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What makes a great wedding?

My top tips to help you plan and experience a fabulous wedding day.

Your wedding is a Special Life Occasion

Regardless of how intimate, modest or grand your guest list and venue - surround yourself with the right people - people you can trust to deliver on your wedding day.

YOU ARE THE STARS - As the couple getting married everything is about you and for you - even if you're unaccustomed to the limelight.

Take your time choosing family and friends for specific roles - once offered you rarely can retract the invitation. Take your time choosing professionals to deliver a quality service - your celebrant, photographer, hair and makeup stylist, sound and music and so on.

As an experienced wedding celebrant I've seen magic and mishaps unfold. Here's my take on key wedding people at the heart of a great wedding.

Your MC - this person is the official host, the 'go to' person responsible for keeping your wedding flowing and on time - even if you're having a 'low key' wedding you'll benefit from having one. Choose A GREAT COMMUNICATOR - someone who's well-organised and can move things along smoothly. Someone with a sense-of-humour and propriety who respects all ages, and can make the right calls on your behalf.

Your Celebrant - responsible for setting up and conducting your marriage ceremony with aplomb. This is the heart of your wedding and should gather everyone together. Your ceremony should be happy, original, inclusive and audible. Choose a safe pair of hands. A professional celebrant who's qualified, experienced AND A GREAT COMMUNICATOR. Preferably one who belongs to the NZ Celebrants' Association and honours its code of ethics and professionalism.

These are two pivotal roles that set the tone and will make your wedding absolutely special.

Best Man and Best Lady - your lead support people and speakers at your reception - usually your closest friend or sibling.

Attendants - groomsman / groomswoman - bridesmaid / bridesman. Choose responsible attendants. I occasionally see bridesmaids caught up with the glamour and groomsmen having a wee daydream leaving the bride and groom to manage with my help as the celebrant. Also be mindful about who you ask; can they afford the outfit, travel, accommodation and your wedding gift. Maybe you can include them in another way.

Speakers and Readers in your ceremony or reception - they need to be confident, articulate and with a sense of occasion and propriety.

Sound and music - can't emphasise enough about having a great techie to cover sound for your ceremony and reception - guests want to hear.

Photographer - plenty to choose from. The best are discreet and great to work with. Check their portfolios. Most will have a range of packages. Unless you have a videographer, photos are the only visual memory of your wedding day.

These are my picks and hope they help you plan and experience a fabulous wedding day.

Jo x