Monday, 13 June 2016

Symbolic Spiritual Ceremonies

The Spirit in your Ceremony

As a New Zealand registered celebrant I am asked to officiate all sorts of occasions for the celebration of birth, marriage and death.  My registration as an independent Celebrant is one without denomination and I pride myself on being able to listen to my customers, feel their passion and understand the style and reasoning for their celebration.  Once this connection is wordless I put it into a spiritual category when planning a ceremony and script with my customers.

Understanding the difference between Spirituality and religion.

Although both spiritual and religion have far past connections and an ingrained conditioning in our every day lives it is becoming a much broader understood word and accepted feeling.  With the dictation of religion often not everyone's cup of tea, spirituality allows us as individuals to maintain that connection and belief in oneself and expressing it openly with others unconditionally.

Spirituality has also been connected with the 1960' and 70's hippy era when the baby boomer years allowed self expression often enhanced by a little chemical intervention, which developed into its less desirable reputation but what these people were really exploring was a door way to understanding their own minds and connection with mother nature an often under stated power and beauty of our modern world.

Although all of the above can correlate with religion it is really it's own power or energy that has often been incarcerated by our human need to belong and be lead by an organized group or culture that has a mission to give specific teaching and way of life to those open to it. In a nut shell Spirituality in my opinion is about respect for ourselves, a god (who every you might like that to be) and every body else who shares our space.

Spirit is a word that has several interpretations, for example we would often associate it with the energy leaving a body after death just as we understand it as something having Spirit, living, a life full and driven by an energy to be inspired and work beyond oneself.  To enable my customers to be inspired by their belief what ever it might be, inspires me to translate this into my services as the feeling they carry within; into love, wisdom, joy, peacefulness and celebration of the event we are orchestrating.

Is your Celebrant in tune with you?

Terri Everett
Most Popular Celebrant -Wedding Experts Industry 2015
dressed for autumn 
I feel if people are going to invest in my professional service that it is important to offer a flexibility that represents the people I am working for.  As Celebrants we do have a ceremony template and in the case of a marriage; legal requirements and expectations from the guests celebrating with the couple but beyond this there are few rules that can be manipulated around the customers desire.

For me (beyond the legal requirements)  I must believe in the ceremony celebration given into my charge, to offer an authentic service.  Love is a profoundly powerful feeling that is the upper foremost expression in all births, marriages and death and a feeling no one can deny that they have felt at some time in their lives. This is a feeling I can describe to my customers as their spirituality, its physical, and allows us to understand the invisible energy of love and spirit.  This is the energy that I like to work with which gives inner peace that will achieve our goal for a personalized meaningful and enlightening ceremony everyone can relate to.

Once we establish the need to celebrate the occasion, by looking within, to find the timeless and deeply profound feelings that are in-tune with the individuals need of the customer, that one has to outwardly express those feelings about another to each other, and in most cases in front of an audience who feel relaxed in attending this style of ceremony; is key.  Understanding that in the case of a wedding for example there should not be any rules when offering these affirmations to each other weather in legal or non legal terms, hence the personal vows.

Births marriages and death are about the living spiritual life and offering a symbolic ceremony encompassing the meanings of that occasion will reflect at each ceremony we perform.  Your celebrant will help balance the event with your feelings as well as the ideals that could be different from your family and guests.  The marriage legal paper work in New Zealand when working with an independent celebrant can easily be blended into a spiritual ceremony and will not impact on your personal desire to follow your beliefs however they are announced.

With the flexibility of marriage and weddings in New Zealand we see a flock of international couples swooping into New Zealand combining their wedding and honeymoon together ( #weddingmoon
however, if you want your spiritual event to be sincere and not just a commercial quick fix and a standard wedding doesn't suit you; research should be high on your priority to find the right location which offers that vibration you have inside as well as a connection with the officiant you will engage to lead your celebration, 

Once you have chosen your registered celebrant (CANZ) its important to build up a report' with them and express what is important, even down to the clothes they wear.  Most celebrants has what they would call their uniform; an appropriate and smart outfit but in many cases this will have mainly black base, so not to clash with the bride. But in a spiritual ceremonies black is symbolic of sadness and darker impression and it is more appropriate to wear other colors, blue is more popular.  I like to wear a colour or selection of colours typical of the season which lines up with the energy of that time of year in nature.

