Kineta Booker

Christchurch Celebrant + Editor

Join Me Behind The Scenes

Roam behind-the-scenes with me – taking you places you normally couldn’t go! Like, how couples find me; what planning meetings look like; what’s a rehearsal? Watch on ♡

Introducing The Lloyds – finally getting hitched after three corona-related cancellations ♡


Meet Mel and Kent, a Christchurch couple looking to tie the knot. They needed just one thing – a marriage celebrant! They found me online, loved what they saw and locked me in right away. And let the ceremony planning begin!

But not everyone can meet in-person – so, thank the gods for the world-wide web!However we plan your ceremony just know it’ll be a whole lotta fun!

Be like The Lloyds – book your wedding with me. You’ll be so glad you did.

Kineta Booker – Christchurch Celebrant – coming to a ceremony near you this coming wedding season x


Photography – Andrea Kewish Photography

Videography – Andrea “Kineta Made Me Do It” Kewish

Lovers – Mel and Kent Lloyd

Extras – Mel and Kent’s friends and family

Celebrant – Kineta Booker – Christchurch Celebrant


Locations – The Old Vicarage + Halswell Quarry, Christchurch

Made by – Booker Creative

Produced by –

Real Women Raw Stories

Imagine an evening of empowering women, sharing raw stories about their lives. That’s exactly what Real Women Raw Stories is all about and I’m super proud to be one of the sponsors ❤

Lisa Fong from Move It Mama will speak about the habit of fitness increasing mental wellbeing; Senior Clinical Psychologist Julie Zarifeh will be talking about resilience from her professional perspective – coupled with her personal experience of losing her husband and son within two weeks of each other; author Annie Anderson will speak about grief in the hard seasons and her experience of losing two babies; and there will be a speaker from Aviva talking about domestic violence – how did I get here? How do I get out?

As you can see – an incredible night of four inspiring women – Wednesday 11 August at The McFaddens Centre, St Albans. Tickets on sale 9am Tuesday from EventBrite.

For more info: Real Women Raw Stories

Covid uncertainty

Ensure social distancing with strangers.

Even though we got through COVID-19 Lockdown 1.0 back in March-May, with my couples either making a snap decision to get married the day of the announcement or postponing to another date, covid uncertainty still remains.

Currently, while we’re back at in Alert Level 2 (2.0), there are restrictions for gatherings. The biggest one being that only 100 people can be onsite at any one time. So, for couples who have more than 80 guests, they will still need to think: how many others are onsite, too? Think – catering staff, venue operators, celebrant, photographer, the band etc. The extras can add up quickly.

Added to this, your guests will also have to sign-in through the contact tracing app, just like any shop you currently visit; keep hands sanitised; and if your guests can’t maintain physical distancing with people they don’t know, they should consider wearing a mask.

And, it goes without saying, if anyone is sick, they must not attend your celebration.

So, what’s the good news?

Great question!

The biggest query I’ve had recently is, if the couple have to postpone their wedding, due to COVID-19, can they use their current deposit to secure me as their celebrant for a later date? Of course! You’re stuck with me – ha!

And, will the price increase? No! What I quoted you, and what is on your invoice, will always stay the same. Unless, of course, you decide to get married at a different location, and the mileage changes. But we can work through that.

We are living during very strange times, and we just need to ride this horrid wave together.

What are some alternatives?

Elopement with Mr & Mrs Davies. Image: Andrea Kewish Photography.

So, covid has come along and ruined your dreams of a big wedding, with many friends and family travelling from all over the world to celebrate with you.

I’ve always said that being married is better than getting married, so here are some alternative ideas to ensure you still get hitched!

With any of these options, you can get married as soon as your marriage licence comes through, and then celebrate with friends and family in a big celebration as soon as travel and other restrictions have been lifted.

Some of my couples are opting for registry or elopement ceremonies now, and then in 2021/22 or later, still having a big fun (faux) wedding – officiated by me, too.

So, there is still hope in all of this mud. Let’s work on the best plan for you together.

From wedding singer to celebrant

Mr & Mrs Kelliher. Image: Emily Hugo Photography.

Having a think about how it all began…

Have you ever seen the movie The Wedding Singer? That used to be me. The singing bit, rather than the ‘meeting waitresses at weddings’ or having an awesome mullet part of the movie. I digress…

So, once I’d sung most of my friends up the aisle (there are still a few who still need me…), and performed one of their favourite songs during the signing-of-the-register, it was time to hang up the microphone – which was actually about the time I started working and travelling as a journalist.

