Kineta Booker

Christchurch + North Canterbury Celebrant

Creating a Wedding Plan B

Interesting times, huh! But let’s make the most of a bad situation during the international COVID-19 pandemic by having a Plan B for your up-coming wedding.
Weddings can be high-risk events, as seen in the Bluff Wedding Cluster last year.  So, it’s no wonder the New Zealand Government has set stricter conditions for Alert Level 2 around weddings and events throughout the country following the Delta outbreak in Auckland.
What this means for you and your wedding. First, you can still get married! And that’s the most important thing. It’s just about the two of you, after all. But when it comes to celebrating with friends and family, here are the rules:
– maximum of 50 people for indoor weddings (as far as we’re aware, this includes all onsite event staff, celebrant, photographer etc)
– maximum of 100 people for outdoor weddings (as above)
– the 2-metre rule is in place for people you don’t know
– a 1-metre distance should be kept from people you do know
– set chairs/tables apart so this distance can be maintained
– if food is served, it must be served to the table – not a buffet/grazing table etc
– no sharing utensils or plates
– wear a facemask if you’re unable to maintain physical distancing inside
– scan in, wash your hands, sanitise, etc etc
Just remember, the Government hasn’t created these rules to ruin your life – they have created them to save lives. And I’m all for that! Think of this as your Plan B. Read the full Level 2 rules HERE.
No one has any idea how long L2 will last for, so even if you’re getting married in a few months from now – please have a Plan B up your sleeves.
If you’re looking for someone to help you plan your way through this, I’d love to recommend Moira from I Do For You, Kate from Collective Concepts and Lisa from The Event Boutique. Each of these awesome planners will be able to guide you with more ideas.
And, if you’re thinking – ‘let’s elope now and party later’ – I can help you with that!
As always, just flick me a message if you’d like to know more,

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…

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