Dressed in 1920's style
Dressed for spring
Location: New Zealand seems to induce a spiritual feeling within its natural beauties and story telling of the Maori culture.  Scouting for such a New Zealand destination ceremony location isn't easy if you're looking from over seas, its advised that maybe you look on google at a map of New Zealand and either the North Island or South Island to give you a sense of your inner intuition and further research the location that inspires you or ask someone who lives there to advise on a location that will reflect your spirit and need.  The Dream Maker is very lucky to live in the Nelson and Tasman region which includes the Spirit of Golden Bay and with experience and the necessary department of conservation permits will easily direct you to a location that reflects on your desire to speak affirmation to your beloved in a place with an atmosphere, further satisfying your spiritual you.

The Spirit of the New Zealand Mountain Tops Wedding

The Spirit of the New Zealand Native Woodland Weddings
The Spirit of the New Zealand  Biscuit Crisp Beach Weddings

Time of day: Your location will govern what time of day you can get married, this will depend on light and in the case of a beach the tide times which can not be compromised, so if the time of day is important to you then these are considerations to think about before even thinking about the location.  Dawn and dusk are both very spiritual times of day to hold your ceremony and your officiant or wedding planner can advise on your possibilities.

The Spirit of the New Zealand Sunrise or  Dusk Wedding 

Once the location which holds that energy to suit your desire has been decided its about building the bridges of your ceremony and many symbolic offerings and ideas are available to personalize your statement of love.  We can offer suggestions however if your beliefs have different ideas we can easily incorporate these into your celebration.

Circle of Goldcan also be very symbolic and a very beautiful song sung by Isla Grant is extremely popular in weddings as well as reaffirming a couples love (Renewal of vows) and memorials.  The Circle of gold also has connection to the sacred circle which can be created as drawn into the sand, petals, shells, rocks and I have even experienced sand castles. The circle is exclusive for the couple and officiant to stand in and guests would stay outside.  This tradition has also been adapted into love hearts created and celebrated in the same way.

Circle of Gold Sand Castles

The Spirit of the Circle of Gold a perfect ceremony idea

Symbolic Spiritual Ceremonies

Blending of two Families: Wedding planning is often constrained by family tradition but with the ability, especially in New Zealand to design your ceremony in a way that reflects on you, rather than the expectation of others has never been easier.  We are seeing an increase of couples only celebrations, combining their big overseas experience with their wedding and honeymoon, which often doesn't have a lot of difference in the over all cost of the occasion but captures much more opportunities for life long memories.  These weddings are perfect for couples blending beliefs or maybe marring for the second or third time and can be a great opportunity for couples with children from previous relationships bringing the symbolic action to fuse the two families together for a new banging bringing to halves into a whole.  For me, as a celebrant this is one of the most joyous occasion, amalgamating two families which often have a difficult past into a brighter future where they all feel they belong.  Its also an chance for each partner to express to those children the importance of the children in their lives and being part of the acceptance of the other partner.  One example of this was two fairly large families, with a wide age range of siblings coming together for a very simple event in a stunning coastal location that had been enjoyed over 10 years as the conjoined families lived together.  It had taken a long time for the couple to feel ready to officiate their union and we did it in the simplest of ways.  Each child selected a shell with a hole in from the beach and threaded it onto a string, with the couples also having a shell in the middle of the string.  As they threaded the shell they gave comment to what was important to them and the string was finally knotted together to symbolize the coming together and the security of that union.  The beautiful and hugely indicative jewel was then kept in their home as a reminder of that significant day.

Indigenous Sound Ceremony: If you are really connected to sound, earth and nature and the energy it can bring to an event or even an individual, you will love the idea of a a powerful indigenous Kiwi instrument sound journey to bless you on your new journey as a married couple or united family.  This extraordinary experience is a unique product to The Dream Maker and will incorporate the Kiwi experience adding an emotional and memorable occasion.  The instruments are played by Sika who has traveled the world sharing his story telling passion for music and sound blended with nature and love.


Tree of Life: The tree of life symbolizes life itself, with deep rooted meaning of reproduction, seasons and death.  A young tree or even just an acorn can be used within the ceremony to suggest the true meaning of our family tree and at most ceremonies there is a range of family members from each side and its a nice way to include them by giving them a paper leaf to write a message and place it on the tree.  These can later we kept in a scrap book and enjoyed as well as the planting of the tree in a place where it can share its seasons with you as a reminder of your special day of celebration. The tree must also be nurtured by you both as you would you marriage to stay strong and vibrant.

