I enjoyed an action-packed and successful
I have a wealth of knowledge in public speaking, managing crowds, making people smile and bringing meaning, energy and a sense of occasion to every ceremony I conduct, whether celebrating love or celebrating life.
Most importantly, when you speak – I listen.
I believe that every couple regardless of culture, sexual orientation or religious belief deserves a ceremony that celebrates their love and commitment to each other. I understand the unique nature of grief associated with the loss of loved one, so when it comes to celebrating life I work hard to capture the very essence of the departed, something which I believe is of paramount importance in any meaningful farewell.
I have an excellent level of fluency in Te Reo Māori and French, I am a proud supporter of the Rainbow Community and I am mobile – though I am based in Hamilton I am always open to traveling further afield.
My Journey to Celebrancy
Though born and raised in the Hutt City suburb of Petone, I proudly identify as a Hamiltonian, the city I have called home since 2003.
Some would say I am one of New Zealand’s most successful female comedians. I began my performance career as a poet. Moving from spoken word to stand-up in 1994, I broke into the big time as a new face on television’s Pulp Comedy in 1997. Making a wise decision to ditch Wellington – along with my hyphen and surname as the newly rebranded Jan Maree – I hitched a ride on the Intercity bus to Auckland, set up home in the artsy (and then very cheap) suburb of Grey Lynn and started making a name for myself on the burgeoning Kiwi comedy scene.
I moved swiftly on to win the Billy T award in 2001, and accolades since include taking both the New Zealand Comedy Guild President’s Medal and New Zealand Comedy Festival Trust’s Best Show gong in 2009, and in 2011 won the Fred Award, becoming the first female comedian to receive the NZ International Comedy Festival’s supreme award.
In 2002, while on a nationwide tour with Aussie legends Puppetry of The Penis I scored a full time job as a breakfast radio host with Mediaworks in Hamilton. Everyone said my comedy career was over.
While radio was not a fit, Hamilton was. Working hard to diversify my comedy business in order to stay in the river city, I began a touring company and became something of an icon at Hamilton East watering hole The Cook, hosting the monthly comedy showcase for a whopping ten and a half years. The landmark comedy night continued for twelve years, making it New Zealand’s longest running pub gig. Rebranded under new ownership, comedy continues at the venue to this day.
After 21 years spent harvesting LOLs the comedy brand of Jan Maree hung up the microphone in 2015; I took back my hyphen and last name – trading the spotlight to pursue new bliss. I now happily work a day job for Parliamentary Service, while working the land with my amazing partner Bruce, at home on Rāhui Farm on the west side of the Waikato.
This life-change allowed me to seriously pursue my long-held dream to become a celebrant.
Many years ago, my very good friend the late Ewen Gilmour became a celebrant. It was a job he enjoyed so much – Ewie was a real believer in love. In many
In 2017 my friends Lani and Leigh asked me to marry them. Well, if I am honest it was more a case of the girls saying to me, “Get your bum into gear and get appointed as a celebrant because we can’t imagine anyone else marrying us.” They even brought round the application guide!!! The request seemed to attract more requests from other friends, and from whanau. Everything happens for a reason and I knew I had no excuse.
I was so pleased to receive the Registrar’s letter confirming my appointment, I cried! I am proud to be an independent marriage and civil union celebrant, and I am excited to bring all the love to ceremonies for many years to come.
WHAT TO EXPECT
FROM CELEBRANT JANNY
I believe there is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ ceremony, whether celebrating life or love.
Let’s book a time and place to meet whether in person or on Skype/Facetime. If you are as yet undecided around whether you wish for me to act as the celebrant for your wedding then certainly a preliminary discussion is welcome. Your big day is important, and your fit with your celebrant is an essential element of that.
Ask any of my couples; at these meetings I will do the listening, while you tell me what you are looking for. If I believe I can help, and through our interaction you agree we are a match, then we lock it in. Timeframes dependant (some couples book over 12 months out, others weeks!), I will start building your ceremony from about the 4 month mark.
Your ceremony is unique to you and your story, and that is what I am here to do – share your story, and solemnise the beginning of a new chapter in your journey as a couple. I will meet with you and work through a series of questions I have devised which really help me to build a detailed picture of you as a couple, and to best understand the feel, tone and theme of your day.
My mission is to build the ceremony which is the best possible reflection of your love and the commitment that you make in joining your lives in marriage.
These days the ceremony can be as big or as small as you like – there is only one line which is legally required; “I NAME take you NAME to be my wife/husband/partner/companion (etc, you get the drift)” Everything else is up to you!
I have some great resources, which I am more than happy to share with my couples once they are booked in. I have a great bunch of ideas that I have seen or used in weddings which you may wish to consider or may prove good inspiration for your ceremony. I also have a good collection of readings if you wish to have someone contribute to the ceremony with spoken blessings.
My background in script writing and media means that I am very capable and certainly happy to help my couples write their own vows. I also have a stash of vows which range from emotional, to serious, to light-hearted (and everything in-between!) which can prove a useful guide for many couples.
I consider myself open minded and inquisitive so am always willing to include any specific traditions or cultural observances that my couples wish to include.
Rehearsal the day prior is a must for me, though I am respectful of those couples for whom rehearsal is not a fitting addition.
On the day I am 100% available from daybreak by phone and email for any last minute challenges or changes. I will be at the venue at least 45 minutes prior to the ceremony to check sound and venue thoroughly. I do have my own PA system available which is all-weather, all-venue (runs on mains power but also on battery for outdoor/remote weddings).
I can call the order of photos, I am happy to run the music for the ceremony. I can print and present your marriage documents on the day if you order them online; opt to have them emailed directly to me. I will provide you with an all-weather document wallet which contains your Copy of Particulars. I can email you a .pdf of your ceremony script which you can make a keepsake for years to come.
Funeral/Commemoration/Memorial/Unveiling/End of Life Planning
I meet with family for as long as it takes to get a proper sense of what kind of farewell is going to be the most fitting. When we celebrate life it is really important to reflect the true nature of that person, and to adhere to their wishes as closely as possible.
I do this by listening very carefully, and seeking clarity – so that when I come to prepare the ceremony, I have an absolute understanding of the life we will celebrate. My mission is to present a dedication to life which is meaningful, inclusive and respectful. The vision is that, at the conclusion of the service, each member of the assembled mourners will feel that they have experienced the most fitting tribute to the departed.
I am more than happy to assist families with sourcing music and readings.
I consider myself open minded and inquisitive so am always willing to include any specific traditions or cultural observances that you wish to include.
On the day I am 100% available from daybreak by phone and email for any last minute challenges or changes. I will be at the venue at least 45 minutes prior to the ceremony to check sound and venue thoroughly. I do have my own PA system available which is all-weather, all-venue (runs on mains power but also on battery for outdoor use).
I can email you a .pdf of my ceremony script which you can make a keepsake for years to come.
I am also able to provide end of life planning services to those who wish to design their celebration of life in advance, and I am more than happy to give you more information on how we will do this together – please get in touch.
LEAVE A MESSAGE OR
GIVE ME A CALL
I really do think the best way to gauge if I am the right person to assist in your celebration of life or love, is to connect.
You can complete the form here on the website, email or call; my phone is always on and the email alerts ding on the same device, so please do get in touch!