Kineta Booker

Christchurch + North Canterbury Elopement Celebrant

‘All Things Wedding’ North Canterbury

Join us again this year as we open our doors and introduce you to the finest wedding vendors North Canterbury has to offer.

We make planning your wedding easy!

All Things Wedding North Canterbury

Sunday 24 September, 2023, 11am – 2pm

Bramble Grove, Old North Road, Kaiapoi

ENTRY: gold coin donation. (This year we’ve decided to help raise funds for the restoration of our beautiful historic North Canterbury venue – registered charity, the Ashley Community Church. It needs a new roof! So your donation is going to help that. Thanks so much in advance!)

Click here to find out more.

Bye bye maskne – hello lipstick!

Lipstick lovers throughout the land are rejoicing at the news that masks will no longer be required from midnight tonight.

Although it’s become borderline normal for us to wear masks on the daily, we can finally breathe freely – they’re gone! It’s just one of the great things that came out of the post-Cabinet meeting at parliament today.

The Covid-19 Traffic Light System has been turned off.

It’s been a tough three years enduring covid – and all the government requirements that came along with it, but finally the traffic light system is gone, masks are gone (for most work places), and mandates are gone.

However, in some cases they will still be worn. PM Jacinda Ardern said, “Some places, such as workplaces, special events, or marae may ask you to wear a mask, but this will be at their discretion and no longer a Government requirement. Please respect those who choose to keep wearing masks as a form of protection.”

For more info see: Covid-19 website.

On a personal note, and maybe you can relate – today’s announcement has come at the perfect time! No more ‘maskne’, the tip of my nose will no longer be subjected to an exfoliation every time a rough face mask is anywhere near it – and my beautiful lipsticks are back in hot demand! What a great day indeed.

QEII: Rest in love

Queen Elizabeth II
1926 – 2022
Rest in love

In 1947, the then 21-year-old Princess Elizabeth’s wedding to Prince Philip was the first big celebration of the post-war era – and her Norman Hartnell dress was something everyone wanted to see.

Did you know her gown – which featured a heart-shaped neckline, low v-pointed waist and floor-length panelled skirt was inspired by a painting? Hartnell based the ivory silk dress on Botticelli’s painting – Primavera, which symbolises the coming of spring. HRH also wore a 4.5m train embroidered in pearl and crystal.

Imagine this: 350 people worked on the design, which Hartnell called “the most beautiful dress I ever made”. Betty Foster, one of the 350 seamstresses, said Hartnell allowed every person at the workshop to place one small stitch in the exquisite gown before it was delivered to Buckingham Palace “just so that they could say they had worked on the wedding dress”.

How absolutely beautiful is that.

IMAGE Hulton-Deutsch Collection

How high is your love?

How high would you go for love? Four-hundred feet?

WARNING: video may cause dizziness. (I can hardly see straight anymore…)

How high would you go for love? Four-hundred feet? that’s over 120m in the air!

An adventure-seeking duo were hitched on a spacenet over “Fruit Bowls” a canyon near Moab, Utah in the United States.

A spacenet is described as the ‘world’s biggest and highest hammock‘, and it is suspended high above the ground.

The Florida couple, Ryan Jenks and Kim Weglin, are professional slackliners – so it seems natural that they’d grab their two best mates, celebrant, and photographer to get high with them – 400 feet high in the sky – to say I DO!

So, would you?

IMAGES: The Hearns Adventure Photography

Save the date!

Our North Canterbury Weddings‘ OPEN DAY is coming!

Be inspired by local vendors for your upcoming wedding ♡

WHAT: North Canterbury Weddings‘ OPEN DAY!

WHEN: Sunday 28 August, 11am – 2pm

WHERE: Darjon Vineyard, Swannanoa


Pop the date in your diary now!

More info to come x

F-bomb cake topper!

Your wedding cake is a reception masterpiece and sometimes it goes even further than that and becomes a statement through its topper.

Australian caker Kerri from Quintessential Cakes creates pieces that ‘WOW your guests’ and one of her latest cakes is currently making quite an impact on social media with, at the time of writing, attracting 3.1K comments over just one weekend.