The Alter or Signing Table: I chose to have a native wood table made as part of my package.  The table being native wood has its own energy to balance with nature and the locations I work.  It can be easily transported to those more inaccessible locations but I have also used the granite rock's on mountain tops and these really do offer an incredible vibration and energy of strength and power, solid grounding. There can be some symbolic routines around approach and entering the circle of gold (love)

Native New Zealand Wood Ceremony Table is easily folder for transportation to difficult locations

Tradition vintage family signing table that holds personal spiritual significance

Unity Candle Ceremonies:  This ceremony can be included in several ways, two candles symbolizing the light of two soles which then come together to light one candle which suggest the two lights burning as one light in unity.  There are far more in depth implications to do with deep symbolic understanding of alchemy that can be discussed if its typical for the couple. With this idea you can really let your personality run wild but please be thoughtful of you are using this ceremony outside, if the wind is high you may not be able to complete the ceremony which could leave you feeling unfulfilled. (ideal for family blending too) If you are holding your ceremony at night this is a really beautiful way to light your way up to the alter. Candles with your names and date of the ceremony are also available to personalize it further.

The Spoon:  This tradition is a Celtic tradition and quite long in the tooth and is said to be given to the groom from the bride to symbolize the care and nurture she will give to her husband in marriage.  Its also said to be the symbol of Love.

Sand Ceremony: The blending of sand is a popular offering, and can be used in both scenarios; just a couple or family blending situation.  Its about bringing the two individual components together and mixing them in a way that will never ever be apart again.  I have used this when two cultures are coming together and combined the two sands from each origin.  This works brilliantly when the sands have two very different shades. (make sure if you are bringing sand in from another country it has got a certificate of fumigation, this might need to be arranged well in advance of your ceremony date)  If the sands are collected in a decorative glass that can be engraved with the names, location and date.

Blending of water: This offers much the same effect as the blending of sand, however its important that you work with two colours that will blend and create a pretty colour.  This is not something that can be kept as a keep sake and really is just about visually expressing your union on the day.

Blending of Wine or Beer: In the Tasman region of New Zealand we are known for our boutique wines and craft beers.  If you are spiritually connected to the science of wine and beer making this could be a great way to celebrate by blending your own wine for the day.  I would highly suggest discussing with an expert and maybe time permitted you could be part of the whole process, making your combination that much more symbolic to you as a couple. Personalized labels for your wine or drinks can be arranged.

Flowers: Weddings are all about the flower but more often its about personal choice and style combined with theme and colour. However if you are more inclined to be spiritually connected to you ceremony some research on the types of flowers in your bouquet or flower ceremony could have further significance and importance to the ceremony.  We all know the red rose symbolizes love but did you know that pink carnations and chrysanthemums stand for remembrance of a deceased while its the white carnation which that shows untainted love and innocence.  These traditions have come from ancient beliefs and could be ingrained in that energy, it is advised you discuss with your expert florist if the meaning is of important to your spiritual beliefs.  Once you have ascertained your chosen flower this can be used in much the same way as blending the sand and water. each family member adding to the couples flowers in a vase. (Make sure if the chosen location has any restrictions on flower types for its scientific native importance)

The Spirit of the ceremony Flowers New Zealand Weddings

Hand Fastening: Again a Pagan background with strong long standing meaning that is less typical of today's unions, so, it is advised if a couple really follow these Pagan  traditions that they ask a Pagan specialist Celebrant to officiate their union.  However this symbolic idea can and is used in a much more simplistic way today to make a visual statement of the two people coming together tied in their love for each other and if understood by each person can be a deeply ingrained feeling of passion. The rope, vine, ribbon or silks you chose to use can be significant, such as a piece of material from your grandmothers wedding dress for example.  Tradition had it that three strands were significant and again you can use your personal spiritual and artistic flare to make this personal to you both.  The material will later be removed and given back to the couple as a keep sake.  

Tying the knot: As with the significance of the type of flowers you use to express the correct spiritual meaning, too must you consider the knots which can also hold deep Celtic expression.  For example it refers to a mystic knot with spiritual meaning of the beginnings and no ending which the Celtic knots boast there is no beginning or no ending reminding us of the timeless nature of our spirit.  This ceremony can be quite simple as each partner bring with them a thread which can be tied simply together and kept or framed as a reminder of that entwined love.

