Thank you for reminding me that celebrations are not ‘optional luxuries’

Weddings are often about more than the central couple, especially now. A little flashback to Jane, Camran and Chloe at their family ceremony. I really love Family Ceremonies. Maybe there should be an award for those.

Hello everybody!

Check out all my ‘nomination badges’….! scroll down to the bottom of the page! and you can see that all of your generous nominations have been acknowledged.

I can’t believe how generous people have been with their time! thanks to you I’ve been nominated for lots of different categories for a Celebrancy Award.

For Weddings

Global Celebrant of the Year 2021

Best National Celebrant 2021

Most Unique Ceremony 2021

Best Client Service 2021

For Funerals

Global Celebrant of the Year 2021

Best National Celebrant 2021

Best Client Service 2021

Rising Star 2021


It’s time I did the same!

Ceremonies are for everyone!

Fusion Family Ceremony : Mia and Ankit, Jain/Christian.

Weddings are about much more than a Bridezilla! I’ve never had a single Bridezilla. Wedding Ceremonies can be very healing for families. Especially where cultures and backgrounds differ. Often brides dread the limelight and we work together to make things feel safer.

Temple garlands made with pink roses by Jit’s Mum for Jit and Abigail’s Hindu/Christian Secular Family wedding.

Not just about the bride!

Bobton and Natalie and their 3 children and a bump. (number 4)…now they have another all 5 are gorgeous children. At the front is Natalie’s Mum who was poorly with dementia. Weddings are often about thanking family, about gratitude and creating memories whilst people are still with us.

Weddings are often about thanking family, about gratitude and creating memories whilst people are still with us.

I often involve the children in the ceremony itself…this little one here is doing the Hand-fasting for me!

Everybody loves it and the children take it very seriously indeed.

Thank you for your nominations!

“It is certainly the case that most of us underestimate what we do, even when we know it’s value. Covid has made me realise the importance of my work. I am more acutely aware than ever before of how vital celebration can be. It has made me grateful that I can make a real difference. It has made me want to shout it from the rooftops. Which is why your nominations mean so much. A Wedding is NEVER ‘JUST a wedding’.”

“It is certainly the case that most of us underestimate what we do, even when we know it’s value. Covid has made me realise the importance of my work. I am more acutely aware than ever before of how vital celebration can be. It has made me grateful that I can make a real difference. It has made me want to shout it from the rooftops. Which is why your nominations mean so much. A Wedding is NEVER ‘JUST a wedding’.”

Spring is here and the phone has started to ring. I have started to book some weddings, quite a lot of weddings in fact. Lots of gorgeous people. During Covid all but one of my weddings cancelled and two postponed. Many postponed as much as 4 times, often they just became dispirited and gave up. Some even emigrated to France in the intervening year. But now I have lots of new couples and families, mostly quite bruised, some grieving and with bank balances depleted thanks to the Virus. Deposits were lost, full fees were taken, lives and futures were put on hold and they find themselves having to dare to hope once again. This is not an easy thing to do.

I find that being a Celebrant now at this time and in this context demands a slightly different skill. Encouraging people to embrace the fact that their ceremony will not be as they planned it and to start to see the positives in that, and also giving people a chance to talk about what has been lost and how we might reclaim some of that in an albeit different way. I am thinking much more about the whole family now, not just the central couple. I’ve always done that, but even more so now. Thinking about ‘where they are at’, giving them all a chance to be together and be hopeful and face their uncertain futures in a Global Pandemic. I’m working a lot with families who would never normally have used a Celebrant but because of Covid and practicalities, they’ve had to explore what we do. This is a great opportunity to share what we do and why it matters.

“If your wedding was cancelled and you can’t have what you wanted, we need to be creating something so that you can look back and say “our wedding was amazing, it would never have been like that if it hadn’t been for Covid, and I wouldn’t change it now, it was completely different but better than what we planned for.” Nothing will ever make COVID ok, but we are all looking for Silver Linings. Sometimes embracing change is creative, challenging and even exciting. With the right celebrant you could be making memories to las a lifetime fo something good that happened despite it all.

A look of contentment after a successful day’s ‘work’! When my families are happy…I’m happy. I went to meet little Rhodri when he was born in London, (Shivam and Rebecca :Welsh Kurdish/Australian Christian) moved to Australia to start a new life. This was the beginning of that journey.

It feels sooo great to be back. I know that I love my job, have always known that. But absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Your nominations have brought it all back at a time when I wasn’t sure if I would ever get to do a wedding celebration again. I felt so emotional when I met my first couple last week. They have such an incredible story of triumph over a terrible adversity. Our family ceremony for them is going to honour lots of people who could not be there, including some who were never born. It is about new beginnings, moving on, building a new little family and getting ready to become a foster family too.

“My livelihood, can’t be called a ‘job.’ It brings me alive with joy. “

My livelihood, can’t be called a ‘job.’ It brings me alive with joy. I am so fulfilled by it, it thrills me. I had forgotten how it felt. I have missed it so greatly. I get the same sense of connection and of making a difference when I work on funerals but it is a different though equally rewarding experience. Some of the stories I’ve heard have been heart-wrenching and I have become aware of the need for some kind of element to the Wedding ceremony which is concerned with healing and new beginnings. It really resonates with people when I ask if that is the case for them. Never has it been more apparent that Celebrations matter. Not having them feels really hard. Special Days are not an optional extra, they are the stuff of life, of memories, photo albums, community and gathering. This year my weddings are much more about ‘everybody’ than ‘its all about us’.