‘F…ing Finally’ wedding cake topper
by Quintessential Cakes Australia

It seems the statement topper has hit the funny bone of other couples waiting in the wings to get married. Some commenters are tagging their significant other and saying things like, ‘I’ve found our wedding cake topper!!;’ ‘..if we ever get there, these two words will be plastered everywhere lol;’ ‘…this could be us. But you still haven’t even proposed.’  

Caker Kerri said in a follow-up post, ‘It seems this cake topper has caused quite the stir and I’m not the only one that thought it would have been perfect for me.’

There’s nothing better than a gorgeous cake-topper, but oh, to know the story behind this f-bomb cake topper!

So, what would your statement cake-topper say?

Black wedding dress?

Call me crazy but when I see these three words together, ‘black wedding dress,’ I swoon. Yes, please!

Is it because I adore wearing black? Or because I like the thought of bucking the Western ‘white wedding dress’ trend? Maybe because I could repurpose and wear it again?

All relevant thoughts but I think my love for the idea of wearing black might come down to the archaic meaning behind the white gown – purity.

Black wedding dress. Yay or nay?
(Photo by Вера Чурилова)

Some research suggests it was Queen Victoria who started the trend in 1840 when she wore a white gown at her wedding to Prince Albert. In fact, aristocrats apparently baulked at the colour because white traditionally symbolised mourning, and red was the typical colour of wedding dresses at that time.

Within a decade, it seems all was forgiven, and white started to become more popular, with an article in 1849 saying, ‘Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue … It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.’

However, Queen Vic may not have been the first, with another article I read, dating the practice of wearing white to more than 2000 years ago, to Rome, when brides were dressed in a white tunic. ‘The color white represented purity, symbolizing both a woman’s chastity and her transition to a married Roman matron,’ the article says.

So, although the founding date of the whole white wedding dress trend isn’t certain, the one thing they both have in common is that the colour represents a moral, which seems incredibly outdated.

I say – wear whichever colour you like for any reason you like! That’s 21st Century liberation for you.

Then there was Orange

Hello Orange!

“We’ve been sent good weather!” – The Handmaid’s Tale.

What a blessed day, with great weather, indeed! Hello ORANGE! 🍑

The Orange Light setting is quite different to Orange last time. Remember that numbers were capped if guests didn’t have a My Vaccine Pass? Those days are gone.

Bye-bye RED with your big ol’ rain clouds. No limits, no worries. But leave ya mask on!! x

Q&A: Red Light Wedding

Flowers make everything better. Image: Lisa Fotios.

COVID-19 has quickly become that pesky, blood-sucking mosquito nibbling at your ankles while you’re trying to enjoy a mid-summer BBQ. If only there was a bug spray to keep this big pest away!

And while covid numbers are climbing each day, your wedding worries are perhaps soaring right beside the daily graph.

Here’s a Q&A to help you out with some of the thoughts you may have right now:

Can my wedding still go ahead?

Do you still love each other and still want to get married? Yes? Read on.

In summary: 100 at your wedding for those with a valid My Vaccine Pass; 25 people if there is a mix of My Vaccine Pass/no MVP – this includes if even one person is not vaxxed. (Both of these numbers include babies and children but not workers at the venue. There is no cap on workers ie. catering staff, photographer etc). Read more on this topic here.

How do I “uninvite” someone?

Valid question, and a tough question! There may be a couple of reasons that you have to uninvite someone:

  • at least one of you or your guests does not hold a My Vaccine Pass – that automatically means your wedding will be maximum of 25 people
  • you had planned a wedding for over 100 people

Now here’s your opportunity to get creative. For example: Ceremony List, Reception List, Volunteer List, Yes List, BBQ List. (I’ve clearly just come up with these terribly excellent names, but it gives you an idea.)

You could split the celebration into two: people who don’t hold a My Vaccine Pass could go to the ceremony (or a mix of people up to 25 people); and then all your MVP-holders could then go to the reception – where you can have up to 100 people.

If everyone is vaccinated and you still have to get your numbers down to 100: ask for volunteers. There may be some guests who are already feeling anxious/vulnerable about going to a wedding in this climate – so it may come as a relief to them when they’re given the opportunity to bow out on their RSVP. You might then want to send them a wedding favour/small thank you gift to say how much you appreciate them and their input into your life.

