Love and life


Poppy Wortman loves nothing more than a challenge. The vivacious 25-year-old is a wedding celebrant, an avid lover of yoga (about to complete her teacher’s training in India) and is preparing to conquer Everest Base Camp in Nepal (for her second time). So it’s fair to say Poppy likes to challenge herself.

She also loves to share in people’s lives and futures, through her role as a wedding celebrant. It is rare to come across such a young celebrant, as well as a person determined to break the mould of working 9-5, opting to travel the globe as frequently as she can and embrace any opportunities which come her way.  Poppy shares her story with Fitness Journal …

By Poppy Wortman

Becoming a wedding celebrant was the outcome of a teenage laugh.

One of my best friends met her now-husband when we were about 16, and even then I was adamant they would end up together. We used to joke that I would be the one to marry them; a forever third wheel, even involved in their vows. When she called to tell me they were engaged and set to wed in 2015, we decided to investigate whether me becoming a celebrant was actually feasible.

It just so happens that it was.

Becoming a celebrant is a bit of a process, requiring a thorough application, multiple interviews and proving to be of a certain character over the course of a few months. Being only 22 at the time, I was a touch anxious that the lack of years to my name would perhaps be a clout against me. But having a degree in communications and such lark stood me in good stead.  

I consulted a handful of celebrants who had been in the business for years and was super blessed to have some serious wisdom shared with me. When it came to the big day and debut, I feel you’d be hard pressed to pick the most edgy out of the bride, groom or me. However, when I announced the couple as husband and wife, I knew I’d found my “thing”.

I have since officiated at several weddings, with a further 20-odd booked this season and beyond. I find the role utilises my strengths; organisation, writing, public speaking – and I adore getting to know people and their stories. It greatly delights me to find that every single one can be so different; from the very upscale to the surprise to the laissez-faire backyard event; each ceremony can totally be tailored to reflect the two espousing.

I’m currently setting up to go pretty much full-time over the summer seasons. Aside from the marrying, I am also a freelance writer, blogger, and work doing marketing and social media at a few businesses around town (Cambridge).

After graduating university, I decided to forgo the journalism path for a wee while and do the travelling thing. It’s true what they say about that incredibly catching voyaging bug though; three years on and I spend a significant stint every year globe gallivanting, with Cambridge – where my family has lived since moving from Auckland nine years ago – as my base.

Being of an all-or-nothing ilk I tend to go for the more challenging type travel; in 2015 I went to India for a few months to do my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher’s Training (after only ever having attended two actual yoga classes before in my life). After that I went and tackled Everest Base Camp, when before I had hiked no higher than Maungatautari.

I’ve just locked in to go back to Northern India for four and a half months this June to complete my yoga training, with Everest Base Camp (take two) tacked onto the end of my trip. There’s something about both India and Nepal that really pull me in and feel like a Himalaya home-away-from-home; the people, the peacefulness and the absolute polarisation to anything in New Zealand (aside from the beauty of course).

My top tip for any soon-to-weds? Research. Research and read and reconnaissance to find what you like, what you don’t, and in effect what you may or may not want. I find many couples tend to focus their attention on the more aesthetic aspects of the wedding – the dress, the venue, the like – and tend to somewhat overlook the script side of things, ending up with a rather generic ceremony. But as long as the legalities are ticked off, you can incorporate pretty much what you please. And being a writer, I love to craft bespoke scripts for each couple that encapsulate what they’re all about.

Becoming a celebrant may have been something that kindled from a bit of jest, but it’s truly grown to be a role I am incredibly enthusiastic about. Every element of it, from the initial getting-to-know through to the final “I do”, is just so special in each and every case.

For more information on Poppy, visit 


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