Author Archive: David Partis

Namaste Mr & Mrs Brij

marriage celebrant auckland kimberly sanders lucky in love mendhi ring   photo 3-4

I was honoured to be invited to a stunning wedding a few weeks ago. This Bride and Groom are lucky enough to have two weddings! I’m going to officiate for them next year at their ‘party’ wedding – and this first wedding was their traditional Indian Hindu ceremony.

Never having attended a Hindu wedding I was very excited, thinking of the very beautiful 90s film Monsoon Wedding and all those colourful Bolliwood movies and copious amounts of marigold flowers!

The Groom didn’t enter by horse drawn carriage or elephant as I was told happens at some Hindu weddings, but I wasn’t disappointed, the Groom looked like a maharajah from a bygone era and the Bride was stunning, decorated in gold jewelery with incredible mendhi designs covering her hands. Reading about the origins of mendhi (henna) the decoration ritual is often one of the most important and fun filled pre-wedding ceremonies. And appropriately it represents ‘awakening the inner light, with traditional Indian designs representing the sun. Very fitting for a wedding ceremony.

There are a few key rituals common in Hindu weddings – Kanyadaan, Panigrahana, and Saptapadi, which are respectively, giving away of daughter by the father, voluntarily holding hand near the fire to signify union, and taking seven steps with each step includes a vow/promise to each other before fire. The Hindu wedding ceremony can take up to several hours, with celebrations starting days before and carrying on after. The primary witness of a Hindu marriage is the fire-deity (or the Sacred Fire) Agni. The seven step ritual is the most important ritual. Each step corresponds to a vow the groom makes to the bride, and a vow the bride makes to the groom. The vows are pronounced in Sanskrit in long form, or short quicker form, sometimes also in the language of the groom and bride. In my beautiful Bride and Grooms wedding, this was performed around a fire; and after each of the seven oaths to each other, the groom and bride perform the ritual of agnipradakshinam – walk around the fire, with the end of their garments tied together. The groom usually leads the bride in the walk. After this the couple are considered husband and wife.

The other extraordinary thing about the wedding was it was held in a beautifully decorated outdoor altar -during a week of nonstop rain and dark skies – but miraculously the sun shone the entire day for the happy couple!

Being a traditional wedding the priest who performed the ceremony spoke mainly in sanskrit, so the only thing I understood was ‘namaste’ which we say in yoga class. The reason behind namaste according to wikipedia is a deep spiritual significance recognizing the belief that the life force, the divinity, the Self or the God in me is the same in all. Acknowledging this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we honor the god in the person we meet. And you know, when you do it, it makes you feel quite centred and humbled.

Namaste Mr & Mrs Brij.

Top Tips for Bridesmaids

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First of all, rent the movie ‘Bridesmaids’ for what NOT to do!!
As hysterical as that movie was it would not be so funny in real life.

Avoid any misunderstandings and make sure the Bride & her Bridesmaids are on the same page right from the start with these top tips to help you make it to the wedding day unfrazzled…

♥  Maid of Honour
This duty is like a head Bridesmaid – she will be in charge of all the Brides needs on the day – and delegating – basically she needs to be a bit bossy!
Chose your most reliable friend and not your teenage neice.

Dress & Shoes
Usually Bridesmaids will cover the cost of their own dress and shoes.
Agree the maximium cost before starting to shop, keeping in mind the dress will probably never be worn again.
Alterations are not allowed unless with the Bride’s approval.
If the Bride has the budget – she can certainly gift this to her Bridesmaids.

Hair & Makeup
Because the Bridesmaids are paying for their own dress and shoes – as well as the Hen Party, they deserve a little love from the Bride.
Makeup artists will give you a good discount for a bridal party booking.

Bridal Shower & Hen Party
This is a fun bridesmaid responsibility. Bridesmaids should cover the creative development and costs involved – but consult the Bride regarding definite DO NOTs! Some Brides just are not into tequila slammers or strippers and some really are!!
Check this Hen Party How To out.

Wedding Rehearsal
Bridesmaids, like the rest of the Bridal Party and key people, must attend the rehearsal so they are confident in their role on the day.

Good luck!!

A wild winter wedding

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Congratulations Billy & Felicity!

What a spectacular wedding day at ruggedly beautiful Piha Beach this weekend.

I couldn’t believe after days of stormy weather, the clouds parted and the sun gloriously shone for this very much in-love couple.

While the groom waited with the expected nervous anticipation on the beach, we all watched the pretty bride make her grand entrance emerging from the dunes in a romantically billowing white dress with lace detail.

