• Your wonderful wedding begins here...

    Experience an amazing marriage ceremony that gets your wedding off to the perfect start. Bespoke and beautiful, romantic and memorable, stylish and inclusive with laughter and maybe tears. You'll be in safe, experienced hands.

    Jo Smith

    Marriage Celebrant


    Your wedding is a Special Occasion

    Your ceremony is its heart. I offer a full understanding of how to make your marriage ceremony personal and real. A practicing celebrant since 2005, I draw on my training, experience and skills as an accomplished speaker and community leader. A member of the NZ Celebrants' Association, I'm based in Hawke's Bay and would love to hear from you. Let's connect.


    Member Celebrants' Association NZ

    Marriage and Civil Union Celebrant

    Celebrant Studies (AUT) ASB LDI


    Hawke's Bay based, available for ceremonies throughout New Zealand


    The Koru is a Maori symbol for creation, renewal, harmony and peace.

  • Wedding Services

    Select from my wedding packages or design your own to suit your particular needs

    Platinum Package

    'tailor made' and my most popular

    Your love story told. An original fully personalised wedding ceremony designed exclusively for you.

    Pearl Package

    elegant simplicity

    A simple wedding ceremony where you can choose your own vows and ring pledge.

    From 'I do' to 'let's dance'

    MC & Celebrant Package

    Two-in-one package - your official ‘go to’ master of ceremony and celebrant with your choice of a Platinum or Pearl ceremony.

    Pandora's Package

    when budget is key

    Pop-up Registry style ceremony for couples on a shoe-string budget.

    Please note
    Pandora’s package covers Napier and Hastings cities and surrounding suburbs. A location beyond these areas is likely to require a travel fee. Your marriage licence fee is additional to my celebrant fee.


    May to September – 7 days a week
    October to April – Monday to Thursday




    I offer a free no-obligation meeting to discuss your plans. You can quiz me and get a feel for how we can work together.


    I will give you a full quote. Your date and time are secured with a 50% deposit, the balance is payable the week before your wedding.


    Marriage Licence
    Please note the cost of your marriage licence is separate from my fee.

  • Wedding Services

    What you can expect from my Services

    It's Time To Plan!



    Lots of couples say ‘we don’t know where to start or how to go about this’. My experience and help will put you at ease and get you started.


    Ceremony Draft
    I provide several resource documents to help you gather ideas and information. From this I write your ceremony. You’ll receive a draft that you can edit.


    Marriage Licence
    You need to apply for your marriage licence. This can be done online or at the Registry office in your NZ hometown. It takes 3 working days to process and once issued is valid for 3 months. It’s possible to apply from overseas. Please bring your Marriage Licence to your rehearsal.


    Ceremony Rehearsal
    This is when we go through the choreography of your ceremony with your bridal party. We take time privately going through the ‘getting married’ sequence – vows, rings and pronouncement. Rehearsals are fun – at last, all your team get together, it’s exciting.


    And on the day
    I’ll arrive at least 30 minutes prior or earlier and check the layout of your ceremony area and that everything’s in place and systems are working. I come and meet the bridal party and make sure you are relaxed and ready for your perfect day. After meeting with the groomsmen, we move into position and the ceremony starts. After you’re married we sign licence documents and then I present this to you. Your ceremony will move to its ending and then you’ll receive guests. Meanwhile, I quietly sit with the documentation ensuring it’s accurate and give your copy to your designated person as you’ll have your hands full. I will seek you out to say thank you, get a great photo with you and then say goodbye.


    Destination Weddings

    Hawke’s Bay is idyllic for a wedding. You’ll fall in love with the regions’ beauty and relaxed feeling. It’s wine country. Direct flights from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will get you here easily and painlessly. Or you can take a leisurely ‘tiki tour’ by car.

    Destination Wedding Ceremony and Planning Service

    Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

    My specialist service is ideal for a small wedding that may be just the two of you or include up to 10 guests.


    It includes recommended: venues, accommodation, transport, photographer, flower, makeup and hair needs, two witnesses, Champagne and canapés, my marriage celebrant service, applying for a Marriage Licence and anything else you may need.


    I will be your person on-the-ground with extensive networks acquired over many years within the wine, hospitality and wedding industries.


    I offer a well organised, personal and genuine experience for your intimate wedding. Check out my contact page and we can begin this adventure together.

    Hawke's Bay images courtesy of Richard Brimer Photography​

  • Testimonials

    Jo has enormous integrity and maturity. She is gracious and brings with her warmth, kindliness, style and a sense of occasion. Jo has 'mana' and is a highly skilled communicator who can think on her feet and manage the unexpected with alacrity. She has a great sense of humour and propriety. Most of all she celebrates and respects the diversity of humanity.

    Robyn Wynne-Lewis

    Leadership Development Specialist, Core Consulting

  • Sophie & MJ

    We can’t thank you enough for doing such an incredible job! You were amazing and we were lucky enough to have come across you. You helped make the day so special for us. Thank you! We are totally exhausted but feeling good! Thanks Jo, you are such a beautiful person with such a kind soul.

