Updated: Jun 8
Planning a wedding, but not sure who to book as your perfect wedding vendors? Join me as I walk you through my top 5 trusted Canterbury vendors.
For those of you who don't know me, my name is Chaznel Steenkamp and I am a wedding photographer based in Amberley, North Canterbury. I specialise in offering unique and custom wedding collections that allow for a stress-free, intimate, and authentic wedding photography experience. Simply put I prefer to focus on the in between moments, the candid moments, the moments you will remember forever! I have been in the wedding industry since 2021 and I absolutely love it. One thing that I love the most is the couples that I get to meet throughout my wedding photography journey. I also am so stoked to meet so many wonderful vendors based all over Canterbury and I really would love to share with you some of my most trusted wedding vendors.
Planning a wedding can be super overwhelming and can sometimes feel like a task that never ends, that's when vendor suggestions and reviews really come in handy. Allowing yourself to make informed decisions about who to have along for your most important day, will give you that peace of mind that your special day is in good hands.
Obviously as a wedding vendor, I can say that I've seen some of the good and some of the bad in wedding days, and my mission not only for my couples, but for any couples who may come across this blog is to help you navigate and book the best vendors for your wedding day, so you end up with the best day ever possible. So let's make your day amazing!
Before we start, some suggestions on how to choose your perfect wedding vendors:
Make sure you feel comfortable when chatting to them. Do you vibe well? Does conversation flow well?
Make sure when you choose you vendor that they understand exactly what you are envisioning, this is your day and not theirs, and if you want doves then you can have doves (although not sure if we really even have doves in New Zealand hehe).
Always make sure that you feel safe with the vendors. You will be spending your most intimate day with a whole bunch of people you may only have met one or two times before the wedding. Make sure that you don't feel icky with any of them... not every couple will suit every vendor and that's okay too. It's just like choosing friends... you might not exactly be best friends with every person that you come across, and thats okay too. Choose personalities that work well with the flow of your wedding. Don't be afraid to be a little picky in who you choose as your vendors, after all you do only get this chance once in your life (most of the time).
Now that we've covered some pointers on how to choose your wedding vendors, I would like to introduce you to my top 5 wedding vendor suggestions, and all of them are based across the Canterbury region.
Of course writing my own blog post about wedding vendors you would automatically think I'd write about myself... Instead I am going to explain what to look for in a photographer to suit your wedding.
Values. If you believe that you are planning the perfect vogue wedding then choose a photographer who captures those gorgeous posed images that take you into a magical world of perfection and class. If you are planning a wedding that is boho, free-spirited, and relaxed then choose a photographer who captures the images of in between moments and authentic interactions (p.s. this is me 100%). Values is so important when choosing your photographer as we will be one of the vendors you spend most of the day with. If you love love detail shots but your photographer doesn't do detail shots then obviously that value connection isn't there and that's okay, but make sure you then go and find a photographer who does indeed value those detail shots (by the way, I absolutely adore details).
Personality. This one is a big one in my honest opinion. When you have your discovery meeting with your photographer you'll quickly pick up on their quirks, are they funny, are they quiet, are they introverted or extroverted. You'll be able to see whether your personality clicks or clashes with them, and please please please if there is one thing to remember, never try to force a relationship to work. If the personality doesn't click, then that's okay, there are literally so many amazing photographers and the perfect one is out there for you, you don't have to settle for someone you don't think you can get along with at all, choose someone you like.
Budget. Finances is always a massive topic when it comes to planning a wedding. One of the biggest things to keep in mind when booking your photographer is whether you actually value photos of your day or whether you are only booking a photographer because someone told you that you need one. If you don't value photos and photography then spending $10k on a wedding photographer may not be a viable option for you, but if you absolutely adore photos and cannot wait for amazing memories through images from your special day then spending that $10k may not seem like a hill of a fee to you. This is when you need to decide whether booking someone who is just starting out will suffice or whether you want to book someone who has a few weddings under their belt and knows what they are doing.
Overall my main three things to look for in a photographer is Value, Personality, and Budget. If you know where you stand with all those three topics then choosing your photographer is going to be an absolute breeze.
2. Celebrant. Kineta Booker
Celebrants play a massive part in your big day, so choosing someone who values your story and your love journey is something that in my opinion is really important. I had the pleasure of working with Kineta for a recent elopement and can I just say, she's amazing at what she does.
She listens to who you are and your story and allows for your day to be truly yours. She definitely doesn't steal the show, and that's something that is so important no matter what vendor you are choosing. If you are looking for a celebrant who really values you as a couple and who will create a magical ceremony then Kineta is your gal.
P.S. She is also the wonderful person behind North Canterbury Weddings, an awesome directory if you want check out some other brilliant vendors.
3. Florist. Sarah Naylor from Farmhouse Boutique
I cannot explain on a scale how much I love Sarah's floral arrangements! I literally messaged her a few days before an event in
2021 needing an arrangement for an exhibition and boy did she deliver the goods. I was so over the moon delighted with my bouquet (I still have it to this day) and it was exactly what I was wanting!
My bouquet was a dried one and can I just say, I honestly think dried bouquets are the new "in"! I love them so much hehe! Sarah can do both fresh and dried, so if dried florals isn't your jam that's okay too. She is based in Mid Canterbury region. If you want a florist who really is amazing at what she does and takes into account what you are envisioning then Sarah is your gal! Booking your florist may seem like just another task but when you choose a florist who is so in sync with their talents and their dream, then you're essentially getting a bouquet that is a work of art!
4. Hair. Kelly Sheppard Hairstylist
First off Kelly is just amazing at what she does. Not only is she a wedding hairstylist but she also does every day hair dressing and she's just brilliant (I can testify that that). Kelly is so gentle when she works with your hair and it's almost as if you're getting a head massage. I love getting my hair done now!
If you are looking for someone who is down to earth, friendly, and will create an amazing do for your wedding day then Kelly should be your go to gal! She creates these beautiful hairdo's that look like they've come straight out of a fashion show! She is just so talented!
---> Photo of me feeling super fresh after a cut, colour, and straightening from Kelly!
5. Wedding Planner. Catrin (aka Cat) from Fika Events
Where do I start with Cat... she is super organised, super knowledgeable, and so friendly. When it comes to wedding planning choosing someone to hand all your worries over to can be daunting; will they make sure to book everything I want? Will they pay everything for me or am I supposed to?
When Cat takes your wedding on, she becomes your number one fan. She dedicates hours to planning, admin, organising, and making sure that everything flows nicely. You'll never have to worry whether she may have forgotten something or missed something. She really is just so super duper on top of everything! If you are someone who really struggles with under pressure, planning, making decisions, or just plainly knowing what to do next then I highly recommend booking Cat as your wedding planner. She will make sure that everyone knows what they are supposed to do and when. You won't have to do anything except enjoy your day!
I really hope that you've come to the end of all this and found some hope at what can be an overwhelming tunnel! Wedding planning should be enjoyable and should be a part in your journey to remember and cherish, and by making sure that you are picking the right vendors will ensure that you end up with the best possible day ever. Ever wedding deserves 100% so let's make sure that your wedding is no exception to that.
Until next time...
Lots of love,