Splore weddings are some of our most memorable occasions, and there hasn't been a Splore without a wedding yet. Beautiful Tapapakanga is the perfect spot for a celebration, and with this year’s theme being ‘Celebrate’, we couldn’t think of a better time to host 2 weddings at Splore. We caught up with celebrant Hilary Ord to find out everything you need to know about the big day.
How long have you been a celebrant for? And what made you want to become a celebrant at Splore?
Since 1998 and initially it was because I had lots of friends that wanted to get married and being part of a community which really drew me in.
How long have weddings taken place at Splore for?
So many years! Since the very first Splore in 1998 I believe.
Is there usually just one wedding at the festival?
No, there is a variety. I’ve done 3 and this year there’s going to be 2. Very exciting!
What’s the process if you want to get married at Splore? Do you need to apply?
You would usually contact our head office and go from there and see what the availability is like. The good thing about this year is we actually have a wedding planner on board, which has taken the experience to another level. It’s really good especially if it’s your first time at Splore, it’s great to have someone there to guide you through and help you. Weddings can be stressful, even if you don’t want them to be and we want them to have the best experience that they can, so having someone on site specifically for them is great! We have a lot of interest and if it doesn’t happen this year then people will apply for the next year. We actually get a lot of people from overseas so it all has to be planned in advance to give people the chance to get to NZ.
How long does it take to plan a wedding at Splore?
The first conversation I had with the people getting married this year, was mid last year so we have been in conversation for the past 6 months. Like any wedding really, depending on how many people there are it could take 6-12 months.
How big do the weddings usually get?
I have had weddings were we get up to 150 guests and they’re really big and elaborate and others are just the bride and groom and a couple of witnesses. Some people have a couple of friends there, but then have a whole load of strangers there too because it’s a public event. We had a wedding on valentine's day one year, which was lovely. So, every year is beautiful and very different.
This year’s theme being celebrate there is no better way to celebrate than with a Splore wedding.
When you think about a wedding, you think about the dress! What’s the Splore wedding attire like?
People usually stick to the very traditional dresses, but they may have jandals on underneath their dress instead of heels. The year we had a lot of rain, we had a bride who wore gumboots under her dress. Everyone gets very dressed up, which is lovely because everyone recognises around the site that you’re a bride and they get congratulated and people are so happy for them.
How long is the ceremony usually?
As long as they want it to be really, some of them involve music and singing and sometimes we bring in speeches and others are very simple and short. It just depends on who is getting married, each to their own really.
Why do you think people choose Splore as a place to get married?
A lot of people have already been to Splore and they have got great memories of the festival and they know what the vibe is here. It’s such a unique and special place. They’re not doing it because it’s cheap because it’s definitely not cheap to go to Splore. It’s great when you have an entire family, the parents, the grandparents and they all make the effort to come together at Splore. It’s great that the weddings become part of so many people’s Splore experience.
Why do you like Splore, what makes you want to return as the celebrant each year?
I was part of the original Splore that happened in 1998 on New Years Eve, and I have been going ever since, my kids have been going since they were little. I used to run the bars at Splore before I become a celebrant and now my kids are running the bars at Splore. I see Splore as a family event too.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at Splore this year?
Orbital because that’s my generation, so I can’t wait!