Honouring life's occasions
I am here for you!
My commitment is to create a personalised and meaningful ceremony that suits the occasion and meets your needs.
Warm and friendly, I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life. You will find my relaxed, yet professional approach is supportive, guiding you through what is needed - whether it be a funeral or memorial service - when saying goodbye to a loved one; or a wedding, civil union, renewal of vows, anniversary or milestone party or other significant life events.
Aroha nui ~ Rachel
Rachel Clarke (she/her)
Certificate in Celebrant studies | Masters in Nursing | PG Cert.in Chaplaincy (secular) | VCANZ*
*Validated member of Celebrants Aotearoa - committed to ongoing professional development.
Rachel worked with me to craft my late husband's funeral. Her empathy enables her to grasp the heart of the matter and she is able to aptly convey this in the ceremony.
We would like to say that we really enjoyed your personality and flair as our celebrant. We were made to feel so comfortable and reassured during the lead up to our wedding. You really helped us with the overall process of developing our vows, and your special poem was the icing on the cake and is something we treasure. You really listened to our love story and this made us feel very special on our wedding day. Many of our guests commented on how lovely the service was. We would highly recommend you to others.
Cleo and Matt
I love being a celebrant and enjoy working closely with people, helping them to create a ceremony that feels right for them, whether it be celebrating special occasions in life; or in the case of losing a loved one – saying goodbye - in whatever way feels right for you.
I chose to train as a celebrant after supporting family and friends through end-of-life experiences. Being involved was a huge privilege and I found my life skills - as nurse, educator and mother - enabled me to support people with empathy and care.
My husband, Mike, and I are enjoying all that the Wairarapa has to offer, having moved to Featherston in 2019. Regulars at the Woodside-Greytown Parkrun, we also enjoy exploring the local walking trails, along with the occasional tramp in the Tararua range. We have three daughters and one precious mokopuna and enjoy catching up with them whenever possible.
I belong to Celebrants Aotearoa - the only Professional Association for celebrants in Aotearoa New Zealand. I am currently the National President leading the National Executive. As a member, I adhere to the Code of Ethics and Professional Standards and am covered by indemnity insurance. In the unlikely event that you require it, a complaints process is available through CANZ.
Thank you for making our ceremony so special! We both appreciated your professionalism, patience and warmth. Your fun, relaxed approach was perfect for us.
- Luke & Anna
Photo by Belinda Pratt Photography (www.belindapratt.co.nz)
Funerals & Memorials
Remembering a loved one’s life together with family, friends and members of the community is an important part of saying goodbye. It is a milestone on that journey of grief which we all must travel and being together enables you to be supported through loss.
It would be a privilege to work with you to say farewell to your loved one. I will meet you and your family/whānau to learn about their life and to plan the ceremony with you in a way that remembers and honours them, in a way personal to your family.
You can contact me directly or ask the Funeral Director you are working with to contact me.
Are you planning a memorial service, interment of ashes or unveiling ceremony?
Please contact me directly to discuss how I can help if you are planning a memorial service, interment of ashes or unveiling ceremony for a loved one.
Do you wish to have an advance conversation or hold a 'living wake'
Do you wish to have a conversation about your funeral or memorial service in advance?
Have you thought you might like to have a gathering with friends before your death - sometimes called a living wake. If so, I can have a conversation with you about these options. Please contact me directly.
For more information about when someone dies, you can visit Births, Deaths and Marriages.
You can also contact a Funeral Director through the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand.
With pleasure I would like to pass on our immense gratitude for your friendly professionalism, your guidance and support you gave to enable us to give our Mother a special, moving and warm service and then, through an interment service, to finally lay both Mum and Dad to rest at the Archer Street Cemetery. We are extremely grateful to you Rachel.
- the Shaw family
Weddings & Civil Unions
We are so happy we found you. You've been an absolute dream!
I am an inclusive celebrant who enjoys working with all couples in love. Your wedding or civil union is a time to affirm your commitment to each other; sharing this moment with your family and friends. Let’s work together to create a ceremony that reflects your one-of-a-kind partnership. Large or small, formal or informal, traditional or non-traditional, simple or quirky – let’s have fun creating the style of ceremony you are after.
Let’s chat about whether there is something unique or different you want to include in your ceremony. Are there cultural traditions you would like to incorporate? Is a bilingual ceremony important to you? I love hearing about what you want and weaving this into the magic of your day. I am passionate about your story being the heart of your day and for the ceremony to be memorable as you declare your love for each other.
Delivering a fully personalised, bespoke service to you is my commitment to you; whether your wedding or civil union is a small intimate affair or elopement, a backyard affair or a larger gathering of family and friends at one of the stunning wedding venues we have here in Wellington and the Wairarapa.
This Celebrants Aotearoa guest blog which I collaborated on, speaks well to the role of a celebrant in creating ceremony. It's not just a party after all!
In most instances, the first step is to catch-up for an informal no-obligation chat. This is a great chance for me to get to know you. We can explore some ideas together and I will let you know more about how I work. The following outline gives you some idea of the process from beginning to end:
• A 50% deposit of the fee will secure your date
• We will meet to develop your ceremony
• You will be sent a ceremony draft to review
• A rehearsal will be held prior to the ceremony
• I will officiate your ceremony
• For weddings and civil unions, I submit the legal papers to the office of Births, Deaths and Marriages, who will register your marriage/civil union
• Feedback and photos are requested immediately following the ceremony, upon advising you I have lodged the paperwork.
Note: This process may change depending upon the style of your ceremony
Find out more about getting married in NZ here.
We both feel so lucky that we chose you for our service. Your help and suggestions made our day so special and stress free. The memories of our day we will treasure forever. Our guests have all told us that our service was beautiful and that your input had captured our love and who we are.
- Sue & Brian
Rachel was so easy to deal with , was extremely accommodating and was “all in” on our surprise wedding idea and helped us with ideas on how to format and execute our day. We appreciated that Rachel supported us through our untraditional wedding idea and we felt like we were able to experience a ceremony that was authentic to us. We had the best day and Rachel played a large part in making it amazing.
- Natalie and Chris