Binding love and making the commitment to a partner has changed phenomenally over the last decade. Gone are the days of only “traditional” ceremonies – till death do us part, I promise to blah blah blah. We now see love shared how it should be. Celebration between all people the way they want to perform the unity of marriage.
Elopements, outdoor weddings, indoor weddings, weddings in sacred chapels but also weddings in tipis. Marriage has evolved and personalised so much and we are overjoyed to have spoken with a fresh voice, Jane King Celebrant. Jane is a celebrant here in Aotearoa. You only have to visit her website to get a glimpse into why Jane is a refreshing addition to our industry. She is playful and unique with energy that lightens the mood of weddings and makes the promises shared between couples unique and enjoyable for all.
Sharing with us her aspirations for couples to enjoy the process of writing vows. She has a calming nature and reminds us that ceremonies can be molded and crafted to suit each individual and that there is no wrong or right way to perform your vows. Jane has tips and tricks for those who shrivel at the thought of public speaking, she is a ball of fun and has killer fashion sense. Whether you’re looking to renew your vowels or write them for the first time, have a read through our chat with Jane for all you need to know about how you can snatch her up for your wedding day.
Firstly we would love to get to know you more, can you share with us what made you decide to work in the wedding industry and how your journey played out in becoming a celebrant?
I’ve always been a bit of a story teller. So when friends of mine asked me to be their celebrant and I had a whole lotta fun performing their wedding, I had a little light bulb moment and thought – hey, maybe this is what I’m meant to be doing!? After marrying a few fresh faces I quickly realised how fun it is to be a professional third wheel!
What does officiating a relationship mean to you?
It’s about telling people’s love story in a way the couple have never heard before. I want it to come across like a cheeky 20 minute rom-com where they’re the main characters!
Where are you based and what type of couple would be your main clientele? Will you travel for weddings?
I’m Auckland based but put it this way, if we get along, I’ll tag along anywhere for a couple’a lovebirds.
I tend to attract couples who want a balance of cheeky fun and lovey-dovey-ness. My goal is to genuinely get to know each couple so that when it comes to telling their love story, I can tell it in all its quirky glory.
From the first point of contact, how can a couple get in touch with you and what does the planning process look like?
After we have a quick chit-chat over video to make sure we’re big fans of each other, I set about getting to know the couple. I find the best ceremonies I write are the ones when I truly have a sense of who the pair are. So first things first, I send them a wee welcome box that’s full of goodies from some of my favourite buddies ‘round town. I do this to give them a sprinkle of me, my style and gear them into the next step, which is filling me in on their love story! I send them a questionnaire that’s designed to tease out the juicy details and from there, I pop my writing beret hat on and start the first draft of their ceremony. After that it’s going back and forth to get it to where they want (or not, and they want it to be a complete surprise on the day- my favourite!) and then before you know it- lights camera action- it’s the big day!
Could you tell us about your Vow Guide and what couples can expect from this?
Lots of couples are daunted by the task of writing vows. Which is SUPER normal. But what I always tell my couples is … you will be fine! If you get up there and all you can say is I LOVE YOU then that’s what you were always meant to say, and that will be perfect. But more often than not, they want some help to express those feel-a-roos with a bit more than three words. So I tell them to take a deep breath, pick up a glass of wine and email over my vow guide ‘Let’s Vow’. Ultimately it’s a bunch of my favourite vow approaches with a sprinkle of tips and tricks for them to steal, claim and use! I just want my couples to have fun with it. No snoring, please!
Is there a recommended length or ideal time limit for vows?
Eek, that’s a hard one. At the end of the day your vows are for each other so you can do whatever you want. But if we’re thinking about your guests, I’d say no more than a couple minutes to keep things flowing nicely.
What are your thoughts on using a microphone during vows? Is this common or do most couples prefer to exchange their vows at a more intimate volume?
It’s super common. Logistically it just makes sense. Your guests are so excited to be there and hear your love story so a mic is always a safety net from an engagement factor! But of course a smaller, intimate ceremony benefits from the atmosphere of no mic.
Have you got any advice to couples who shrink in their skin at the thought of public speaking?
Never fear you scrumptious lovebirds, it’s going to be a-okay! Just remember, when in doubt, think about why you’re getting married in the first place and simply tell that story in a way that is your own. It’s your day, no matter if you mumble, grumble or stumble, you can do no wrong!
Do you have any advice for couples in preparation for their ceremony to help calm the nerves and help make the ceremony an enjoyable and carefree experience?
Grab 2-3 glasses of wine or 1-2 shots of tequila and practice your vows out loud to a dog. Not a cat, they’re way too honest. Also, just remember that it’s actually your celebrant doing 99% of the talking!
What changes have you seen or more heard in vows and history of sharing these promises?
I’d say, more and more people are measuring the success of their ceremony by the amount of giggles and smiles they have. Traditionally the reception was the one to deliver on those, but the ceremony style has become a lot more light hearted. Yes, it’s still smushy and lovey dovey, but it can also be fun and silly.
Do you have any tips for guests who plan to speak at a loved ones wedding?
Just have a chat to the couple and sense their vibe. Do they want it to be a surprise? Do they want it to be funny? Do they want it to be personal? I recently saw a wedding had a grandma stand up to do a reading and she poetically read out the lyrics to Eminem’s “Lose yourself”! As you can imagine, the whole party was in hysterics!
As a modern day celebrant, what makes your wedding service different to the rest?
Imagine a rom-com cut down to 20 minutes. That’s what I strive for! My ceremonies are fun, relaxed, relatable and a bit cheeky! Don’t let my name fool you, as I do my best to avoid the ‘plain jane’ style of ceremonies with no boring bits. I like to think my style reflects my creativity, passion and my exuding eagerness for you to remember your ceremony with sparklers and lightning bolts (metaphorically, of course!).
How do you adapt your service to suit each couple?
Quite simply, I get to know them. A ceremony is about the couple, so as long as I focus on them and their love story, every ceremony I do is unique, because they are!
Do you have any funky ideas for couples wanting to preserve their vows? Whether this is photographing them, creating art or framed pieces? We would love to hear any fun ideas you have seen or can recommend.
One of my favourite things to do for couples after their wedding, is create an illustration for them of either the walk back down the aisle or a standout line from their vows. I do it with vibrant colours and bold typography and it’s something they can either pop on their walls or keep in their bedside table. Just a bit of aesthetic fun to top the whole thing off!
What has been your favourite wedding to date and why?
Hands down my favourite was a couple of fab gals getting married in the black framed glass house of Te Whai Bay Wines with all of their dogs at their side! I’m a big dog gal so it was just so much fun – and the photos are everything!
What are your go to brands for celebrant outfits?
I always check in with my couples on their whole vibe and I try not to clash with that. My go-to brands are the likes of Aje, Gorman, Twenty Seven Names, Juliette Hogan…I also love to chuck a big bold headband on now and again!
And lastly what’s next for your business?
My husband Simeon Patience and I are wanting to start a bit of a project together. He’s a photographer and loves shooting portraits of the elderly. I’m super moved by love (naturally!) and saddened by the loneliness that comes with aging, so we’re going to start offering free vow renewal ceremonies to anyone over 75. I’m super excited to recreate moments of joy for those who have known love for a long time. And can you imagine the incredible photo series that will come from it!?
To get in touch with Jane you can find her on our Vendor Collection HERE. To get all the secret goodies on Jane’s Vow Guide you can check that out HERE. We also think Janes Vow Guide would make a wonderful gift for a newly engaged couple.