A couple of years later, in 2009, I was living and working as a journo in London, and my sister excitedly called to tell me she was getting married, and wanted me to be their celebrant!

Their celebrant?! I honestly thought I’d be her bridesmaid, like I was at her first wedding! (as well as the wedding singer, of course…) But apparently it’s bad luck to have the same bridesmaid in their second wedding. I still need to google that… Off topic again…

Anyway, I half-heartedly looked into it, because I knew she wanted to get married at the ChristChurch Cathedral in the Square, and I certainly wasn’t an Anglican minister, and only the ordained can surely officiate in such a sacred space. All I could offer the church was my special gift of being a former wedding singer!

However, the more I looked into it, the more I wanted to know about becoming a celebrant. What I found out was, at the time, there was a cap on the number of celebrants in each region. It wasn’t until the marriage equality bill was passed into law (The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act 2013) which meant that same-sex couples could legally marry, was there a need for more celebrants, because there were more people to marry!

Cue: Kineta!

Coincidentally, I got married that same year, with my son born in 2014, so I applied to be a celebrant as soon as I thought I could be away from him for long stretches at weddings over the weekends.

So, since 2016, I’ve been hitching couples all over Canterbury, with the support of my husband Jarrod, son Austen, and panda-pup August.

And I blimmin LOVE MY JOB!

As for my sister’s wedding? Thanks for asking… I sang her up the aisle! Nick Cave’s Into My Arms, in the incredibly beautiful ChristChurch Cathedral. They were one of the lucky ones to be married in the cathedral not long before the devastating February 2011 Canterbury Earthquakes – which completely destroyed Christchurch’s most famous landmark. I’ll never forget that beautiful wedding and that truly incredible building.


I’m a Kaiapoi-based independent marriage and civil union celebrant, as appointed by the Department of Internal Affairs. And a VCANZ-registered celebrant (Validated member of the Celebrants Association of New Zealand) which means I can officiate Registry Ceremonies now that the Registry Offices are now permanently closed.
Kineta Booker Marriage Celebrant: for fun, vibrant, and beautifully crafted wedding ceremonies, by a contemporary celebrant who loves helping spread a little sunshine in Canterbury!
Mr & Mrs Cameron. Image: Joseph O’Sullivan.

Changing your name

“What’s in a name?” wrote William Shakespeare, in the tragically beautiful tale of Romeo and Juliet.

We’re given one at birth, we’re allowed to change it by deed poll once we’re 18, and we can also get a brand new surname when we’re married, if we choose to.

The latter point is the one I’m going to focus on. So, how do you change it? Here’s your definitive guide.

Organising your paperwork

Your celebrant will send you a link to order your marriage licence online. The licence is what gives the celebrant authority to marry you. During the ceremony, you will fill out two copies of the Copy of Particulars. One of the copies will be given to you after the ceremony by your celebrant; the other copy the celebrant will keep to lodge your marriage with Births, Deaths and Marriages. Your copy is a back-up copy, so ensure you keep this.

When you order your marriage licence, you can also order a marriage certificate at the same time. These are different documents, not one-in-the-same. Your licence arrives before you get married, the certificate arrives within 10 working days after you’re married – once your celebrant has lodged your marriage.

Hopefully things are a bit more clear about which piece of paperwork is which.

Changing your name

So, when can you start using your new name?

It actually happens within your wedding ceremony. It’s during the Intention: the “I do”, “I will”, etc. That’s when you’ve verbally agreed to marry your partner. Once you fill out the paperwork (Copy of Particulars), that’s ‘sealing the deal’, and that’s why at the end of the ceremony, your celebrant will most likely introduce you as Mr and Mrs, Mr and Mr, Mrs and Mrs – or, maybe even legally married. Whichever you prefer.

When your marriage certificate arrives, it will still have your birth-given names on it. Your surname will not be changed on this document. The best way to think of it is, your birth name (or the name you have changed it to by deed poll) will always be your name. When you marry someone, you acquire their surname – if you wish to use it.

If you do choose to change your name there are four variations of surname you can have. Let’s use surnames Brown and White as an example. You could be Brown, White, White-Brown, Brown-White.

Or, for fun, you can merge your names together, again by deed poll, and make it Brite or Whown. Or whatever you like, really.

