Christchurch Celebrant

Kineta Booker

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Writing your vows

Writing your vows possibly doesn’t come naturally or easily to you but all you need to think about are these two words: why and what.

Why are you marrying your love? What is it about them that makes you sure you’re better together than apart? 

While you’re considering all these reasons, writing them down as you go, you will have the basis for your vows.

And you thought writing vows was hard! The only tricky part is turning all your reasons why into a format you’d be happy to read out at your wedding. This is where I become your writing buddy! Remember, I’m here to guide you, so don’t be shy in asking for help.

My Facebook Live explaining how to write your own vows.

Why do we share vows?

Other than there being a legal aspect within the vows, the actual word vow means ‘to make a solemn promise’; or to ‘dedicate to someone or something’. How beautiful is that? 

The two of you fell in love by chance, but you’re making a choice – you’re choosing each other. You’re vowing to be there for one another. Vows are promises you intend to keep. 

Vow writing tips

  • Ensure you include the legal line that you’ll see on your marriage licence: ‘I AB take you CD to be my legal wife (or husband)’ or words to similar effect.
  • What your partner means to you.
  • How your partner makes you feel.
  • Why you are choosing to marry your partner.
  • If humour is your style, go ahead and add some in! Perhaps you could add in some promises? ‘I promise to never watch the next episode we’re binging on Netflix without you.’ Or ‘I promise to try not to touch your computer screen.’ Anything that means something to you and your partner will add some colour to your vows.
  • Your favourite quote to wrap it all up. As Patrick says to David in Schitts Creek – ‘You’re my Mariah Carey.’ Those who know this quote will know how poignant these words are. 

Need more inspiration?

If you’re still struggling with finding some words to say – listen to some music, especially music that makes you think about the person you’re going to marry. Music is an emotive tool often used to get into a certain frame of mind.

Rather not write your own vows?

You certainly don’t have to. All you need to say is the legal line. Everything else is poetry. 

Be encouraged to say what you want to say. No matter how long or short you make them. You might like to add just a couple of extra lines to the legal line, or a couple of extra paragraphs. Inevitably, it’s up to you.

Remember, you don’t need to be creative; you don’t need to be a big old romantic; you just need to think about what your partner means to you, and the promises (ie: vows) you’d like to make to them.

App: Wedding White Pages

Planning your Canterbury wedding has just become a whole lot easier – with the Wedding White Pages app.

You’ll find wedding vendor directories, including North Canterbury Weddings and Christchurch Celebrants – practical ideas along with tips and tricks for planning your wedding, and up-to-date info of what’s happening in the local wedding industry.

It’s a continual work-in-progress, so it’ll be updated on the reg, and the bonus is – you won’t need to keep updating it as it’s a website-based app. Easy!

You can download it to your phone or computer, so if you’re not allowed to use your phone at work – they’ll never know you’re planning your wedding because it’s all on your computer! You’re welcome.

To download:

Note for iPhone users: use Safari, it doesn’t work on mobile Chrome.

Wedding ideas at Red Light

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s wedding postponed due to COVID-19 Red Light.
Image: Labour Party Facebook

The wedding plans of many New Zealanders have been interrupted by COVID-19 and that now includes our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

New Zealand has moved to the “Red Light” of the traffic light system, and just like a red traffic light when you’re driving, the COVID-19 Red has literally put a stop on PM Jacinda’s wedding – for now.

While this news isn’t wonderful for our prime minister and her partner Clarke Gayford, she can now completely understand the reality of what other loved-up couples have had to endure over the past two years – the world over.

Planning your wedding while living through a global pandemic isn’t the dream place to be – but we can’t stop living and loving, so this is what you (and our PM Jacinda) can do to ensure your wedding isn’t postponed while we’re at Red.

The idea is – hitch now, party later! (For more information on what it means to host a wedding when NZ is at ‘Red’ read this informative blog post.)

COVID-19 ‘Red Light’ wedding options

Registry Office Ceremony – $90

So, you’re wanting a straight-forward ceremony at your home or a local spot, with set vows and script? Done!

As an authorised VCANZ Registry Celebrant, I can do this for you. All you need to do is organise two witnesses, and your marriage licence ($150), and it will cost just $90 to have me as your celebrant. It couldn’t be more simple.