They exchanged heartfelt vows while the wind whipped up around them and the white caps floated across the black sparkling sand, setting a scene true to their unique personal style.

Judging from this wild day, their relationship is going to weather any of life’s challenges – with a long range forecast of sunshine!

Wedding Photobombs

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I have to laugh at myself, I seem to be captured (unintentionally- and NEVER in my birthday suit!) photobombing wedding photos all the time. As the celebrant is difficult not to get caught in the background of photos – even harder when you’re the wedding event manager and it’s your job to be everywhere at once.

Here are some very cool intentional (and not so intentional) photobombs that might give you some ideas!

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kimberly sanders auckland marriage celebrant lucky in love weddingsphotobomb_wedding 1412952604037_wps_9_MUST_LINK_BACK_TO_SITE_htfish-photobomb-17 kimberly sanders auckland marriage celebrant lucky in love weddingsphotobomb_weddingroyalwedding kimberly sanders lucky in love auckland marriage celebrant wedding photobomb

67 years of marriage!!!

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After 67 years of marriage a Kapiti couple in their 90s passed away within two hours of one another. They were in the same resthome room together just like in the movie The Notebook.

“They were strong Christians and therefore they knew where they were going, and they had no problem about going there,” their son said this afternoon of his late parents Hugh, 94, and Joan, 92.

The NZ Herald reported they had been married for 67 years after meeting in the Hutt Valley and died on Tuesday at Eldon Lodge, Paraparaumu, where they were cared for since moving from their Waikanae home two and a half months ago.

His father, a retired Baptist minister suffering from cancer, passed away just two hours before his mother, who had a stroke on Sunday.

How wonderful they got to enjoy 67 years together – and in their own home too, up until recently. That is just incredible. Especially in this day and age.

Asked whether they might have had any premonition of their close departure, their son said: “It’s so hard to know – it almost seems like it, doesn’t it?”

Memorable Wedding Toasts

Wedding-Toasts-Guide kimberly sanders marriage celebrant auckland lucky in love weddings

If you’re the Bride & Groom you worry what’s going to come out at the Wedding Reception Speeches! If you’re guests or the MC you wonder how long they are going to run (over)!

Recently there has been some great press about wedding speeches, for inspiration here are a couple from George Clooney’s wedding and from Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden’s…

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Apparently Nick Clooney, George’s Dad, had the guests in tears with this:

The loveliest, most intriguing city on the planet. CHECK. A glittering assembly of accomplished people. CHECK. A beautiful bride. CHECK. A nervous groom. CHECK.

We are deep in the age of irony. … We cherish our guilty pleasure of skepticism,” he continued. “Then here comes George, the crown prince of irony, getting down on one basketball-battered knee and asking the savvy Amal to marry him. And if you think that’s crazy, Amal said ’YES!’

In their tidal wave of generosity. Amal and George present us with one more gift, Hope. No, it’s more than hope. Hope is too ephemeral. … It is belief that in this place and at this moment, love is alive and well.

kimberly sanders auckland marriage celebrant lucky in love weddings cameron-diaz-benji-madden-kiss-cam-lakers-ftrkimberly sanders auckland marriage celebrant lucky in love weddings

(I couldn’t find any wedding photos of these two, but the Kiss Cam (get it) photos are so cute)

Cameron Diaz, the 42 year old Bride herself, delivered a touching speech at her wedding, to her new husband and explained why he was ‘The One’ in front of family and friends at the reception.

I waited because I didn’t want to settle. Now I got the best man ever. My special man. He’s mine.

Cameron wasn’t the only one to speak in front of the star-studded guests. Joel also got some laughs when it was his turn to acknowledge their special day.

I only asked to be in control of two things: The music and the cake.

Great tips to get you started

Toastmasters NZ run some great courses on not only delivering speeches well, but what to talk about.

Set the tone
Giving a wedding toast is a special moment during the wedding reception. Wedding toasts are meant to set the tone for the rest of the reception, allow the guests to learn more about the bride or groom, and to celebrate the couple’s new life together. A toast is also used to wish the couple well and to remind them to remember this wonderful day always and why they decided to marry.

A toast is only part of the reception celebration, but it can be a very special time. In fact a well-prepared toast can be a memorable gift to both the bride and the groom.  The best man, a friend or relative usually toasts the bride, or both bride and groom.