“When can I start using my new name?”

As soon as you’re married! You can change it on social media and emails straight away. Some places may accept your Copy of Particulars as legal proof, others – like bank, passport etc, will require your marriage certificate.

My personal opinion is to wait until your passport etc expires before you change your surname, as they will charge you for a new passport.

If you have any questions regarding paperwork, flick me a message. Happy to help!

One Agency Waimakariri eCoupon Booklet – Ts and Cs

So, you’ve downloaded One Agency Waimakariri’s eCoupon Booklet, and you’re interested in finding out more about booking me as your celebrant – with an awesome $100 off my fee? Exciting!

Here are the Terms and Conditions of this fantastic offer:

  • Congrats, you get $100 off my full wedding fee! This does not include Registry Weddings or Elopements.
  • Your wedding must be in North Canterbury, within 25km of Kaiapoi. If it’s further than 25km, the current IRD mileage charge will apply above and beyond 25km.
  • As usual, each couple must still organise and order their own marriage licence (and marriage certificate, if required).
  • All weddings must be in 2020 or 2021.
  • I must be available on your wedding date, of course.
  • This offer includes a phone chat to ensure you’d love to book me for your wedding, rather than a face-to-face meeting. But, don’t worry, we’ll certainly have planning catch-ups before your big day!
  • Promotion runs until 30 September, 2020.
  • For new bookings only.

To book, head over to my contact page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Appointed Registry Celebrant


VCANZ Registry CelebrantI am now a Registry Celebrant for my community!

Let me explain what this means: in short, because the Registry Office is now permanently closed in Christchurch, I can now officiate ceremonies, with set script and vows, for $90. Just like the Registry Office.

Now for the longer spiel: all Celebrants Association NZ (CANZ) members are encouraged to undertake systematic and structured learning throughout their careers to ensure that they continually maintain and enhance their knowledge and skills to improve the quality of service they offer.

The Celebrants Association NZ offers validation of members through the VCANZ programme. This is a structured recognition of celebrant training, experience and professional development.

Those who achieve VCANZ status can also undertake Registry Office-Style ceremonies.

And, my friends, my application was approved.

So, if you’d like to get married at home in north Christchurch, or perhaps a nice spot in North Canterbury, contact me! You can get married wherever you’d like. No need to head into the city centre anymore!


Registry-style weddingSo, you’ve decided you’d like to get married at the Registry Office but find out they’ve permanently closed?

Luckily, I’ve been appointed as a Registry Marriage Celebrant!

To book me:
– Go to
– Begin new application “Next” button
– Click on “Registry ceremony”
– Click on “Next” button
– Enter a date within the next 3 months
– Start typing “Christchurch” and select it
– Scroll down and you’ll see me there
– Click my name and go from there!


Here’s what makes this option a Registry Office-Style Ceremony… The Government determines:
– the script (2 options)
– the celebrant fee ($90)
– the days: Monday – Friday (excluding public holidays)

Let’s get you hitched!

Lockdown Love: The Ultimate Love Guide – Part II

Following yesterday’s release of Part I of my ultimate guide to staying in love during lockdown, to celebrate our final day at Level 4 lockdown, I’ve released the final part of my “romance novel”, Lockdown Love