This is Chloe Signing a love song for Mum and Dad, celebrations allow people to show love.

So this blog is a celebration of having survived the Pandemic so far, physically, emotionally and economically. Without the myriad friends I have made in you, the people who were first clients and then friends or friends first and clients second.

“Weddings are a rare chance to enjoy an ‘intergenerational space’, young and old all together. “

I love this little photo, she was so full of excitement at being Mum’s bridesmaid.

More than once over the past year I considered giving up Celebrancy and working in a supermarket. What I have learned throughout the past year is invaluable and I couldn’t list it here but one thing I know for sure is that I want to do this job, full-time for a living. This is a new adventure. We all had a ‘pre-Covid’ plan, and I embarked upon my plan to go full-time just as the Pandemic hit. As my weddings cancelled one by one, I developed the funeral-side of my work and I love it so much, but without the wedding joy to balance everything out I felt a bit depleted. I miss the dressing up, the laughter, the ‘making merry’ and I can’t wait to be doing that again.

I joined the Celebrant Directory a while ago and when they announced these awards this year, I felt too tired to do anything about it. I decided not to enter. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would have the inclination to nominate me. They all had too much going on and I don’t delude myself that I am of any great importance in people’s lives. I hadn’t done any weddings for ages and although I had done lots of funerals it feels odd asking for people to nominate you for awards for such a personal thing, although many of you have and that feels great. For some reason, and I don’t really know why, having made the decision before I went to bed not to bother entering, I woke up the next morning and entered them. I didn’t really know what to do next but decided to tentatively ask you to nominate me. But then you all nominated me with so much enthusiasm and I was blown away by your support. They came flooding in and I was surprised by it and overwhelmed with gratitude. After such a dreadful year it reminded me of all the great ceremonies I have created with my families, how much skill it required, how unique they all were and how many of you are still in my life. A Celebrant becomes a part of your story and you of ours and it really is so enriching.

Glorious, gentle Shereen aged 21. She married facing out to sea on her Persian wedding carpet from her Dad, under an arbour as she said her own hand written vows to her husband Eli. They sailed the seas to Canada 3 days later. I have known Shereen since she was 11 and we are still in touch. She loves Vancouver bye the way. (fusion wedding Iraqi/Persian/Catholic/Muslim/Evangelical Christian hybrid) my favourite kind.

“weddings mark transitions in life and they celebrate difference by uniting disparate traditions in new and creative ways. Celebrations are not optional extras. They are the stuff of cohesive communities.”

Working as a Celebrant is quite solitary in a way. When things go well, you congratulate yourself for a while and then busy yourself with the next task. When things go less well you berate yourself for weeks. Often all the lovely comments and cards and testimonials don’t really get the attention they deserve. It takes courage to admit that you are good at something. I am British and it isn’t really in our culture to ‘sing our own praises’. We are in general and often by culture a little too self-deprecating and self-critical I think. I can’t really speak for others but I certainly am.

But the past year has made me realise how unhelpful it is to be falsely modest or to underplay our achievements even to ourselves. We forget how uniquely we can influence the world around us just by celebrating ourselves and our strengths and contributions. So, I decided to do just that. I’m really good at what I do, I believe in it, I know that it changes lives for the better and I miss it when I’m not doing it. A creative part of me is missing, unused. I enjoy being able to offer my own little contribution to people’s experience of the world. I do the ceremonies only I can do, and you have the weddings only you can have, and when we do that together there is a kind of alchemy.

As you all got in touch with your nominations and pledges to vote you forced me to really focus objectively on all the great things that have happened in our ceremonies together. How beautiful those creative collaborations have been. Your ceremonies are yours, I am just the facilitator, the Creative Enabler, the person who helps you find a voice. I love that you invite me to be that person for a time and it means the world that you find it helpful and that you stay in touch.

Grandad having a hug with his granddaughters, Liv and Jessie, after their Mum and Dad made promises to them and they had played ‘pass the parcel’ with their rings. They all held ‘pinky’ fingers and made promises to each other. Make promises to your children. Liv still tells me how meaningful that was for her.

Try not to underestimate the importance of your Special Days and i will try not to underestimate my part in them. Let’s all take a leaf out of Karen’s book. Karen seized the day and married Bryan on her 55 th birthday. It was her first marriage. I have never known anyone dance with joy the way Karen danced with joy. Get your ‘glad-rags’ on, put on your dancing shoes people….it must be time for dancing.

Karen and Bryan got married on Karen’s 55th birthday. The girl can Boogie!

I love watching your news feeds to find out what happens next for you all. People emigrate, start new careers, have babies, and I watch it all happen knowing that I was there at that special point of transition in your lives. More often than not, I will hop on a train and come for a cuddle with the babies! I love all of it. Every last bit and I love that you loved it too. Do scroll down to see all the awards you nominated me for and do vote for me by clicking this link here:

Thank you xx

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