Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Home or Away - Tips for getting married in New Zealand.

Home or Away - Tips for getting married in New Zealand.

Welcome to The Dream Maker New Zealand’s leading Event Management Team based in Motueka, close to Nelson at the top of the South Island in New Zealand.

The founder Terri Everett an award winning wedding and Significant Event Celebrant and Event Manager specializing in boutique occasions. Terri lives and breathes the fresh air in this abundant location of the Nelson and Tasman district but is available as a Celebrant throughout New Zealand.  Terri created the business through her own experience by managing her traditional church wedding back in 1994 and travelling to New Zealand from the UK as part of her honeymoon world trip.  Having had the most enchanting experience in New Zealand they returned as a family in 2006 and have worked in The Abel Tasman as part of the tourism industry ever since offering exclusive scenic boat charters and combining them with events.  The Dream Maker (& Sealimousines) collectively operate under the Department of Conservation permits, necessary to hold commercial events in the National Parks of New Zealand and have been accredited with a Qualmark, New Zealand’s Tourism industry stamp of quality, safety and excellent customer service, also awarded the Enviro Bronze for their efforts to maintain a high level of sustainability within their company for a true Kiwi experience.

Advice from the top! Terri discusses the choice of Home or Away.

Through experience I have felt the trauma of managing my own large church wedding at a time where we had little choice and I still get asked to manage large events but today I am going to talk about the boutique celebration available to us in New Zealand today.  Whatever the size of your wedding or event it still gives cause for stress and this can accumulate if you’re trying to plan an event from afar however in my experience it’s a fraction of the worry to a large event at home where there are so many more people to impress and bills to pay.

Whether you’re a young couple looking for thrills and adventure or a baby boomer experiencing your first or maybe third event we have something to offer you.

So here are some tips to consider when making your decision.

1.    Find a time: where you can sit with your partner over a glass of wine and turn off your telephones.  Bring a big piece of paper and some colouring pens, “you know the rest” write the pros and cons of getting married at home or abroad.  Scribe both opinions unconditionally for the overall picture of your feeling’s, desires and needs.  This picture should high light what you REALLY want for yourselves as a couple and the problems you will face in realizing that dream.  If you have decided on a home based celebration you need go no further.

2.    Having decided on a destination wedding the next exercise is to decide where that location is.  I am obviously only going to speak about New Zealand and even more direct the Nelson Tasman district on the South Island, where I have been an event manager for many years with a wealth of experience in our region; locations, weather, tides, and the professional providers of all the services you wish to combine.

3.    Telling your family and friends: this can only be your decision to tell them you are eloping and I find an increasing number of my couples chose not to tell their nearest and dearest until they return home, armed with their professional photos, possibly a video and other incredible stories.  This is a time where no other opinion matters but yours and if they are not blown away with your ammunition then you can only wonder if they really care about your feelings at all.  One way to include your family and friends is to organise a party on your return, you as a couple can wear exactly what you wore on the day, we can arrange flax or silk flowers, which we mail back to your home for your return and the slide show and/or video can be enjoyed by all.  It offers the best of both worlds.

4.    Co-ordination: It’s a daunting though knowing who to trust or where your money will be well spent and I have had many inquiries where couples started to D.I.Y wedding plan but soon found it was all in the “Too Hard Basket” This is where a professional coordinator can be contacted.  However can you trust them?  Do some homework before selecting your event manager; check their testimonials, what do others think of their work. There are many ways to hear what people say, facebook, Trip Advisor for example. You can also check Youtube for some visual idea of where you are going. It’s also important to know do they old the right credentials, permits and licenses to manage your event or have they been given any awards for their work or been recognized for their quality service and integrity by the industry associations.  All these considerations will help you select a team you can trust to make your day, as simple or lavish as it might be Perfect!

5.    Budget: Budget is most important to be realistic about what you can and cannot afford, or to priorities on where is most important to spend your money. Again we have the experience to manage you budget and tease the important elements out in creating something totally special to each couple we help.  It can cost as little as $1000 to get married with a little personality, so totally affordable but we can also create a lavish affair combining boutique accommodation, transport and catering.

