Chris Payne

posted in: Graduate Profiles

At just 25 years of age, Chris Payne of Auckland is a registered marriage celebrant, with three weddings under his belt, and more to come. Chris, who works in an alternative education centre with teenagers, saw a niche in the market he could fill for friends and family. As well as this, he figured he could develop skills that could be transferred to other areas of his life, such as dealing with crowds, public speaking, and conveying knowledge with authority.

The Celebrant School taught him to be confident as a celebrant. He says it is  a unique environment in which people learn from seasoned professionals. He graduated with a solid understanding of a range of situations that celebrants have found themselves in, and helpful tools and techniques to resolve these.

The intricacies of marriages and civil unions were well covered. “The Celebrant School does a fantastic job teaching the ins and outs of the legal framework surrounding these ceremonies,” according to Chris. “The teaching about this aspect of celebrancy is comprehensive and a must for anyone practicing in New Zealand. The team also instil a very strong understanding of the celebrant’s role in the ceremony and the support they can give to different parties involved,” he says.

Chris performed one ceremony which required a strong religious element.The insight he had gained from The Celebrant School was invaluable, giving him the sensitivity to navigate this, making sure the ceremony was inclusive of the family’s beliefs while ultimately not compromising what the bride and groom envisioned for their special day.    

Chris is sure the Certificate in Celebrant Studies helped him achieve registration with the Department of Internal Affairs. As a young man he didn’t have years of community involvement to support his application, but the qualification showed his commitment to becoming a celebrant. With his appointment, the public now has the choice of a qualified young male celebrant with professional knowledge and skills.

Phone: 021 296 9979