They wanted a hand in every aspect of their day, including writing the ceremony – so while I provided ideas and guidance, they put together most of their ceremony, leaving me to just add my own personal flavour. (I’m more than happy to do this, but I also love writing ceremonies from scratch. Whatever works for you, works for me!)
So this is why I loved marrying them… here’s why they loved me (their words)
When it came to the matter of finding a celebrant,we could have been in for a bumpy ride. We are both very anti-soppiness, and one of us is an atheist, so the prospect of finding a celebrant who would leave all notions of God/religion and heavy-cheese out of the ceremony seemed a bit daunting.
Enter Hannah. To be fair, she was always destined to be involved with our wedding, as it was her and her husband that introduced me and mine to begin with. Initially, she was penciled in as a bridesmaid, but once she began her career as a celebrant, it was too perfect to not go there . Knowing each other so well definitely made things easier – she understood our sense of humour, and our salty view on romance – but her professionalism and no-fuss outlook helped make the planning of the ceremony one of the easiest and stress-free parts of the whole wedding!
We had decided on a hand-fasting ceremony,as it filled my need for a spiritual component to the ceremony, while leaving out any religious connotations for the groom. Hannah had not done a hand-fasting before, but she was on to it with information and links, and she was always on call (there were many phone calls, and even a skype date!) if I had any questions about stuff, like the legal requirements of a wedding ceremony (the stuff you have to have in there for it to be kosher…), or the usual order of a service. She had lots of different examples and outlines of different ceremonies, which made it much easier for me to create an order of service for my ceremony, and even gave me some great ideas to include, such as thanking our parents at the start of the ceremony, and having the MC go over the plan for the rest of the day with the guests while we signed the paperwork (rather than them just sitting and watching us…). She did a great job of guiding me (letting me know what does or doesn’t work, what was or wasn’t necessary or appropriate, and most importantly, reminding me that it was our day, and if we wanted a kazoo solo, by crikey, we would have a kazoo solo!).
The best bit was having her go over the ceremony and streamline it, and edit out all the overly-wordy bits and repetitive parts. She tidied it up and polished it off, and was able to have it all sorted early on, so I had one less thing to worry about, and it really felt like a collaboration. Her final ceremony was absolutely perfect, and she was stellar on the day! Again, that professionalism and no-fuss attitude made the whole thing seem a complete doddle, and helped my stress levels immensely. I was able to look to her for a calming influence and a sense of order – she knows her stuff, and it really shows!
As for advice for any prospective couples, the usual you hear definitely stands true, for example: don’t sweat the small stuff – no one remembers the place settings, or what the chairs looked like, or if the font of the menu matched the font of the invites, so don’t freak out and have a meltdown about the little things. Also, delegate, delegate, delegate. I fell a wee bit foul of this. I didn’t want to bother people with little jobs that I saw as me being fussy. This meant that the handmade signs I had carefully crafted for the buffet, which would have let people know what each dish was, and (more importantly) what dishes were vegetarian and which were gluten-free, did not end up going out with the food. A small niggling regret that could have been avoided if I wasn’t so afraid of bothering people. Turns out, the people you love don’t mind doing shit for you on your wedding day – go figure! Make a plan. Even if you don’t stick to it, make a plan. It helps everyone’s stress levels to know there’s a plan. MAKE A PLAN.
And finally, remember to thank your celebrant!
And here’s some of their suppliers
Caterers: BB Catering
Venue: Waiora Scout Camp
Photobooth: The Amazing Travelling Photobooth
Wherever you’re getting married, congratulations and happy planning! If you’re looking for a fun, young celebrant up for a wedding challenge in Central Otago (as of February 2017) I’d love to hear from you. You can learn more about me and message me on Facebook, call or text me on 027 384 7886 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org