Another idea could be – the out-of-towners who have already paid for accommodation – they should automatically be on the ‘Yes List‘; therefore, those who live close by could be on the ‘post wedding BBQ list‘.

Remember – whatever plan you come up with people will understand. Weddings are stressful enough for you as a couple than to carry the additional worry of whether you’re hurting any of your guests’ feelings. Maybe just make the uninvited still feel part of it by inviting them to a livestream of your wedding over Facebook and a little treat to enjoy at the same time. Good luck!

Can we serve food and drink?

Yes, you can, and people do not need to sit down to eat or drink – unless your gathering is at a hospitality venue (eg. a restaurant) – and then you need to follow the hospitality advice.

(If you have exclusive use of a hospitality venue, then you do not need to follow the hospitality advice.)

Do we have to wear masks?

From 4 February 2022, you must wear a face mask when attending a gathering — except where you have the exclusive use of the venue – which will include most weddings. However, no one is going to judge you if you’d prefer to wear a mask when you’re not eating or drinking.

Read more about masks in this blog post.

Can we have a live band or DJ? Can we dance?

Yes, because a wedding is a private gathering (and not a nightclub) you can dance! “At all gatherings, people do not need to physically distance. This means you can move around, and dance. More about this can be found here.

What if we get sick? What if someone in my household becomes a close contact and we all have to isolate?

This is a very valid question. As we’re living in unprecedented times, anything like this could be a real possibility. Think of it like this: becoming sick with COVID-19 or becoming a close contact and having to self-isolate is an automatic “Level-4 Lockdown”-type situation for you. And what happened during the old fashioned snap lockdowns? Everything was postponed. So, if this happens, you obviously postpone – and there’s nothing more you can do about it. Your vendors and guests will clearly understand because – you, know, we’re living through a global pandemic right now, and also – without the couple, there’s no wedding.

When it comes to the money side of things, most vendors will have a COVID clause in their contract. Make sure you know what the contract says. Working closely with vendors will certainly help you through the anxiety of this time.

What if my vendors get sick?

The great thing about wedding vendors is that we all have professional networks around us – so, just know we’ve got you covered in that regard. That’s one less thing to worry about. I have my colleagues at Christchurch Celebrants and North Canterbury Wedding networks.

These are just some of the questions being asked right now. If there’s anything else playing on your mind – send me a message! I’m happy to help!

Still wanna get married in 2022 – but want to make it a smaller affair? Check these perfect ideas for weddings at Red Light.

Do I have to wear a mask at my wedding?

[Updated: as this is a quickly moving situation, new mask rules come into affect from 4 Feb, 2022. This article has been updated to reflect these new changes. Click here to go straight to the new info.]

It seems that every other day there are new rules being brought in to keep everyone safe from COVID-19 which doesn’t make it easy when you’re planning your wedding.

The biggest question at the moment – Will everyone have to wear masks at my wedding?

It’s a valid question and I’ve done the research for you.

Will I have to wear a mask at my own wedding?
Image: Cleyder Duque

First, let’s look at the rules around weddings while the country is at the current Red Light in the COVID-19 NZ traffic light system.

Weddings WITH My Vaccine Pass:

If a gathering chooses to follow My Vaccine Pass requirements, only people with a My Vaccine Pass are allowed to be there. This includes workers. 

– At a gathering at your home or private dwelling, there can be up to 100 people

– At gatherings held at other venues, there can be up to 100 people based on 1-metre physical distancing in a single defined space at the venue at any time. 

– The limit applies to both indoor and outdoor venues.  

– The limit includes children, but not staff.

– Children under the age of 12 years and 3 months do not need to provide a My Vaccine Pass to enter places with a vaccination requirement.

– You’ll be asked to show your My Vaccine Pass when you’re at the venue. (You may be asked for ID to ensure it is your My Vaccine Pass.) 

– Scan the QR code or keep a record of where you go. 

Weddings WITHOUT My Vaccine Pass:

If a venue for a gathering chooses not to operate with vaccine pass requirements: 

– at a gathering at your home, there can be up to 25 people.