Elopement – $300

($100 non-refundable deposit; balance due one week out from your elopement)

Elope away with your greatest love, embracing your freedom of choice: marrying where you want, when you want, and with the handful of guests you want!

Throw away the rule book of organising a big, traditional wedding by choosing to elope!

Here are some reasons people choose to elope: because it’s an utterly authentic, ‘just us’ experience; intimacy and intention; less family drama (someone had to say it – ha!); valuing experiences over stuff; far less stress and anxiety; less planning; and life is meant to be an adventure – so why not elope away for the love of fun! And each other!

Elopement Package – $950

($200 non-refundable deposit; balance due one week out from your elopement)

All of the awesomeness from an elopement with the added option of a photographer. I work with two talented photographers, (Andrea Kewish Photography and Mel’s Moments) to ensure there’s always someone available for your beautifully relaxed, stress-free elopement. It includes:

  • maximum of 10 adult guests (anymore and it becomes a Boutique Wedding)
  • personalised ceremony (Kineta will help you write your vows)
  • elopement certificate with your witnesses signatures on it
  • photos during ceremony
  • up to 1 hour of photos onsite (this includes the ceremony)
  • an online gallery of your elopement images
Micro Wedding – $500

($150 non-refundable deposit; balance due one week out from your micro wedding)

Perhaps you’d like just 20-30 people to attend your wedding, but you’d still like it to be a bespoke, personalised ceremony, still walking up the aisle to music, and writing your own vows. A Micro Wedding is the perfect choice for you!

Here’s what you can expect:

  • An initial meeting to discuss and plan your ceremony
  • From what you paint as your vision for the day, I will then set about creating your ceremony, and offering some advice and ideas. I can also help with your vows and give you some ideas for other things you might like in your ceremony, too
  • As many emails and calls with me as you need
  • Conducting the ceremony
  • Keepsake vow booklets
  • A keepsake certificate – with your witnesses signatures on it
  • This option does not include a rehearsal or use of my PA and microphone

So, there are four awesome reasons to stay encouraged and keep planning your wedding. By keeping it small you have a better opportunity to ensure you still get the wedding you’ve planned for. And, although very highly recommended, whether your guests have a My Vaccine Pass or not will not be taken into consideration, as all numbers onsite are under 25.

Just because Jacinda’s wedding is off doesn’t mean yours has to be too. If you stick to these simple rules it need not mean a stop to your wedding.

Weddings at COVID-19 Red Light

Red smoke to distract you from the realities of a Red Light wedding


Ahhh COVID-19, ya massive pain in the derrière!

OK, so it looks inevitable that we’ll have to cruise into the Red Traffic Light once there’s a community outbreak of Omicron in NZ.

So, let’s chat about the Red blimmin elephant in the room – because being prepared for a Red wedding (as opposed to the GoT Red Wedding) is the best position to be in. And it’s all about how the vaccine pass system is being used – and it must be used correctly.

Here’s what can be expected at any wedding that I’m associated with as soon as New Zealand is placed into the Red Traffic Light, as outlined by the Government this week: the Prime Minister plans to move the entire country to Red within 24 to 48 hours once Omicron is discovered because “Omicron will move so quickly”.

(The following information is based on the current information provided on the website. Always check there for the latest info.)

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.

Now, back to me 😉
If you’re having trouble creating your My Vaccine Pass – let me know! I’ve talked my parents (and their friends!) through it, and if I can calmly help them, I can help you! hahaha
Any other questions – just sing out! That’s what I’m here for x

To arch or not to arch

Thinking ceremony arch? Think yes!

Arches create a beautiful frame for the two of you throughout your ceremony and can then be repurposed elsewhere at the venue throughout the day.

There are so many different styles on offer around Canterbury; they are as varied as every couple’s taste. Let’s take a look!

The ever-evolving arch. How’s this for a stunning piece of arch art! These are The Little Hire Company‘s metal floral plinths. Love!

This triangle arch is a 3m beauty! Blackbird Furniture and Event Hire has a set of three you can hire – or just the one. You decide!

[Image: Carmen Peter Photography]

How fun is this! Frames within a frame. Nice work, Fleur Couture.

Elegant draping alongside green and white florals. Beautiful. The Event Boutique.

The Little Hire Company plinths? YES, PLEASE! Perfect for your ceremony, and for the reception, too.