If there’s one thing that I’m a huge fan of, it’s cuddles. I really can’t get enough of them. So, not being able to ‘hug it out’ with anyone outside my bubble is actually blimmin tough for my soul!
That’s why it’s important to have awesome hugs within your bubble. 🙌
If you’re not a hugger, PLEASE become one, even for the sake of those within your bubble who are huggers! And, hey, after all the dust has settled, and we get back to ‘normal life’, maybe you, too, will enjoy a lovely hug so much that you start to ‘hug it out’ with your mates AND your family. 😉
So, go on: go and give everyone in your bubble a nice big cuddle xo
I want you to rewind back to last Monday, 23 March.
Remember then? Back in the olden days? That was when our PM announced there was a lockdown coming, and all schools were to close immediately and everyone (who wasn’t an essential worker) was to work from home.
It was that night that Sara Green Prev. Heaney messaged me, cheekily asking for my top tips for getting through the next four weeks and still liking her man, cos, you know, as the “Queen of Love” (her words not mine 😆) I must have some creative ideas. And, she added, “Like, I still wanna be in love in 30 days.” 🥰 Ahhhhh love in times of a lockdown.
So, I’m turning this tip over to her, cos after so many happy years of marriage, she’s FULL of great ideas! Sara, take it away!!
“Here we all are, stuck in the Kingdom of Isolation! We are queens and kings of our castle but we don’t have to wear those crowns all of the time.
Take those crowns off put them in the cupboard and assume a new position in the castle!
My husband is going to assume the role of court jester; I’m going to assume the role of scullery maid!
At this time we all need to be able to laugh; we need to have someone in our life that’s gonna make us laugh. We also need someone that’s gonna do the dirty work, and I don’t mind being the scullery maid. Because without her the castle would get pretty damn dirty very quickly and we’ll be up to our eyeballs in everybody else’s mess!
Enjoy your kingdoms but remember you don’t have to be the king and queen all the time: even they need a break every now and then!
Here’s to love and here’s to still being in love on lockdown.” ❤️
Whether you’re talking to the ice tray or to your other, everyone loves someone who offers them a top up!
Keep loving each other, keep offering to fill their cup. xo
OK, we’ve been in lockdown for 11 days now (that’s if you’re a parent, nine days otherwise), and so it wouldn’t be too amiss for me to say you’ve maybe worn the same clothes a couple of days in a row? No?
Perhaps your partner has? Hey, there’s no judgement from my end…
But it’s all in the way you handle it. You could be rude, or you could compliment them! In a nice way 😉 Let’s choose the latter, shall we? Cos, remember, that’s the reason we’re here! We want our partner to feel as loved as they were before we started this whole isolation palava…
“You’re still rockin’ last week’s sweatpants beautifully!”
“Monday’s spaghetti dinner stains on your t-shirt look like they’re wearing out over time! Good job!”
Ahhhhhh life in COVID-19 lockdown 😉
I know I joke about keeping the compliments rolling when it comes to wearing the same clothes day after day during lockdown, but for the love of all things good – brush your blimmin teeth. Everyday. Twice. Give em a good ol’ scrub a dub. Your smile will thank you for it. So will your partner.
And your dentist.
Ahhhhhh life in lockdown xo
There are so many ways to spread joy within your bubble (doing dishes, putting away the Vegemite…), but here is an excellent example of how to heap joy onto another: offer to put the kids to bed, when it’s not you turn.
I know! Revolutionary!
When we’re not in lockdown, I really enjoy putting my son to bed, cos it’s one of our special one-on-one story/chat times throughout the day. But with so much time to spend with each other on our hands right now, having my husbo offer to put our child to bed, then handing me the remote (see LOCKDOWN LOVE LESSON 6) so I can watch Outlander and drink wine – I’M REJOICING!!!
So, spread joy. Do something awesome!
Ahhhhh love in the times of lockdown…
LOCKDOWN LOVE 🌸 LESSON 14 – LOLS If there’s one thing helping the world go round at the moment, it’s shared moments of laughter in the form of COVID-19 memes. Don’t keep those pieces of gold to yourself! Share the LOLS! It’s like a game of tennis in our house: I’ll send a meme to my husbo, he’ll flick a better one back. For where there’s love there is laughter, and where’s there’s laughter there is love 😎 If you haven’t got any memes to share, flick me a message. I have a library full of them I’ve been sending pals near and far. Cos, who doesn’t love a good laugh right now. Ahhhh love in the time of lockdown…

So, there we have it. Now, go ahead and put all 14 “Lockdown Love” steps into place. You can thank me for it later…

Lockdown Love: The Ultimate Love Guide – Part I

YES, the rumours are true, I have released the definitive guide for navigating you and your partner through this COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown period – with my Lockdown Love Lessons.

And, yes, it’s all a bit of fun, and no I’m not a couples counsellor… obviously…

So, how did this all start? Remember that day when PM Jacinda Ardern announced we were moving into lockdown, and everyone who wasn’t an essential worker, had to work from home? Who could forget…

OK, so you find yourself at home, working alongside your significant other for the first time. Or, you’re a stay-at-home parent and your main squeeze is suddenly now working from home. Fun, right?

My girl Sara Green messaged me that night cheekily asking for my top tips for getting through the next four weeks, and still liking her man, cos, you know, as the “Queen of Love” (her words not mine 😆) I must have some creative ideas. As she says: “Like, I still wanna be in love in 30 days.”

Girl, you’re not going to still like each other, you’re going to adore one other!

