We got in line, and filled out the necessary forms, showed our identification, and then were directed to the marriage waiting area. We had to find two witnesses. Andrew said it was my turn, so I approached one of the ladies who had been with us in the elevator excursion, and asked her if she'd be willing to be one of our witnesses. She turned me down. So then I told Andrew it was his turn. He approached what appeared to be a mother and daughter, and asked them if they would be our witnesses. They said yes, though they seemed a bit put out about it. So we went back to the celebrant and told her that we were ready as soon as our witnesses were done with their business.
Enter Keanu Chong. (You must ignore any offensiveness of that name as no offense is meant by it - he just really looked like a Chinese version of Keanu Reeves). Andrew and I were keen to get married, and Keanu was the worker helping our two Maori witnesses. We thought they probably shouldn't be that long, but we watched from our marriage waiting area as he took forever to help our witnesses. So Andrew started making up stuff as we were watching and waiting, talking about how a block of wood could complete the telephone call better than Keanu Chong. Then that it was likely that Keanu Chong really had been murdered and this guy had just come and taken his place. My response: "Yeah, because that is what happens when you murder someone, you start doing their job." So I was laughing very loudly, both of us smiling broadly in the middle of this bureaucratic office. Finally, our witnesses finished up. We were taken to a room with seating for about 40, and large windows.
Our celebrant was a Maori lady, very friendly and happy face. She talked about how they had a simple ceremony prepared, but one that they hoped would be meaningful. The main part of the wording that I remember was that part of the words was just stating your desire to be married to each other. It wasn't til death do you part or whatever. It was just simple, and us saying we wanted to be married to each other. After which, she pronounced us married. We kissed, and I was in this super happy excited mood, and Andrew was in a quizzical mood, as he asked me, first thing when we were married, "Have you seen the Mutual Community ad?" I laugh about that every time I think about it. Proposed to in front of a bin, and the first words he says to me as a married couple are asking me about a television ad. Apparently something in the ceremony reminded him of this ad, which I still have yet to see. Our put out witnesses looked less put out, and were infected by our happiness, and everyone in the room had smiles on their faces.
I remember looking through celebrant websites before I came over, because I thought maybe we'd try to get married on the beach or something like that, but we ended up deciding to go to the registry office. Of all the ones I'd found, the lady who performed our marriage is who I would have chosen. Just a nice, unimposing demeanor, and added bonus that she was Maori.
We signed the paperwork, and that was it. We went downstairs, and I asked a random lady to take a picture for us. She took it, and then I thought we might go to a few other places and get more pictures, but the batteries on the camera had died. So this is the one solitary picture we have from that day. Good thing it's a good one. :)