Love letters: Love letters are much like the personal vows; an expression of your love for the other and can be enjoyed over and over again or pulled out at difficult times to be reminded of that time and devotion.  The tradition is that this locked away to be drawn on at a time that you as a couple feel the need and can be combined with the wine ceremony and maybe a duplicate bottle can be stored that will mature with age, as will your relationship.

Message in a Bottle: This is much like the love letters but it is unlikely you will ever see this again.  A copy of your vows are printed off and secured in a bottle and sent out to sea. You never know where it might turn up but it symbolizes the how the sincerity of the words spoken can endure the rough seas.

Combining a marriage with a spiritual send off

The Releasing of Balloons: We do not encourage this particular practice unless we can provide environmentally biodegradable balloons to protect the New Zealand wildlife.  This is however a very soothing ceremony idea for those who want to remember someone in their ceremony, yet let them free.  It offers significant closure.

Memorial display: It is difficult if people close to you can not attend and celebrate with you for what ever reason but a clever and simple way of bringing their spirit into the presence to the ceremony, is to add photos in frames and add them to the ceremony location in some way.  We have also bought the spirit of pets into the occasion in this way.

All these ideas are about the shared life and love moving forward and if you are true to your own spirit and belief and accept that of your partners spirit and belief you will feel safe and confident in the future as it unfolds with you as a couple.

For further unconditional advise and support in crating your special day please contact The Dream Maker or call us on 0064 (0) 275268771


Looking Good for your Wedding NZ

Pre-Wedding Preparation for the Happy Couple

Having been in the boutique wedding industry for some years now and with plenty of experience for unusual locations, unpredictable weather and situations out of our control it occurred to me, that as professional planners we should do more to advise and prepare our couples to get the best out of their day and photos or video if they choose to have one.  There are plenty of common mistakes which can be easily rectified when you have the knowledge before your celebration.  It’s always sad when you get the photos back and find something glaringly obvious that could have simply been different had it been thought about beforehand.

This blog is about high lighting the things that many best friends, partners and Mums don’t always have the heart to say but if you start the conversation I am 100% sure you can have a lot of fun with them and they will start to be more openly honest in a way that will not offend you. I believe as a professional wedding manager I should be able to sympathetically give advice to my couple that would normally be uncomfortable to discuss and when I have quietly mention that someone’s clothing label is showing or the price tag is still on the bottom of your shoe its meant with the best intention and I have always been rewarded with gratitude.  It saddens me when I see a bride squeezed into an hour class dress when they have a pear shaped body, yet no one has pointed out the glaring mistake.  It might be the most beautiful dress on the shop manikin but if it is not a style that suits your shape it will be the ugliest. This is the problem with buying on line, your head says yes but your body says not! When it arrives.

Photography and Video are two of the largest investments of your day but also the one thing that will give you years of delight or on the other hand disappointment.  So here are a few home truths to consider.

·         Finger nails: Most ladies have their hands beautifully manicured but what for the grooms?  I have seen several beautifully posed photos of the couples hands and wedding rings only to be discarded because the groom’s hands were rough, chipped nails and even on one occasion car oil stains.  You may argue, well that is who he is but it simply detracts from the beautiful investment of the rings and will never be a wow photo.  Take the time a few weeks in advance to manicure your nails, soak and exfoliate the skin and moisturize.  A really good tip for gardeners or mechanic is to scrape your finger nails into a bar of soap before going to work, this will block out the dirt and make cleaning your hands and nails much easier.  
Good or not?

·         Sunburn: Once again one of your biggest wedding investments is in the dress and off the shoulder seems very popular these days.  However this is not a great look if the brides have been out in the sun with a vest or strapped top on, leaving obvious sun marks.  At least three weeks before the wedding (Which is generally the time it takes for the skin to re-generate) cover all the area which will show on your wedding day for the style of your dress, by using a very high factor sun screen to give yourself an even tan or make sure you are strapless when sun bathing.  If for any reason this wasn’t possible and you have obvious strap marks it’s advised to discuss the options with your make-up artist (She will already be onto it, if she is a professional and understands the photography element of the day?) Today’s make-up is not just for the girls or face and there are great cover up make-ups. However they may not work well at the edge of the dress, which will be easily stained and marked.  It’s also advised if you have an off the shoulder dress that you bring a shawl or a simple jacket to wear, should the sun get too hot or there is an unexpected chill in the air.

