Sandy Carden For Funerals, Memorial Services and Funeral Planning

Funeral  and Memorial Celebrant

Funerals Memorial Services and Planning/I am Sandy Carden and for over 20 years I have been privileged to assist people from all walks of life as they plan a service to celebrate and farewell a loved one.

My training in Celebrant Studies at AUT was the introduction to this path of working with people and resourcing them at this crucial time so that together we can plan and present a ceremony that reflects your loved one’s personality, achievements, values and beliefs. My training and experience enable me to understand and present a well-balanced and meaningful ceremony, in a relaxed and warm manner.

It is important that you have control of the content and implementation of the ceremony and that it contains wording, music and readings that are relevant to you. I am able to share resources and experience and give guidance about what works so that the ceremony is a true reflection of your loved one’s life and your wishes.

Such a ceremony will be an encouragement and comfort to those who are facing the changes that death has brought to their lives.  It will meet the needs of the closest family members and friends and be relevant for others who attend the funeral.

Venues for ceremonies include private homes, churches, funeral homes, cemeteries, clubs and parks.  I am happy to conduct a ceremony in any place you choose in the greater Auckland or Pauanui/Tairua areas.

It is important that you choose someone you feel you can relate to comfortably, who is well presented and has a warm and compassionate nature.  Who is ready to incorporate any religious or non-religious input and who is skilled in negotiating a way through the different wishes of those planning the ceremony.

Feel free to contact me to discuss your needs by phone on 021 521 918 or by email to  If you wish we can have a brief no-obligation meeting to see whether you would like me to be your funeral celebrant.

How do we go about it?

* We will meet at my home or place convenient to you to discuss your requirements and get the planning underway. If necessary we can do this by phone, FaceTime or Skype.

* We will plan the ceremony together and I will be attentive to your wishes. I welcome input from yourselves and people you choose to take part in the service. I enjoy working with other cultures and will willingly include such parts of their faith, prayers or readings as you wish.

* I work closely with funeral directors, the musicians and all taking part in the ceremony to ensure all flows smoothly.

* We will be in regular contact by phone or email to ensure you are comfortable with the ceremony I have written in accordance with our discussions.

* You will know the final content of the ceremony before the funeral so you can be as relaxed and ‘present’ as possible.

My charges

Costs vary, depending upon the type of ceremony you choose and its location, and range from $500 – $700.

Additional Services

I am also able to assist with:

* Advanced planning of funerals (see below)

* Memorial Services – when another service has been conducted at a prior time

* Interment at graveside

* Scattering of ashes

* Laying of headstones

* Anniversary memorial service

Advanced Planning of Funerals

Creating ceremonies to reflect you and all that matters to you.

  • I am happy to assist people to plan their own funerals. This can be a significant step in the preparations for the final stage of life’s journey.
  • Having a relevant funeral planned, with music, readings and messages chosen, can assist the ‘letting go’ process and give peace of mind.
  • We meet to discuss your wishes and options for the funeral service in as much or as little detail as you wish. This simplifies the planning of the funeral service after death and gives comfort to those with this responsibility.


Thank you for conducting our sister’s funeral in such a caring and meaningful way.  It was a really lovely service and just what we wanted.


 We want to thank you for steering us through our goodbyes to Dad.  I am thankful you were able to meet us in our loss with a kindly manner.  We value your guidance in giving him such a loving and uplifting send-off.


 All of our family are most appreciative of the warm and caring guidance and counseling you provided us after our Mother died.   


 It is not easy to make funeral arrangements but with your help and dignified and efficient way you conducted the service, we were able to provide for Mum a funeral which was a celebration of her life and her love, while providing comfort to those who were there.  We are very grateful to you.