– at gatherings held at other venues, there can be up to 25 people based on 1-metre physical distancing in a single defined space at the venue at any time.

– They can be a mix of people with and without My Vaccine Pass.

– The limit applies to both indoor and outdoor venues.

– The limit includes children, but not staff.


Before I get to the points you’re waiting for, a friendly note from me: if you’re wearing a mask and your nose is hanging out, what’s the point? Your mask doesn’t fit, you look a little silly and you need a new mask.

OK, onto the actual points. Here are the official rules, outlined by the Government. These rules cover gatherings both indoors and out:

FOR WORKERS (covered by a vaccine mandate):

  • it doesn’t matter how beautiful they are, you need to store away all your cloth* masks, bandannas and scarves because they are no longer allowed.
  • All workers, either paid or unpaid, are required to wear a mask at food and drink businesses. This would include a wedding reception.
  • All workers at gatherings are required to wear masks. However, there is an exemption for formal speakers**. These would be people such as your celebrant, MC – and the two of you! (You have to formally say your vows after all!)


  • “From 4 February 2022, you must wear a face mask when attending a gathering — you cannot take your face mask off for photographs, but you can take it off to eat and drink.”
  • However, a very important line from this week’s order hasn’t been included on the government-run website: “These changes won’t apply to… gatherings where you have the exclusive use of a premises.”
  • Do you have exclusive use of the premises for your wedding? You’re not expected to be masked the whole time. However, it is still “strongly encouraged” for people to wear face coverings at events (a wedding is a small-scale event, after all)
  • Remember, there are new changes coming in all the time. Please ensure you’re not going with outdated advice.

Yes, masks are a pain – but we won’t have to wear them forever. Embrace the craziness. We’ll look back on this in years to come and it’ll be utterly surreal. But it’s currently real – so, please – keep safe out there!

*here’s a tip: although I suggest to store away your lovely masks, I’m considering ‘double-masking’ a surgical mask with my cloth masks. You know, just for fun.

**although formal speakers are exempt from wearing a face mask when they’re talking, we’re encouraged to do so, and I will be wearing one when I am around people and guests I do not know. This is my own rule.


Why do we have to wear masks?

“Face masks help reduce the spread of COVID-19. You should wear one whenever you can. COVID-19 spreads by droplets, so face masks are a way we can protect ourselves and others.” More info HERE.

Which mask is the best?

N95 and P2 masks, when worn correctly, filter out the airborne particles produced by someone’s breath.

Surgical masks are less effective than N95 and P2 masks but are more effective than cloth masks.

Cloth masks are currently considered efficient for the general public.


An earlier version of this article stated: as of 26 January 2022 (but be prepared for them to change at any time!), here are the official rules:

  • it is “strongly encouraged” for people to wear face coverings at events (a wedding is a small-scale event, after all)
  • think of a wedding like you would if you were going to a restaurant. If you’re sitting at your table, you take your mask off. If you’re going to the loo, or passing through common areas, you put your mask on.
  • other than the aforementioned ‘strong encouragement’, currently there are no other rules but I would go with my gut feeling. If you don’t know the other people you’re in ‘breathing distance’ of at a wedding – keep your mask on. And if you shake hands with someone you don’t know – have some sanitiser handy. I know it sounds a bit paranoid – but these are just ways of keeping yourself safe from this dreaded virus.
  • remember – 1-metre physical distancing, so if you’re doing lots of cuddling while people are congratulating you, then this is your personal choice.

So, no current need to worry about all your wonderful wedding pictures being ruined, as you’re not expected to wear a mask the whole time at your own wedding. But, the exceptions are, like in any hospitality environment, when walking through common areas – it’s strongly advised you wear one.

And if you’re going to be cuddling dozens of people you haven’t seen in a while – you might want to have this conversation with your partner, bridal party, celebrant or wedding planner – what your personal rules are around this for your wedding. A good idea would be to have your celebrant give a “mask, cuddling and distancing rule” as a notice at the beginning of the ceremony, and have your MC remind guests about this later. Have a firm plan and roll with it.

(These rules are now out-of-date. I have updated the original blog so there is no misinformation.)


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