Introducing Melanie Kerr, the inspired officiant of our Win Your Dream Wedding 2015.
What moved you to become a celebrant?
Shifting from Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty to Whangaparaoa north of Auckland, I’d left a full-time role in radio and had yet to secure my job as presenter on Good Morning. A few people in rather quick succession suggested I should become a celebrant – and the seed was planted!
What makes you different from other celebrants?
I don’t get to see many other celebrants at work, so I'm not able to state precisely my point of difference, but I love people and I believe this comes across in the way I delivery a couple’s ceremony. My many years working in broadcasting – both TV and radio – have honed my ability to think on my feet, therefore avoiding any uncomfortable moments when something doesn’t go exactly to plan.
What are two of the most romantic moments you’ve witnessed in your work?
At a summer wedding on Waiheke Island, as children played on the beach behind us and with sun dancing on the water, the beautiful bride walked in as her husband-to-be sung a Sam Smith song – and the boy could sing! There wasn’t a dry eye among the guests. It’s also gorgeous every time a groom gets teary on seeing his bride arrive. There’s something in this display of love and vulnerability that’s as romantic as it gets.
How are couples becoming more creative with their services?
I think with the unlimited ideas at hand in magazines and online, couples are expressing their creativity with confidence. Such inspiration enables them to develop strong themes for their wedding day and this flows over into their ceremony. Beautifully crafted vows, thoughtfully chosen music, the inclusion of friends and family – all of these add to a creative and personal ceremony.
What are some ways to incorporate children or other relatives into a service?
I encourage couples to include as many of their friends and family in their ceremony as they wish. Involving children, if a couple has them, adds to the sense of family. There are many ways of doing this, such as readings, sand ceremonies, or having the children sign the license or bring the rings forward. Incorporating family into your ceremony adds to the atmosphere of love and provides support for the couple as they promise to love each other forever. I always like to take a moment during the ceremony to include some special words for the children, no matter what their age, and I always mention how very proud the bride and groom are to have their children beside them as they become husband and wife.
What should couples not waste time worrying about?
There’s so much pressure around a wedding, so focus on what really matters: each other. You can’t control what you can’t control, so don’t even try. Sparkle and shine. Be kind to each other. Be happy!