Marriage Celebrant for Christchurch & Canterbury Weddings

Welcome to my world as a 'Marriage Celebrant'. Top-rated Vendor Award 2015

My name is Rita Townshend and I am a Justice of the Peace and a Registered New Zealand Marriage Celebrant (Appointed by New Zealand Internal Affairs) and I love my job with passion. To be blessed in the role of your 'Celebrant' is a truly wonderful privilege and honour , working in partnership with individuals, couple and families. I have a happy and professional approach that includes being on board connecting with you, with the ability to put you at ease by listening to you about 'what you want and what you don't want' and how I can make that happen for you! Encouraging you to place your trust and confidence in me while we journey together, as I help guide you in preparing, creating and writing your own 'Unique Ceremony with Everlasting Memories' in your own words – 'words with meaning and soul.'

It takes the guidance and experience of a professional Marriage Celebrant to help you realize your dreams and I would love to be the Celebrant to do this for you. To help you create your own magical and memorable wedding ceremony that expresses your love and beliefs. I am passionate and personally dedicated to you as we take this journey together.

Whether you are planning your marriage, elopement, renewal of vows, naming ceremony, blessing or funeral, all of these significant life events are filled with varied emotions and the importance of creating beautiful, everlasting memories. These can be simple and relaxed, traditional, themed or whatever you want, all uniquely detailed for you. I embrace all cultures and the diversity of all cultural, spiritual and social beliefs and practices. I encourage individuals to bring this 'essence' of themselves into their ceremonies in the form of traditions and rituals. If an interpreter is required, this can be arranged.

I bring to my role as Celebrant a variety of life skills. I am interested in all aspects of life, a down to earth person, family orientated and love children. I have the ability to keep things real, honest and client focused with a sense of humour (when it fits) and at the same time bringing with this a calm approach to any situation.

I have been a Marriage Celebrant for over 15 years and have officiated at hundreds of weddings.

My fee is very reasonable for couples on a budget, as I know how expensive weddings can be, so feel encouraged to contact me, send me an email , or give me a call, and let us have a chat. I would love to hear from you.

Wedding Photo Gallery

Photos from some of the weddings can be seen in the wedding photo gallery section. Thank you to the couples for allowing me to use these pictures!

Wedding Resources

Please visit my Wedding Resources section to download your 'Notice of Intended Marriage Licence' form (BDM60 for couples in New Zealand). You will also find other resources to help you with your wedding such as photographers and wedding venues and there are interesting ceremonies at Wedding Ceremonies.


I am compassionate and caring and I will help you through the proceess of saying 'goodbye' to your loved one.

Namegiving for your child

This is a lovely ceremony, usually held at home with family and close friends, welcoming your baby (or child) into the family and extended whanau. There is no religeous content.

Renewal of Vows

Many couples choose to renew their vows, sometimes after 10, 20, 25, 30 or more years. This is a lovely way to show your continuing love and commitment to each other and also your appreciation for the years of marriage and family you now have.

Overseas Couples

I welcome overseas couples coming to New Zealand to get married. Please visit my Weddings For Overseas Couples section for more information. I look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Me

Please feel welcome to contact me anytime for a free 'no obligation' discussion or meeting. I would love to hear from you and help you create your own 'personal wedding ceremony'.

Celebrants Guild of New Zealand
  • Christchurch Weddings
  • New Zealand Weddings
  • International Weddings
  • Wedding Photos
  • Overseas Weddings
  • Canterbury Weddings
  • NZ Weddings