It's taken 12 years and several applications but finally comedian and poet Penny Ashton has been told she can marry people.
The Sandringham resident had applied to be a marriage celebrant numerous times but after she received her sixth rejection letter from the Internal Affairs Department she contacted Fairfax Media to air her displeasure.
But after giving it another go, she finally heard the good news she had been waiting for.
She received a letter from the department telling her she had been appointed as a marriage celebrant.
When she received the letter she expected it to be another rejection.
''Then I opened it and had a massive adrenaline rush, an intense reaction,'' she said.
Ashton was told numerous times previously that she didn't fit the criteria.
The vibrant comedian had to prove she would meet the needs of a particular community but in order to do this she had to get couples to vouch for her.
It was a frustrating and bureaucratic process because couples she didn't know had to vouch for her, she said.
Fairfax Media wrote about her plight and asked for couples to contact her who needed a young and vibrant celebrant to marry them.
After the story was published, 20 couples wrote letters to vouch for her for her next application.
''Thank you so much to everyone who wrote letters to say they wanted me to marry them,'' she said.
Ashton says she doesn't fit the stereotype of the older, more conventional celebrant but advertises her services as a younger, more alternative celebrant.
She offers to dress up, perform, or recite poetry.
''I'll dress up as a medieval queen or a ringmaster in a top hat and corset if you want me to,'' she said.
''I'll be whatever you want me to be.''
Go to www.hotpinkcelebrant.com.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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