Christchurch & Canterbury Wedding Ceremonies

Rita Townshend Christchurch Marriage Celebrant

New Zealand law has no requirements for the format of your marriage ceremony, other than that each of you must say to the other, "I _______ take you _______ to be my legal husband (or wife)" or words to that effect.

In other words, apart from the signing of the Marriage Licence, the law requires only the saying of a simple vow to make the marriage legal.

Therefore we have a great deal of freedom to work together in making your ceremony a "special occasion" and personal to you and your partner.

More information is available on The legal requirements of marriage in New Zealand.


Wedding Children

How to include children in your ceremony

As a Grandparent myself I am very relaxed and comfortable with children being part of your 'special day' and I can help you include them in your ceremony.



Blended Families

Blending two families together

For couples blending two families together, I have some very special ceremonies for you.



I have a vast selection of wedding ceremony resources for you to choose from. Some of the wedding ceremonies that are very popular are:


Unity Candle Lighting Wedding Ceremony

The Unity Candle Lighting Wedding Ceremony

The Unity Candle Ceremony has become a very popular and symbolic aspect of weddings within the last 10 years. The lighting of the Unity Candle symbolizes the new union of a husband and wife, two individuals who are becoming one through marriage.


Rose Wedding Ceremony

The Rose Wedding Ceremony

The Rose Wedding Ceremony is simple yet profoundly moving. The bride and groom exchange two red roses, symbolizing the giving and receiving of their love for each other throughout their entire married life.


Ring Warming Wedding Ceremony

The Ring Warming Wedding Ceremony

During the Wedding Ceremony, your rings are passed around to all of your guests. Each guest holds the rings briefly, while silently saying a blessing or wish for your union. This ritual is ideal for small ceremonies, and can be a great way to include your guests in the service.


Sand Wedding Ceremony

The Coloured Sand Wedding Ceremony

The Sand Wedding Ceremony is when the bride and groom recite their vows and take turns pouring two colours of sand into one vessel to symbolise their union.


Coloured Stones Wedding Ceremony

The Coloured Stones Wedding Ceremony

Small stones or pebbles are handed to the wedding guests and wedding party. During the wedding ceremony they hold these stones and make a loving wish for the couple's life and future together. Each stone represents a special wish that the couple can take with them to reflect on during their married life together


Handfasting Wedding Ceremony

The Handfasting Wedding Ceremony

The Handfasting Wedding Ceremony involves the tying of hands together with a cord, ceremonial cloth, or colorful ribbons, to symbolize the coming together and remaining together.


Releasing of Doves Wedding Ceremony

The Releasing of Doves or Butterflies Wedding Ceremony

Universally recognised as a symbol of love and peace, the dove or butterfly transcends all cultures and traditions. Overall, they symbolise love, innocence, tenderness and purity.


Releasing of Doves Wedding Ceremony

Blessing of the Hands

This is a lovely personal touch to your ceremony - with beautiful wording.

New Zealand Weddings