Terri Everett; Venue Owner, Celebrant & Wedding Planner!

How long have you been in the business of weddings? 

 

Indirectly over a decade or more.

It all started when we moved here and started a charter boat business (Sealimousines) in the Abel Tasman. We were asked to transport small wedding parties into the park.

You would remember the Christchurch earthquake, my Dream Maker business began there in 2012, when a couple were relocated to Nelson, from the USA, while in flight. To cut a long story short, we put their wedding day together in the park in well under 20 hours. Afterwards, the bride put her arms around me and called me her Dream Maker; and that is how I was known from then on.

 

In 2013 I was asked by a same sex couple, who had been working with me for a year, to create their small civil Union in the Abel Tasman. They had grown their trust in me and wanted me to officiate. That was the real step into what I do now, a combination of all trades to make dreams come true, what ever the budget.

Moonraker Lodge is gorgeous! How long have you been there/owned the property for? 

We bought the land 8 years ago and have worked towards building on it ever since, only opening last season in 2019.  The property was always seen as an investment to move onto another project. It is however, perfect for small boutique weddings and elopements, which was another perfect combination of my boundless offerings LOL! 

The property walks directly onto one of the most iconic beaches in NZ and is just a small boat trip into the Abel Tasman NP. My packages start from only $2000 to include 2 nights stay, a beautiful all inclusive elopement package and dinner on the deck over looking the rock.

 

Moonraker House was built with small events in mind. It has a large kitchen and great facilities.  Both bedrooms have deck access with the stunning beach view, offering a wonderful Plan B option if needed. the rock still in full view.  The 1 minute path walks directly onto the beach, so even if couples want a bigger wedding, they can use Moonraker House, as their place to prepare and honeymoon afterwards.

Do you know how many weddings you’ve been the host or celebrant of?

 

OMGosh, in the 100’s from all various sizes and styles but mostly elopements in our 3 national parks, Nelson Lakes, Abel Tasman and Kahurangi.

Awarded “the most unique wedding experience” in NZ last year, shows our diversity, from NP, heritage, epic nature ceremonies, sky dive, crystal cave, snowy mountains etc. My events also include proposals, renewal of vows, family reunions, surprise parties and hen parties. Any significant event really but elopements are my preference by far, with the best return.

 

What do you love most about being a celebrant? 

 

For me, it is truly about the joy it brings back to me, just writing this makes me feel excited about telling you and about the next opportunity being presented to me. I can not believe how lucky I am some times, when flying in a helicopter to land in a spectacular location, only a few people get to enjoy. When planning a day on an exclusive charter, with the freedom to land on any beach or island to bring family and friends together on such a beautiful moment. I am part of that memory the creator of it. 

I also love that my small business can have such a big impact for other small businesses, such as florists, makeup artists, photographers, accommodation providers and the like and that in turn brings in revenue to our region.  These events are one of the most important experiences and memories of any couple and they go off to share their experience to where ever they live, across social media. To me all of that excites me and I am proud to be such a big part in that.

 

 

Tell me about wedding planning, you decided to add this to your already diverse collection of ‘jobs’. Do you have a specific routine for planning weddings or do you go with the flow?

 

I am very much a go with the flow type of girl and in some cases, I have such a short amount of time to plan, I simply have to wing it! That is something that would really scare some people but I think it comes with being in the business for some time; you get a feel, an intuition and I love working challenges under pressure!  

 

I have built up a trusted independent team, you can rely on to have your back, who are also passionate to deliver beyond our clients expectations. I also very much have the belief that I want to give what I would expect and that is; clarity, honesty and accountability. Everything else comes after that. 

The base of a wedding is simple the everyday expectations, celebrant, venue, photographer, hair & makeup, catering for example. I have that ready to go at a drop of a hat if needed.  What is important to remember is that each couple are unique and from that base you must have the skill to listen and interpret what it is they are looking for.  The topping on that cake is on every event I plan, I bring something into the day they were not expecting. Call it my wedding gift. The Wow factor, “did she do that for us?” moment.  Whether its raining or the boat has broken down, doesn’t matter because they remember the wow!

You know, you’re very diverse, a celebrant, venue owner & wedding planner. What made you step in this direction? Diversity at this time should surely be helpful!

 

I was not at all successful in academics at school. I was average at sports, rarely feeling like I had succeeded at much. I used my energy to be disruptive, if I am honest.

I have never conformed and rarely did well working for someone else. I have always found a business to do though. In the UK, I was a stall holder of whatever merchandise I could find, mainly at festivals. When I had my fist child, I started to walk other peoples dogs, with my son in my back pack. That grew to a large house sitting business, with over 100 sitters. We sold this to move to France, where I rehabilitated horses.  When we moved to NZ, I owned a boarding kennel before we bought the boat.

I never ever imagined myself doing what I am doing now, it was all fate but totally me! free to work on my own passion to please people, the joy to put smiles on faces and every event, is my degree moment, my success! 

 

Yes diversity is most definitely a good thing.

 

Photo Credits to Lindy Yewen & Sandra Johnson