6.    Location: New Zealand offers a huge array of locations however in the Nelson and Tasman region we combine at arm’s length the mountains to the sea and everywhere in-between from the Lord of the Rings film locations, Panoramic views, crystal clear waters and soft golden sands, Apple orchards with blossom or fruit, wondrous ancient caves to the purest rives edge.

7.    The Theme: The choice is really vast and to add to this we are also a region abundant with historic locations, activity, relaxation, nature, boutique wine and craft beer and we have combined the vows with the thrills of kayaking, sky diving, walking, and scenic boat and helicopter tours to name just a few ideas available.  It’s far from traditional but with little special elements included, like the wedding dress, a Kiwi ring, a small wedding cake, delicious wedding picnic all captured on film to share it’s a lasting memory for all to enjoy.

8.    Legality: To be able to get legally married in New Zealand you must have a legal registered representation and in these kind of more humanist kinds of events and independent New Zealand Celebrant is required.  This person will walk you through the process of your event and create a script personal to you. You will need to be in the country for no less than 3 days which is a fraction of most other countries stipulations and you will need to register your intent to be married to get your license.  You will need to check with your own country if there are any further requirements required and what paper work you will need to present to the Registrar.

9.    Witnesses: You need two witnesses to your event to make it legal, these need to be people who can understand the legality of the event and must be happy to sign the licence and give their legal home address.  Often couples come on their own and part of our service is to provide witnesses to your occasion. If the location you chose is so remote we provide two ceremonies, one legal one where witnesses are present and then a celebration ceremony where all other aspects of your ceremony can be orchestrated.

10.  Honeymoon: Deciding on an elopement or destination wedding is simple if you have already decided on the honeymoon location.  We don’t offer the typical resort Ceremony you find in many countries which are really glorified registry office wedding; it’s much more intimate and personal, as we never share your day with anyone else but you and who you chose to attend. Combining your wedding ceremony in your big adventure whatever your budget is all about you as a couple, experiencing new and exciting things, taking the time out to be in the NOW ! to listen to each other and share those feelings intimately, yet share them openly with others when the time suits you.

I hope you have found this useful and the trip through all the possibilities has inspired you to think wisely about your decisions and if you want more information I am happy to chat for free

Terri Everett

For further information contact Terri and the Team events@thedreammaker.co.nz or visit our website for further inspiration: www.thedreammaker.co.nz or call 0064 (0)275268771

Sunday, 27 March 2016

How to get married in New Zealand at short notice - Last Minute Bride

Inspired while on holiday

The Last Minute Bride

How Can we get married in new Zealand at short notice?

New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world where you only need to be in the country for three days before you can become legally married, as long as all your paper work is in hand.

Over the past few years as one of the leading wedding celebrants and event manager specializing in destination marriage within the tourism industry, I have seen an increase in the number of calls I receive from couples who have felt inspired to tie the knot while they are on their travels in New Zealand.  I am not sure exactly what it is that brings them to this urgent decision and when I first speak with them the question always is "Can you marry us and soon?"  They are then quite surprised to hear me reply "yes as long as you have three day".  Its not ideal to rush into such an important decision quite so quickly but I have found that most couples who have made this decision haven't decided without some consideration or long engagement.  Occasionally its a very impromptu decision and as a professional celebrant I do feel the need to further question this desire a little before agreeing to officiate.

You will be quite amused by the great stories I have the pleasure to hear, last year I had a couple from the baby boomer era, they had booked a four day activity tour in the Abel Tasman staying at the Meadowbank Homestead in Awaroa, having been together for 12 years or so and married to different partners before, marriage hadn't really been on the top of their to do list.  However while enjoying their time away from the every day demands of life, they re-kindled their love and felt compelled. It was April fools day to add to the excitement and of course none of their family believed them when they posted their new relationship up on social media.  Another couple had met when they were five and after going in different directions found each other again and had bumbled along for over 20 years but something again inspired them to boldly enter my office and within the week on the 60th anniversary of their first meeting and on my 20th wedding anniversary they were married on a pretty beach sand spit near Motueka. (Please see feature here)

last minute weddings are not just for the more mature couples, we have seen an increase in younger people and recently a German couple contacted me with the same question.  Being away from home travelling and spending quality time with each other they realized that New Zealand was the place they wanted to escape from the tradition and expectation and really seize the moment for themselves.