    Sarah & Rob

    Thank you so much for the beautiful service you designed and delivered for our wedding. We feel that it reflected our values, priorities and lives perfectly. Thanks also for you card and service booklet, which are great keepsakes to have. Many thanks.

    Jeff & Claire

    Words cannot express how grateful we are to you for what you offered us before and on our wedding day. The ceremony totally reflected us as a couple and our hope and dreams for the future. Our guests said this to us too, which was just great to hear. Thank you very much, it was just wonderful. ​

    Mandy & Dion

    We have just arrived home from our honeymoon and I wanted write to you to say a huge thank you for helping make our wedding service so special. You are a true professional, and we were in such great hands with you. We both loved our wedding ceremony, and we have had many comments on how beautiful and meaningful it was. There were a lot of tissues out! Thank you so much for making it so personal and special for us, the children and our families.

    Craig & Aroha

    Craig and I just wanted to thank you once again for sharing our special day with us on Sunday. We feel so lucky that we found you. The ceremony you conducted captured the essence of what we really wanted to celebrate, our love for each other and our love for our family and friends. We truly had a wonderful day and everyone agrees that you conducted a fabulous ceremony. Thank you for putting so much effort in to making it a perfect day.

    Christine & Elizabeth

    What an absolutely awesome day. From our first connection with you we knew something special would happen - it certainly did! Your wisdom, energy and warmth was just so beautiful to be part of. Thank you so much for creating a magnificent experience for all who attended the day. So many comments, so many heart felt tears. Just beautiful. Thank you! You're an amazing woman.

    Mark & Steve

    You did an absolutely amazing job. We just wish to thank you for everything you did to make our wedding day so special for not only us, but our family and friends. Your authenticity and caring nature shone through and has made it a day we will remember for the rest of our lives. We're both highly appreciative and thank you most sincerely. We've a great number of guests who commented on the ceremony and you. They loved you and felt you made it the best wedding a lot of people had been to. We cannot thank you enough for giving us a marriage ceremony that we wanted and more. Thanks again.

    Anke & Rachel

    We want to express our deepest and heartfelt thanks for making our amazing day even more so amazing. Anke and I have felt really at ease with you throughout our whole preparation and on the day your professionalism and warmth made the ceremony the highlight of the day for us. During the evening we received many compliments about the ceremony and many people asked my mother if you were related to us as your stories and words really came from someone who knew us well. To be quite honest there are not enough words to express our thanks.

    Alex & Stephan

    We can't thank you enough for creating such a wonderful and special ceremony. Everything was perfect. We're grateful for your guidance and support during our preparation and ceremony. We couldn't have been happier.

    Brian & Alison

    We felt our day was packed with Love, Laughter and Surprises. Brian and I were so happy with the way everything turned out and a lot of that is thanks to you. The day was just magical and our friends are still blown away about the surprise wedding.

    Craig & Julian

    Many people have commented that it was the best wedding ceremony they had attended. Thank you for guiding us on this journey. The ceremony was moving and is a strong, vivid memory.

    Jill & Neil

    Thank you so much for playing a big part on the night. The element of surprise on everyone's faces, when they thought they were there to celebrate my 50th, but to witness Neil and my marriage. Thank you so much. We are all still talking about it.

  • Blog

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Marriage and Civil Union in New Zealand is lawful for couples from all walks of life.

    Can we get married on any day of the week?
    YES you can.

    Is there a time restriction?
    NO, it will depend on the availability of the place and people involved.


    We live outside Hawke's Bay and will be there a few days before the wedding. What can we do about our ceremony?
    We can work by email, Facetime and phone.


    How much in advance should we contact you and start planning our ceremony?
    Book early and secure your time and date at least 6 to 12 months ahead. Planning your information needs to be 3 months prior.


    We want to be married just by ourselves. Is that possible?
    YES. I can provide 2 witnesses to hear your vows and the pronouncement and to sign your licence along with me and Champagne to celebrate.


    How long does a marriage ceremony take?
    About 20 to 30 minutes depending on complexity. It goes very fast.


    What side do we sit on?

    Traditionally the bride's family sit on the left side facing the front.


    Do we have to have religious content in our ceremony?
    It's not a requirement; only if you want to include it.


    How do we get a Marriage or Civil Union Licence and how long is it valid for?
    You can now apply online up to 3 months prior to your marriage ceremony date. A paper application can also be made... see the link below.


    For further information on licences—Births, Deaths & Marriages - Visit the Website of the Department of Internal Affairs


  • Let's Connect

    Get in touch to organise your special day! 

    24a Wellwood Terrace,
    Te Awanga, Hastings 4012
    Monday - Sunday By Arrangement
    06 875 0383 M: 021 796 675
  • Follow me on my Social Networks

    I am available to conduct Weddings and Funerals. Please follow me on my Social Media Platforms to find our more about my services and about me or visit my Funeral Celebrant Website​

All Posts