As well as the look its the health issues

·         Eyes: As above with the strapless dress it should also be considered that sun glasses leave your skin in two tones.  This is not really a problem in your everyday life but when you invest $1000 of dollars on a photographer or video it’s not a good look.  The camera’s these days are extremely high quality and seem to pick up on all the detail.  It simply will not be possible to photo shop every picture. I advise at least three weeks in advance of your wedding to put on a high factor sunscreen and wear a hat to avoid these distraction and it may save your life?

Not the best look on your wedding day
·       Tags:  Before the day make sure all tags in clothing have been removed, again they are glaringly obvious in a photo and detract the eye from the real attraction.

·         Off the shoulder dresses: Off the shoulder dresses can look wonderful on some and not so good on others.  When trying on dresses ask a friend or family member along to take a camera and photos of you.  However here is the point, it’s not to take profile pictures to show everyone how beautiful the dress is, it’s to mimic situations on the day which portray the dress and wearer in a less attractive light.  Try sitting down at a table and pretending to sign the license, take photos from all angles, as it’s not just the professional taking photos on the day, at least you have control of them but your guests maybe more free with the share button or even live stream the event without your knowledge. The places to look out for are under arm, when you throw the bouquet for example, how will this look? These are examples of questions you should ask yourself; even if the under arms had Laser treatment, we can have heat rash!  Does your flesh drip over the corset, when it’s done up tightly are your bossism spilling over the top or do you have to keep pulling the dress back up?
Yes or No?
·         Stretch Marks: Stretch marks can show up more on camera.  Again ask your make-up artist to cover these if they can but start using a good bio oil at least three weeks before the event and these could look less obvious.  Another way to cover this is to use an artificial tan cream but be mindful to read the instructions to get an even tone, blotch artificial tan can look even more terrible.

·         Corset dresses: I have witnessed so many brides suffering through the day because of the style of the dress.  Too much skirt makes them heavy, tightly boned corsets make sitting uncomfortable and I did witness a bride fainting in the heat when she simply couldn’t breathe easily.  When you try the dress on think about it. In the fitting room it’s on only for 20 minutes.  It’s the same as shoes. We see a pair we love and squeeze into them hoping that they will stretch.  We all know they don’t and it hurts! They end up in the charity box.  A dress does not make the picture look good if the bride in it is unhappy and uncomfortable.

·         Short Dresses: If you’re wearing a shot dress. Practice how far you can bend before the dress becomes more reviling than you had ever imagined.  It’s also important with that friend you can trust to show how potentially the way you place your legs can look attractive or not.

Yes or no?

·         Shorts or not: As with a short dress for men you need to consider if you’re in an environment where a pair of shorts will be more practical or not. However if you go for shorts, think ahead! White sock lines can look as bad as off the shoulder strap burn.  Are you an active and accidental person? Scabs simply do not look great!  Again take care of yourself at least three weeks before the event. A good bio oil can help soften scabs and limit scars.

·         Shoes: Think about where you have chosen to hold your celebration and buy shoes that suit that terrain. If you simply have to wear the slippery soled dress show or high heels then always take an alternative.  We also advise you take beach or sailing shoes.  These can be worn to save your feet when your rock hopping for the best shot.

Getting ready for the photo shoot.

Again reminding you that one of the biggest investments on your wedding day is the photographer or video, you want to be ready to give it your best shot.  I would like to point out some other common mistakes and some suggestions to help you relax behind the camera.

·         Pre-wedding photo shoot: Keep a little of your budget back to have a pre-wedding photo shoot with your chosen professional.  Some offer a special deal when you book them for your wedding day but you could negotiate as most will be happy to discuss prices and options.
·         Your own photo shoot: Gather your bridal party together and suggest a picnic out on your local beauty spot. Take camera’s and practice posed shots.  Look over the results and with a high light or black market put circles around things that take your eye away from the actual point of the picture.  You will be surprised at how you carry yourself and can then make a conscious effort to improve that look. Shoulders are a common problem, especially as we spend so much time in front of a computer.  We often round our shoulders forward, it’s also a habit when we are feeling shy or conscious about ourselves.  Wouldn’t we feel less conscious if we practiced to look and feel better? I know its cliché, but try walking around the room with your I-pad on your head. Actually use a book that won’t break. When you’re confident enough to use the I-pad, I expect you’ve got it!  Walking up right and proud will improve your look immensely.

