Celebrant Diaries: Planning a Ceremony on A Cruise Ship

The Celebrants Association of New Zealand celebrant Pat Cosford recalls a wonderful wedding ceremony with a difference.

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"My most unusual wedding was on board The Royal Caribbean Explorer. An experience in itself.

A lovely couple who were originally from New Zealand and now based in Perth decided to come home and marry in New Zealand complete with a circle of friends who accompanied them on the cruise.

Our communication was all Skype-based, and we got to know one another during the course of our conversations. The [legal] paperwork was essential to get to me prior to the ceremony, and fortunately it was collected in Sydney and arrived on time.

The process was simple for a couple planning to come home and get married but I seriously advocate giving a bit of time to get this done without being under pressure. This link will give you all the information you need.

I duly arrived at the wharf complete with my passport and discovered they had entry for only one person excluding me and the other fourteen guests. Needless to say no celebrant, no wedding. The wedding planner arrived very quickly, and on board we all went to be taken on a tour of the ship, while the bride was finishing her dressing.

Caroline in true tradition wore a stunning Maori cape of feathers and Brad true to Scottish heritage wore the family tartan.

If I had to remember the humorous moments then a statue with a speaker above started to drown me out so we all laughed and I waited until it stopped and carried on. This happened a number of times so it added to the ceremony and the funny side of it.

The ceremony itself was simple and informal and Caroline’s son was her ring bearer. As a special and traditional acknowledgment Caroline, Brad and the family exchanged Manaia to commemorate the day, and also to acknowledge Caroline’s Maori heritage. The Manaia is  a mythological bird like creature traditionally believed to be the messenger between the earthly world of mortals and the domain of the spirits, it is the holder of great spiritual energy and its symbol is used as a guardian against evil and to give them all them protection for the future.

All the family participated in one way or another. The setting high above Auckland was panoramic and a day to be remembered."

For a truly professional wedding ceremony, always choose a celebrant who is a member of CANZ (Celebrants Association of New Zealand). CANZ is New Zealand’s national professional association for celebrants which enriches celebrants, who, in turn, enrich New Zealand society.

Follow The Celebrants Association of New Zealand on Facebook.

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