Welcome to the Directory - Debbie Hawker | Celebrant
Debbie has grown from strength to strength in the 17 years she has lived and worked in Christchurch and I’ve had the pleasure of working with her during her time in the tech industry. Now things have come full circle - we are together again, and I am so delighted to have this little bundle of light on the directory. Read on to see what we spoke about over coffee at our old local...
Tell me about how you came to be a Celebrant?
When my husband and I were getting married we wanted a unique, personalised ceremony written just for us that reflected our fun, relaxed personalities. We struggled to find a celebrant that was offering this service and I thought to myself – this is something I would love to do – something I found myself feeling quite passionate about and I have never looked back!
Describe your perfect Wedding?
Perfect weddings are unique to each and every person. At this point in my life, my perfect wedding would be one that included my entire family, was personal, intimate, relaxed and filled with love. I would want every family member and friend that attended my ‘perfect wedding’ to walk away at the end of the night with a full belly, a huge smile on their face and the feeling they are loved and they are a special part of our lives.
What is the most rewarding thing about what you do?
Feeling the love amongst friends and family (as well as the marry couple) when you finish a ceremony. The icing on the cake is when you are approached and told that it was absolutely, 100%, the perfect ceremony just for them.
What is something you incorporate into your ceremonies that’s a little out of the box?
There are too many to name but one of my favourites that I offer is the ‘wine box love letter ceremony’. Essentially they are creating a romantic time capsule so to speak. What I get them to do is write each other a love letter leading up to their special day. Basically putting their heart on a piece of paper – writing down what they love about each other the most, what they love their fiancé does for them, what their marriage means to them and their hopes for the future (to name a few). They head out and buy a bottle of their favourite drop and place this in a personalised wooden box. During their ceremony I have them place the letters in the box with the wine to be kept safe and enjoyed on a future anniversary. And hopefully they will never face it, but I suggest they open the box when times are tough, drink the tipple and read their letters to each other reminding them of the reasons why they entered this journey together. I’ve had couples nail them shut during the ceremony, lock them with a padlocks giving the keys to family or the MoH/Best Man for safe keeping (no pressure) - it’s such a beautiful custom.
In your spare time, what do you like to do? Do you have a favourite Canterbury spot?
I like to spend time with my family. Whether it is hosting a massive roast for our wider family or flying up to the Kapiti Coast to spend time with my parents - they all are my happy place. It is also no secret that I love a good feast accompanied by delicious wine so a couple of times a year my husband and I like to try somewhere new for a dinner out. We like to support new businesses as well as long running Canterbury owned eateries so there really is no one hotspot for us, there are many!
What is the number one piece of advice you would give to couples looking for their celebrant?
Go with your gut! Meet 1, 2, 3 or 4 if you need, to find the one that is just right for you. Ask your friends for their recommendations and about their experiences, read reviews, do your research.
What trends do you see coming back in the next season?
I have noticed many couples opting to marry mid-late week so that they have the weekend to spend with family and friends that have travelled from out of town. I think that is lovely and a great idea especially when marrying just before a long weekend!
I have also noticed winter weddings on the rise… maybe a new trend on the horizon???