·         Hands: One mainly for the boys, Please Please Please don’t put your hands in your pockets.  It looks like you don’t care and as the bride the suit is often a big investment and will become you when you simply clasp your hands together in front of you or behind you.

·         Advanced Planning: If you have a plan in advance of the day the photos will always look better.  Your professional should have a check list to help you to consider all your shots.  Sit over a glass of wine and talk about what kind of look you want for your photos.  What are you comfortable with?  If either of you are at all conscious of the camera, you might prefer to go for the candid style, where you don’t have to think about it and just allow the professional to put their artistic touch the pictures.  If you want posed pieces of artwork then it’s important to practice.  Again have a play with the camera.  Gone are the days where we all have the stand to attention because we only have one shot, digital cameras can take 1000’s of photos at a time and in my experience I have been quietly delighted with the shot I took without even thinking about it. It just happened, the light, the angle, the back drop and the person’s expression all lined up perfectly! And just about anyone can do it these days, however a relaxed couple will always give a better shot, photo shop is not always going to put the problem right.

·         The Couple: Ask yourself; why are you getting married, why are you investing in an expensive photographer?  Well I would imagine it’s because you’re in love and you want to capture the best day of your life in pictures to enjoy and be reminded of that fact for the rest of your life together?  OK so why is it I so often see couples scared to hold hands, touch, smile and have fun.  I know nerves might have a hand in that band it why I suggest you talk about it, practice and remind yourselves of your reasons.  I witnessed a wedding today and felt so touched when the groom gently took his brides hand after he put the ring on her finger and gave it a little kiss, I also see grooms just brushing away a stray strand of hair from his brides face, the groom picking up the brides train so it didn’t drag in the dirt, similarly I capture moments when the bride wipes away a grooms tear of joy, or takes his hand as he speaks his vows.  These are all unforgettable moments, go with how you feel, let go of any in-habitations for this one day and it will set your emotion for the rest of your lives together and it makes for a great photo if the photographer is paying attention.

·         The walk: It can either go well or not!  Firstly consider the dress and practicing walking with the dress and shoes on at the location or on similar ground.  Long dresses have a habit of tripping the bride up or getting caught in the heals, especially when walking down or upstairs.  Remember heal stoppers if on soft or uneven ground like cobbles.  Practicing to walk to the music is also important, is the beat right for your personal stride, will it work for the person giving you away?  I always suggest to the couple that it’s better to arrive a little early at the altar then have to walk to a sudden cut to the music.  Arriving early means you can take a moment together to connect and admire each other and catch your breath before entering into the ceremony.  If you’re not comfortable with a choreographed walk, then just remember not to rush it and maintain the same pace throughout.

·         Children: I love children at weddings and we can learn so much from them. As adults we lose that ability to just do things without a thought.  I know I have been asking you to plan and think but I also suggest to try and watch children and remind yourself how to be natural.

·         When placing on the rings: Think and discuss with your celebrant and Photographer how you want these shots to look.  There is no rule that states a celebrant must stand between the couple.  I will inform my couples that I move away, and work with the photographer to gain the best shot and back drop.  Remember (if you can, I know it’s a nerves’ moment) to angle the hand so your guests can see as well as the photographer. Don’t panic there will be more opportunity to take the rings at the after location photos if you don’t get it perfect.

Sadly the celebrant was in this picture as the couple were perfectly composed. but what do we see?
Although this doesn't show much else it does show the beautiful hand crafted ring.

·        Personal Vows: As above we discussed about being in the moment, go with your true feelings.  Shut out the whole world and be in that moment together when you express your personal vows, these are the true promises and devotions and how often do we get to express ourselves to the one we love and be guaranteed they won’t interrupt? Never right!! So this is your moment, give it all you have.  Feel free to hold each other’s hands, look in each other’s eyes and really connect.  It’s taken a lot of courage to write and say those heart felt words, enjoy it! Make sure your Celebrant knows to get out of the picture, its your moment not there's.

·         The Kiss: Well, is it going to be a peck or a passh?  Only you can make that decision but what I do want to high light is; think of the guests. You will have plenty of time in your married life to be passionate and that’s not to say you should only give a pack, again this is an opportunity to express the true joy of your official union and heads held in hands or a warm embrace is exactly what looks great on the camera and is acceptable to everyone.