This cluster of panels is a gorgeous addition to your ceremony. Hire one; hire them all! (Although they are shown in pink here, they are now in a neutral tone). You can find these at Blackbird Furniture and Event Hire.

Can never go past a gorgeous floral wall in place of an arch. LOVE. By Fleur Couture.

White double triangle: together or spaced apart. 2.4m H x 2.2m W. So beautiful. The Event Boutique.

An arch with a roof! Beautiful new piece from Creative Cart Co. A chic, boho and a traditional vintage option for a sunny reception. 

This could be you! Love this contemporary piece by The Event Boutique.

[Image: Sophie Isabella Photo]

Arghh! Looks so good in this environment! Beautiful work, Flourish Events.

Ahh the beauty of this lush greenery and floral arch. Such a clever team over at The Little Hire Company.

[Image: Midge Edine Photography]

This is a goodie! Beautifully handmade by Blackbird Furniture and Event Hire.

Did someone say toetoe? Can never get enough of this piece of natural art. Rent this from The Little Hire Company.

These examples are just a drop in the bucket! There are so many beautiful pieces to hire throughout Canterbury for your elopement, wedding ceremony, or reception.

Are you looking for something different? Check the Canterbury Wedding White Pages for a full list of event hire equipment.

Compassion this Orange Christmas

Will it be an Orange Christmas?

You know the 12 Days of Xmas song? Well, did you know that the ‘first day of Christmas’ is actually on the 25th December – with the song finishing over a week into January – well after everyone has moved on from the magic of the season? Perhaps I’m the last person to know this, but I thought it would either start 12 days before Xmas, finishing on Xmas Day, or from the 1st December – so the person you’re giving the gifts to can recover 😆

OK, so this wasn’t the point I started out to make – THIS is! As we move into the Orange light system this week, I’d love for you to consider all your small and local businesses who’ll have to do things differently from Friday, especially in this super busy lead-up to Xmas.
Their custom may go down, which is absolutely not their choice or fault, so it’s time for your Xmas Spirit to rise up and support! Why not pop over to their social media pages and give them a glowing review of the last product or service you purchased or experienced from them? Or buy a voucher from that business to gift to someone this Xmas: there is absolute power in the gift card 😉 But, most importantly, it’s a time for compassion and kindness – especially if it takes a little more time for the business to get back to you, fulfill your order, serve you, etc. Running a small business is blimmin hard, especially in COVID-19 times.
Thinking of all our awesome small and local businesses out there! We’ve got you! x
P.S. The Orange light comes into play 11.59pm 2 December, 2021. This will be reviewed 13 December, 2021.

Weddings at COVID-19 Orange Light

Orange light weddings are nicer with orange smoke

At a recent event I was challenged by a guest about the COVID-19 group restrictions and the upcoming traffic light system. No point going into details but let’s just say we had differing perspectives.

This person was extremely passionate in their point-of-view, but I calmly listened and heard them out – which confused them, as I think they were looking for some kind of scene, and they walked off in a huff… and I merrily carried on with my day.
Fortunately for me, I’m a member of  Celebrants Aotearoa (which not all celebrants are, and don’t have to be), and because of this I know exactly what is allowed and not allowed at events.
So, let’s chat about the Orange elephant in the room. Celebrants Aotearoa takes its lead from the Government on all COVID-19 matters. Therefore, here’s what can be expected at any South Island wedding/event that I’m associated with from 3 December, 2021:

Orange leaves are more calming than orange lights

WITH My Vaccine Pass:
– If every single guest has a My Vaccine Pass, there is NO restriction to the number of people at your event! 🥳 (Children under the age of 12 years don’t need to provide a My Vaccine Pass.)
– 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.
WITHOUT My Vaccine Pass:
– At a gathering at your home, there can be up to 50 people.
– At gatherings held at other venues, there can be up to 50 people based on 1-metre physical distancing in a single defined space at the venue at any time.
– The 50 people can be a mix of people with and without My Vaccine Pass.
– This limit applies to both indoor and outdoor venues.
– The limit includes children. It does not include staff.
Now, back to me 😉🙋🏼‍♀️
If you’re having trouble creating your My Vaccine Pass – let me know! I’ve talked my parents (and their friends!) through it, and if I can calmly help them, I can help you! hahaha
Any other questions – just sing out! That’s what I’m here for x

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

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