For our “X Questions With” series, we’re speaking with talented individuals from around the world who have inspired us with their creativity and passion. If you have a story to tell or someone you’d like to see profiled, let us know in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!
Today, we’re catching up with Laura Giddey, a wedding celebrant who has a passion for merging the ceremonial and the personal. Laura has been using journals in the ceremonies she officiates for the past five years, and is letting us in on the wedding tips she’s picked up over the course of 120 weddings. To learn more about what a wedding celebrant does, check out her website!
Photo Credit: Cue Photography
1) Please tell us a little about yourself
Name: Laura Giddey
City: Auckland, New Zealand
Passions: Reading, podcasts, films, volunteering, house and pet-sitting, and my job is my passion too!
Occupation: Wedding Celebrant
Favourite Quote: “Always be a little kinder than necessary.” – J.M. Barrie
2) We connected with you on Instagram when we noticed the great photos you’ve posted of weddings you’ve officiated, and used our journals in! We’re honoured to be a part of so many people’s big days – how do you incorporate journals into a wedding ceremony?
I’ve officiated over 120 weddings over the last 5 years and for every one, I have read from a Paperblanks Journal! When I took my first wedding in April 2012 I was looking for something to read my ceremony script from, and was struggling to find the perfect fit. I knew I didn’t want a big folder, or a clearfile, or just loose pages of paper that could fly away! I also wanted something that would look beautiful in photos because I end up, naturally, being in lots of ceremony photos with my lovely couples. I have a favourite bookshop in Auckland called Time Out Bookstore in Mt Eden where I spotted the first Paperblanks I bought. I instantly loved their beautiful covers, their perfect A5 size, and the option of buying one without a spine so it could be held open in one hand. I proceeded to print and stick my ceremonies into the journal a few days before each wedding and it became a cathartic way to reacquaint myself with the script if it had been a busy week. When I got to the end of my first journal, 10 weddings later, it was a no-brainer which one I wanted to use next.
3) Do you select a certain journal for a particular type of wedding ceremony?
Since then, I’ve got a beautiful stack of nearly 9 notebooks and I love the visual record of all of my weddings sitting on my bookshelf. Whenever I meet a prospective client, or do an expo or wedding event, I take a notebook or two to show them ideas of potential ceremonies and I get so many compliments about them. I’ve used the Gold Inlay, Japanese Lacquer Boxes, Lindau Gospels, and Tiffany Leaded Glass, and I love them all!
4) How do you make the ceremonies personal to each couple?
I meet with all my couples to get to know them so that my ceremony can be personal and specific to them. Every couple getting married is different so every wedding should be unique to reflect their story. I also send them a questionnaire with questions about how they met, what they initially thought of each other, significant points in their relationship, how they got engaged, what they are looking forward to about being married, and what love means to them. I pride myself on trying to create a customised ceremony so I help them with their vows, readings, and other ways we can involve their guests.
5) How did you get into being a “celebrant”?
In 2012 good friends of mine asked me to become a celebrant in order to marry them. It was an honour to be asked and such a treat to marry my friends! They are still good friends of mine and even made my website and business cards for me. I loved marrying them and even got a bit teary when I pronounced them husband and wife. After that I had a few more people ask me to marry them and it grew from there. In my first year of business I just took their wedding and now I perform 40-50 weddings a year, as well as the occasional funeral, vow renewal, and baby naming ceremony.
6) Why did you choose to go down this career route?
It is a feeling like no other to be part of people’s weddings. Especially to be standing with them as they say their heartfelt (and often funny or quirky) vows to their favourite person. It never gets old! I get to go to beautiful venues, see amazing outfits, work with awesome vendors in the industry, and most importantly meet people at a very happy time in their life! I feel so lucky to be able to call this my job!
7) After being a part of so many weddings, do you have any advice you can share with couples in the planning stage?
After getting engaged and before you look on Pinterest or go to wedding shows or ask your friends for their advice, sit down with your partner and decide on the most important elements of your day. Consider the priorities that you don’t want to budge on; perhaps it’s stunning photography and videography, amazing food, a relaxed family-friendly vibe, or a blend of your religious and cultural beliefs. If you’ve decided your must-haves, it will help as you enter the world of wedding planning where the options are endless and can seem overwhelming! And of course, work with a celebrant or officiant that you feel comfortable with and that will make the ceremony a highlight of your wedding.
8) Do you keep a journal of your own in your personal life?
No, but if I did, it would be a Paperblanks!
Photo Credit: Free the Bird Photography
About Paperblanks: At Paperblanks, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at paperblanks.com.