All of this advice and the suggestions I have made are through years of observation and I offer it with the intention of helping you get the best out of your day and photos. We don’t get a second chance so leave the event planning to the professional event planner and spend the time you save on yourselves.  Make it a priority to work on yourselves and ask your bridal party to get into the spirit of it too.  If you chose to use the Dream Maker services you can claim your free Dream Maker couples advisory and planning consultation.
0064 (0) 275268771

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

6 Perfect New Zealand Boutique Wedding Locations with great back drops

10 stunning wedding locations in Nelson / Tasman New Zealand

We are blessed in the Nelson and Tasman region to have some of the most incredible and stunning wedding location in New Zealand.  Most of these locations are based in New Zealand's National Parks and in the Nelson and Tasman region we have three; The Abel Tasman, Kahurangi and Nelson Lakes but beyond this we have many other special variations and private property.  To hold an event using commercial operators in theses national park wedding locations you need to use a manager with the Department of Conservation Permits (Concessions) allowing them to bring in commercial products and services.

Check out a selection of The Dream Makers most popular locations for couples looking to leave the hustle and bustle of wedding tradition and enjoy a day to themselves or a small group of friends and family.

1/ Tonga Arches


The Tonga Arches are situated in The Abel Tasman within the marine reserve.  There is no track to the beach, so access is by boat only with tides at times allowing Kayaks to paddle through.  This offers a simple celebration and in this case we combined a kayaking experience to Tonga Island to see the New Zealand Fur Seals and up to Awaroa for a specially prepared celebration picnic.

2/ Split Apple Rock

Split Apple Rock  is a natural miracle nestled at the gate way of the Abel Tasman, there is road access but a moderately accessible track to the beach and steep in places.  The rock is visited by 1000's of visitors every year and the back drop is perfect for those cementing their relationship in marriage. Other access is by boat or on a good low tide helicopter.


3/ Fisherman's Island

Fisherman's Island is the first and smaller island in The Abel Tasman and very popular with the locals and visitors alike.  There is boat access only. Department of Conservation allow up to 16 people on the beach for an event, so its perfect for the boutique occasion.  There are lots of great photographic back drops and perfect native bush for shad.

4/ Adele Island

Adele is the next Island from the south end near Kaiteriteri and is popular for its spit as seen in the picture below. This can only be seen during certain tides.  The island can only be accessed by boat and Department of Conservation allows up to 16 people at a time on the island for an event.  This island is significant for lots of reasons but mainly that it is a safe haven for bird life being managed by The Birdsong Trust.

5/ Wharariki Beach in Golden Bay

 This beach is one of the most popular in Golden Bay for special events due to its incredible vista.  Its got walking track access which can take 30 minutes or we can take you there in a Helicopter. Its perfect for a marriage proposal or small boutique wedding ceremony and we have been known to visit for the location photo shoot.

6/  Awaroa Bay

Awaroa is at the north end of the Abel Tasman and accessible during the low tide by foot from the Golden Bay side, boat fixed wing and helicopter are other options. There are two lodges situated in the location, so this is an option for a larger ceremony event and reception.

 7/ Mt Olympus

known for its connections with the filming of The Lord of the Rings, this is a popular location for a mountain top wedding holding spectacular panoramic views across The Abel Tasman and Golden bay. Access is by Helicopter.

8/ Bainham in Golden Bay

This location is slightly different from the average New Zealand wedding location within the hills and beaches but we have selected it because its so iconic event though its man made.  The Langford Store is the oldest working post office in New Zealand and still holds its historic charm and offers equally unique back drops for great wedding photos.

9/ Motueka and the Janie Seddon

Motueka is the hub of the region with all suggested locations accessible from the township.  The town has many lovely spots for a photograph but the Janie Seddon gives a really dramatic back drop to your wedding photos but also for those on a budget she gives a great ceremony option for very little cost.


10/ Cannan Downs

Cannan Downs is private property and is another Tasman location where the Lord of the Rings did some filming. It offers beautiful native forest with road and helicopter access. Its also close by to the famous Harwood Hole.

There are so many stunning locations in our Nelson and Tasman region of New Zealand, so today I will stop here but for more information and other options available from caves, lakes and more please contact us for a complimentary consultation.

Photo credits to Terri Everett, Sophie Holt, Sandra Johnson, Cory Griffith,  All Photography, Nelson Wedding Photography, Snap Photography, Eyecloud Aerial please ask if you want further information.

 The Nelson Tasman Region on the South Island of New Zealand.
0064 (0) 275268771 NZ Time zone.