Obviously you can worry about what the folks back home will say but that's why we encourage couples to engage in our photography or video package to capture those precious moments which obviously high light the desire in the couple to create an ever lasting memory they can share.  I find that these intimate weddings are very humbling as a celebrant, to be part of such a special moment in a couples life, its not about the glitz and glamour its about the moment, the flexibility, the freedom and actually the bank balance, as this kind of wedding can be a fraction of the price and combined with a honeymoon as a once in a life time experience with plenty of jingling change to put to the sight seeing and activities available while on your adventure.

For a true New Zealand wedding all elements can be bought into the experience and as the expert people on the ground we can very quickly advise and pull together something that expresses you as a couple but with the Kiwi twist. From hand made flowers or a silk option we can send to your home for lasting memories, the sound of local music or Maori Conch (Shell Horn) and obviously the true fresh local taste of a Kiwi picnic or Bar BQ, sourcing beautiful fresh local produce.


The advantage of a small boutique wedding is the possibility of location choice, here in the Nelson and Tasman Region we can pick and chose from three different National Parks and many more public and private locations with The Dream Maker contacts and Department of Conservation permit; The Abel Tasman, Nelson lakes and Kahurangi as well as other variations in the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough region, including Farewell Spit and D'urville Island.  The locations vary from mountain tops with panoramic views across other National Parks and vista across farm land, orchards and  hop fields and townships  drifting into stunning beaches and islands and the iconic Tasman waters, to name a few.
Photo by Sandra Johnson

Many options available to couples are also to combine the wedding day with an activity and we have been part of some incredible alternative weddings, from a day out Kayaking, a visit to a local Takaka Hill lime and crystal cave, even a Motueka skydive, so the sky really is your limit! and we are always excited about a challenge.


We can even take care of the witnesses and often at no extra charge to the couple depending on the location and time required. 

Once you have had your event the worry might kick in if you did it without informing your family and close friends, and I have heard stories of some people being quite offended and this is a real situation you need to think hard about before leaping into a decision, however we can advise on how to soften the blow and having a slide show or video can have the desired effect.  This can be launched at a party once you return, the bride and groom can also re-live their day by getting back into their wedding cloths they wore on the day, the flax or silk flower would have already arrived in the mail and the event can be recreated, giving you another chance to live the experience again with a toast of success and none of the stress!

I build quite an incredible bond with my couples in these very short encounters as their celebrant and adviser and its always a delight to keep in touch on social media and by e-mail. The reports are always how great the party was and thank you for the suggestions, photos or video.  What it boils down to is "what is it the couple want"? if they want to avoid, stress, over spending on things they are likely to regret or forget, the possibility of disappointment and a feeling of where did that day go then it is likely "The Last Minute Bride or Groom" is perfect for you. Don't take my word for it read the testimonials on my website

To conclude: Ten tips to how to get married in New Zealand.

  1. Yes you can get married quickly in New Zealand a minimum of three days is required if you have the required paper work, which can be planned for in advance, obviously if your decision is spontaneous you may need tome to gather up all the required paper work before a license is issued which could take more time.
  2. Find someone who can work on your behalf where you plan to get married they will save you time and stress and even potentially a little money.
  3. Consider going totally Kiwi and design your ring while in NZ as a lasting reminder of your day.
  4. You will need to complete the required legal documents 
  5. Statuary declaration  
  6. Consent is required by a couples parents if they are under 17 years old.
  7. Contact a Registered New Zealand Celebrant
  8. Find someone who can manage your location and event, someone who is well appointed, highly recommended by other couples and service providers and who hold the necessary documents and accolades.
  9. Set a budget and what is important to you as a lasting memory.
  10. However you are travelling plan at least your honeymoon night in a place that makes you feel great, romantic and offers you privacy to relax and enjoy your day at the end of the day with a glass on a terrace while the sun goes down.
For further information contact Terri and the Team events@thedreammaker.co.nz or visit our website for further inspiration: www.thedreammaker.co.nz or call 0064 (0)275268771