So, for a bit of fun, here are the first seven “lessons” I released over the course of Lockdown at Level 4:

Let’s start with the foundation of all things good: kindness. Instead of saying to your partner: “Would you STOP touching my bloody computer screen!” say, “Wow! Your hands are so clean right now! But would you kindly remove them from my screen?”
See, simple! Not only did you give your partner a compliment on how clean their hands are, during times such as these, you’re also giving them a clear direction on what you’d like them to discontinue doing.
Ahhhhh love in times of a lockdown.
Can we hit CTRL Z on yesterday? 😅
Or to put it into song: from the wise words of Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar, “Could we start again, please?”
I know there are many of you wanting to rewind your first day of working in close proximity to your love, during these COVID-19 lockdown days. And the answer is – YES!!! If not, I’m in trouble 😆 Stressful times call for rewind measures! So, yes, go ahead and CTRL Z yesterday! ❤️
Do I really need to say anymore?
In times such as these (and actually any other time in the history of time), the mere suggestion of chips ‘n’ dip on offer is an absolute language of love.
Chippies for the win!
Look, I’m no couples counsellor or psychologist, (I mean, look at yesterday’s advice – “Chippies” 😆) but I find a bit of alone time works every time!
After four days together in the same house, living and working together, there’s bound to be a grrrrr moment.
Instead of competing for air time to get your point across, this is your chance to say, “Goodnight, I’m going to bed.” Even if it’s only 6.30pm. Some long hours away from each other is just what your relationship needs until you work out a routine for livin’ it up in each other’s grill for the next four weeks.
And, as P!nk says – “Go away, give me a chance to miss you…”
But, pretend your partner is singing it to you.
Take your leave, and enjoy some alone time. ❤️
Now’s the time to flip the lid on the age-old question: seat up, seat down?
Look, if your home is mostly boys, do yourself a favour – leave it up. Firstly, less cleaning (for whoever’s task it is) from when they don’t lift the seat up for themselves; less grizzling (“who left the bloody seat up?!; “Didn’t realise we lived in a zoo!” etc); AND most importantly – it shows a great deal of love in these times, through: less cleaning and less grizzling.
And from the famous, paraphrased words of Joe Cocker:
“You can leave the seat up.”
So, seat up for next four weeks? Let’s go….! 😆
Never has there been a greater time to show your ‘other’ how much you love them, by sharing the tele remote with them.
I’ve never really watched a lot of television, but one of my besties keeps introducing me to the greatest shows, and Outlander is one of the best programmes on Earth (and books, to be fair) and we’re a liiiiiiiittle bit addicted to the storyline (and Jamie… 😆).
Last season, we both watched the new releases from our own homes by pressing play on Lightbox at the exact same time and would commentate to each other along the way over Messenger. Yes, we’re crazy cat ladies (although, neither of us has an actual cat but I do have a dog and she has a dog brother)… I digress…
My point is (and I’m getting to it now), don’t be a tele hog. No one owns the remote (although some may dispute that they in fact DO own the remote AND the tele). Again, I digress.
Share! Let them watch their favourite show. It may be ‘My 600LB Life’; it might be a repeat of some World Cup Finals of their third favourite sport. Whatever it is, let’s just share the control of whatever is on the tele, because when you share (especially during times of lockdown when they’re the only other person/people in your ‘bubble’) people will love and appreciate you that much more.
For parents, we’re ‘celebrating’ making it to one full week of being home with our tiny tornadoes! 🥂
I think the hardest thing was when schools were suddenly closed down within hours, we weren’t fully prepped for it. I mean, we kinda knew it was coming, but it was like giving birth: when you’re preggers you know it’s gonna happen but when your waters break – “OMG! That was totally unexpected!” Anyway, as usual I’m off track!
“How’s your brain doing?” is an actual question that was asked in our home this week. Because this is a great question to ask, as your brain is where everything starts… Brain is foggy? Take a walk. Brain is tired? Take a nap.
Brain is over being in lockdown? Talk it out.
Even better – talk and walk it out!
From me to you: how’s your brain?
Hope you and your other are doing OK xo

As you can see from this list, especially with the likes of “chippies” and “Outlander“, I really have no great insight into how any couple can ensure their relationship endures this unusual situation we all find ourselves in, BUT if we share a laugh then perhaps it’ll make it a little easier 🤷‍♀️

Part II coming tomorrow.

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