Secrets to a Great Wedding Toast

1. Prepare what you are going to say, write it down and practice ahead of time.   Find out how much time has been allowed for your toast.
2. Make sure everyone has a filled glass. Traditional toasting drinks are champagne, wine, mixed drinks or even non-alcoholic punch.
3. Stand and face the person/s whom you are toasting.
4. Raise your glass up with your right hand.
5. Use a microphone if necessary. There is nothing worse than losing the audience’s attention because they can’t hear what you have to say.
6. Say your toast mentioning those you are toasting by name, your relationship to them and a thought about their good fortune and their future.  Add witty anecdotes wherever possible but don’t recite a joke or story that only means something to a few people.  And don’t embarrass the recipient!  Use notes if necessary but keep it short and sincere.
7. Wave your glass to all and cap off the toast with a hearty “To the Bride and Groom” or “Cheers!”
8. Take a sip and sit down.

Other Useful Resources

Visit the following websites for information and resources:

http://www.great-wedding-toasts.com/  for Wedding Toasts

http://www.weddings.co.nz/features/toasts-and-speeches.php  – New Zealand’s premier online wedding magazine and directory

http://www.weddingspeeches.co.nz/ – for help with preparing and delivering wedding speeches

http://www.hitched.co.uk/speeches/examples/index.asp – for examples of wedding speeches

or search for “wedding speeches”, “wedding toasts” etc on Google

Men redefining masculinity

  I was listening to George FM this morning and you know how we were just talking about Brides changing their name – well, Avatar actress Zoe Zaldana’s husband has apparently changed his name to hers!

It seems like the couple had a whirlwind marriage a few years ago stating:

The moment I met my husband, we were together. We knew.

How gorgeous. 

Of course obnoxious Dj Thane Kirby had quite a bit to say on the subject.

But here’s what the papers are saying!

Zoe Saldaña made headlines this week when she revealed that her husband Marco Perego has taken her last name.

Getting some backlash, the actress spoke out on Facebook, standing behind her man’s decision despite her initial hesitation.

“Fathers, sons, brothers, men everywhere: Your legacy will not perish if you take your partner’s surname, or she keeps hers,” Saldaña wrote. “I shared my hesitation with him … (and) he also asked me, ‘Why not? What are you so afraid of?’ And it made me wonder.”

She continued: “Why is it so surprising, shocking-eventful that a man would take his wife’s surname? Women have never been asked if it’s OK for them to give up their names — why doesn’t that make the news?”

The 34-year-old actress revealed in an interview with InStyle that she tried to talk Perego out of it.

“I told him, ‘If you use my name, you’re going to be emasculated by your community of artists, by your Latin community of men, by the world.’ But Marco looks up at me and says,’ Ah, Zoe, I don’t give a s—t.’”

Saldaña said men will not cease to exist by following in her husband’s footsteps, but instead will be remembered “as a man who stood by change.”

“I know our sons will respect and admire their father more because their father led by example,” she wrote. “Gentlemen, I implore you to think outside the box – remove the box altogether. Let’s redefine masculinity.”

The “Avatar” actress said she hopes the buzz garnered by her story will inspire others to have the conversation and “for us all to look within and see what is truly important.”

Cute ways to include your pet in your wedding

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Our gorgeous little Jack Russell was our ring bearer! We were really nervous she might actually run off down the beach into the water with the rings being as energetic and uncontrollable as she is – so we entrusted her with my mother who tied the rings around her diamond studded dog collar and walked her up to the altar at the time of the ring exchange. It all went really smoothly and our cute dog stole the show!

Some other cute ways you can include your pet in your big day are:

Use your pet to propose!

Include your pet in your engagement photos.

Star your pet in your Save the Date or Wedding Stationery.

Get them to hold wedding day signage.

Use them to escort you or your bridal party down the aisle.

Carry them down the aisle instead of a bouquet!

If your pet is a horse, ride them to the ceremony or reception.

Include them in your vows.

And make sure you not only have someone keep an eye on them so they don’t get into any mischief – make sure they have plenty of water, food, a quiet space and shade too. It helps to have someone take them for a massive run and work off some of that excitable energy beforehand!

Check out the adorable photos here.

Love Locks Lost

paris love locks kimberly sanders marriage celebrant lucky in love auckland weddings

Did you hear about the incredible Pont des Arts bridge in Paris?

For years couples have been saying je t’aime by placing a padlock on the railings of this bridge. Lovers (mostly tourists, Parisians say) have placed nearly a million padlocks on a fence along the bridge and then thrown the key into the Seine river as a symbol of their undying adoration.

But city officials have a less romantic view of it all, blaming the padlocks for “long-term heritage degradation and a risk for visitors’ security” as it has become so weighty parts of the bridge are snapping off under the pressure! About 45 tonnes!