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Celebrant, cartographer and peacemaker

Helping people put flags on their mountaintops and markers on their map

Ceremony and ritual are as old as the hills - timeless

Weddings are a joyous occasion. So is the birth of child, a major achievement, a BIG number birthday or anniversary. Funerals too are a celebration, the honouring of a loved one and a 'goodbye'. As a celebrant I help people journey through ceremony to put a flag on their mountain top and marker on their map.

Our birth and death bookend life’s beginning and ending. And in between there are markers and milestones that lay down growth rings making each of us a unique human-being - full of wonder, wisdom and hopefully some wit. Seeing the funny side of life really helps - you ain’t-gonna-get-out-of-it-alive!

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 A great celebrant can read situations quickly and adapt the ceremony. They'll put you at ease and have presence. They're inclusive, gather the focus and gently steer the helm. After all the ceremony is for you to experience. It should be life-changing and memorable for all the right reasons. Whatever the occasion, a great celebrant will set the scene, the tone with inclusiveness and love. And more importantly you'll feel safe and in great hands.

Being a trained and experienced celebrant permits me to create and deliver ceremony for life’s journeys. This is intimate and fragile work – often confidential. With many years under my belt of success and failure, love and loss, grief and joy, pain and pleasure – really listening and understanding, really empathising and being 100% authentic is at the core of what I do. I strive to hold every ceremony in both hands to enable the people involved to feel safe and truly free to live it.

Beautiful, authentic, amazing, meaningful, fabulous, heartfelt are some of the words that people use to describe their experience. It’s humbling to receive this feedback. Every person, every couple, every family is unique and I give my all to make it resonate and life affirming for them.

So let’s celebrate, let’s honour life and death and the big and small moments in between – naming a child, coming of age, graduation, promotion, big OE, engagement, marriage, first home, becoming a parent, anniversaries, birthdays, walking our daughter down the aisle, becoming a grandparent, retirement, and eventually death.

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At your service…

Jo Smith VCANZ - Celebrant - Hawke's Bay, NZ