Canterbury Wedding Planning Made Easy.

Category: Uncategorized (Page 1 of 6)

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.)


Thinking Micro Wedding?

Take the stress out of planning your small weekday wedding, by booking an all-in-one Micro Wedding package from North Canterbury Weddings.

We make it easy for any couple wanting an intimate and affordable wedding from as little as $1970.

Micro Weddings, also known as Boutique, Intimate or Pop-Up Weddings, cater for up to 30 guests on any weekday, and include everything a normal wedding does but within a two-hour time frame.

By booking our two-hour package, you receive the following:

VENUE: Bramble Grove

PHOTOGRAPHER: Andrea Kewish Photography (back up: another North Canterbury Weddings’ photographer)

CELEBRANT: Kineta Booker (back up: another North Canterbury Weddingscelebrant)

CAKE: For Cake’s Sake

There are also extras you can add in:

CATERER: Tasteful Affairs will supply a beautiful antipasto platter – $15p/p, and there’s an option of served canapés if this is something you’d prefer

FLOWERS: Bouquet and boutonniere hire from Three Roses Floral. (There are three beautiful tones to choose from.)

HAIR + MAKEUP: Selina Nunn

EVERYTHING ELSE! Check out this excellent vendor list from North Canterbury Weddings.

How it works:

– Message us to see if your date is available

– Secure your date with a deposit

– We plan your Micro Wedding

– You get married!

Your ‘to-do’ list:

– Invite your guests

– Organise what you’re going to wear

– Organise your marriage licence – choose ‘Personalised Ceremony’ 

– Get married!


VENUE: Bramble Grove


Kaiapoi-based Bramble Grove not only has a beautiful garden-based ceremony area, but they have an indoor option if the weather isn’t as beautiful as expected. Liz also supplies and sets up ceremony chairs, signing table, ceremony arch, and will also run the ceremony music for you. They have beautiful spaces around their grounds for stunning bridal photos and they look forward to hosting your micro wedding! 


You have two options to choose from:

  1. 60 minutes of photos ($650)
  2. 90 minutes of photos ($800)

The time for each photography option starts at the ceremony.

You will receive a gallery of images four weeks after your wedding, with a ‘sneak peek’ of five images within 48 hours.

CELEBRANT: Kineta Booker


Kineta Booker loves micro weddings! There’s something so special about inviting your closest friends and family to celebrate your love with you. We do the legal bit first, with a beautiful personalised ceremony, where you can share your own vows (which I’ll help with) – then you can get into the celebration straight afterwards! (The price of the celebrant doesn’t include your marriage licence fee of $150)

CAKE: For Cake’s Sake


There are two cake styles to choose from: gold foil or flowers

You will receive a single 7-inch cake. Flavour choices: chocolate, vanilla, lemon or raspberry/white chocolate.

For more information or to book – contact us!

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

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