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.